Monday, January 10, 2011

Chicken Feet and Other Delicacies...

So, it's 5:30 in the morning, and I've been trying to force myself to sleep since about 2:30 this morning.  My alarm is set for 6:00, but for some reason (jet lag) I can't seem to stay asleep that long.

Yesterday was Day One in the office for me, and while I was pretty apprehensive about it going into the day, by the end of the day most of my fears were put aside, and I finished the day feeling pretty good about the whole experience. 

My fellow IT Associates were positively gracious and generous with their time, and patience.  (Being the non-Chinese speaking visitor, I had plenty of questions.)  By the end of the day, I came away with some new found respect for my Asian colleagues.

All of the people in the office make it to work by around 9:00 AM.  Since Hong Kong is so very crowded, public transportation is the primary means of getting around.  There's a very substantial Shuttle Bus service that seems to transport people around at the right time to all the right places.  I had a Shuttle Bus from my hotel to the office I'm working in.  There's a Shuttle Bus that comes around at lunch to take people to the nearby shopping area where eating establishments are plentiful.  And then at the end of the day, starting at 5:00 PM, there's a shuttle bus that takes you from the office to the Sha Tin train station which is just block or so from my hotel.  It's interesting to note that the evening shuttle runs from 5 till 8 PM, and most of the IT folks wind up working till around 7, and sometimes even later.

So, for lunch, my colleagues took me to a very local eating establishment where English was not even a choice.  Menus were in Chinese, and there weren't any pictures to make my choices from, so I relied solely on my colleagues to order our food.  We had a Dim Sum lunch, which is not unlike ordering Tapas from a Spanish Restaurant.  Small plates of food, and lots of them, give the diner plenty of options to choose from.  There were lots of steamed, meat and vegetable filled dumplings that were all quite tasty.  Along with that we had the Chinese version of sticky rice (not my favorite), and a couple of different soft, fluffy, dough filled items that were really good.  One was filled with meat and veggies, while another was reminiscent of an egg.  White fluffy dough outside, with a bright yellow liquid center that was absolutely marvelous tasting. It was sweet, and most likely a desert type dish.  The highlight of the meal, (to the unsuspecting American guy) was the barbecued chicken feet.  It was obvious to me that this was going to be the good natured entertainment for the afternoon, so I obliged by giving the feet dish a taste.

While I found the chicken feet to be tasty, I also found it to be extremely fatty.  Under the skin of the feet, there's a layer of fat, that surrounds the bone and knuckle type parts. This fatty part is what wound up not sitting well with me.  Although the effects weren't immediate, but rather more of a time bomb effect.   I spent last night in my room, passing on dinner, and sort of regretting my culinary bravado.

So, it's off to day two of work... I'm looking forward to it.

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