Thursday, June 10, 2010

Shanghai Expo

Milpitas, CA, June 10, 2010: Early last month, our friend Huiyan, who lives in Shanghai, sent us two adorable figurines: mascots from the Shanghai Expo. At about the same time, while sorting through boxes in our garage, I found a set of toy street food items that I had purchased years ago in Hong Kong and forgotten about. Naturally, I put the two together at my desk.

On the left: Hula Girl or as it says on the box it came in, "Hawaii Style Haiboa Doll."

On the right: Fireworks Boy ("Tang Suit Haiboa Doll"). I think he needs safety goggles or else he might become the "Law Suit Haiboa Doll."

Haibao is Chinese for "Gumby" (OK, no it isn't.) 

Together, they became part of my desk display. The shelves are too wimpy for books, so what are you going to do, eh? 

I've dined in many restaurants, and tried street vendor food in many cities, but I don't recognize most of these dishes. Do you?

I asked our friend, Joseph, who grew up in Hong Kong and still lives there, what he misses most while traveling: fried rice! Most of the old wet markets in Hong Kong have been replaced with condos and high rises.

By the way, if you click on the top right photo to enlarge it, see that there are white stands with plastic display cases and a propane tank? I was expecting to get those as well. Boy, did I feel ripped off. Oh, well, another reason to go back to Hong Kong.

Back in 2008, Huiyan took me for a walking tour of the Bund, the river front walkway in Shanghai, where we saw real life signs of the expo and street food.

This guy is selling barbecued mystery meat on a stick with hot sauce. "Chicken" and "beef," I presume. My days of eating that, even at a restaurant in Milpitas, where they really do serve chicken and beef, are over.

Rumor has it that this style of back-of-the-bike barbecue was first designed to give the inventor a break from taking his sister to school on the back of his bike.

"But, Mom, I have my fire going on back here."
"Well, then, let her ride on your handlebars!"
"Aw, Mom!"

OK, I made that last one up. But, you'll want to check your brakes before riding around with half a pound of burning embers bringing up your rear.

Huiyan and others told me to stay away from this type of street food. No argument here!

Shanghai literally means, on the sea. Shang=on the; hai=sea. When Greenland melts, Shanghai might well end up in the sea, but, in the words of Joni Mitchell, let's not talk about fare-thee-wells now.

Bund is not a German word, as many people had mistakenly told me in the past, but a variation of band, which is Hindi for esplanade, which is French for embarcadero, which is Spanish for waterfront.

I have several thousand photos from my 2008 trips to the Orient to share. Time to dust off those folders and put them into some essays.

Copyright © 2010 David G. Kelly

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