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Food

Strange Lands… Stranger Foods

When I quit my job and went to live in China, it wasn’t too long before the homesickness kicked in.

What I missed most was the food back home. This all came to a head when I got sick, then the pining for familiar foods really kicked in.

But as I described in Strange Chinese Supermarket foods, it’s rather hard to find stuff worth eating when you’re in a country like China.

Most of all I missed comfort foods – the type you can just about manage when you’re ill.

After I did a lot of exploring of my new city, I did manage to find some home foods. I even started cooking in my apartment.

This was a great find:

Heinz Baked Beans - Chinese version

Heinz Baked Beans – Chinese version

And I found some few other foreign foods in a rather expensive supermarket catering to the expat population:

Foreign foods found in Guangzhou. Salt, pepper, pesto, olives, split red lentils, turmeric, oregano, more baked beans spagetti and miso soup

Foreign foods found in Guangzhou. Salt, pepper, pesto, olives, split red lentils, turmeric, oregano, more baked beans spagetti and miso soup

Mundane, everyday items in Western countries, but luxury items in China.

Mostly I found though that if I ever happened upon a Western style restaurant, then I would tend to go crazy and order terrible stuff like this cheese dog:

Chilli cheese dog found in a Dongguan restaurant

Chilli cheese dog found in a Dongguan restaurant

Good Food Does Exist Abroad

I will point out that good food does exist abroad. It’s worth seeking it out, because it’s invariably much cheaper than imported foods.

In time you’ll come to find some real gems. 5 months into my trip abroad, and I now largely eat what the locals eat.

This Thai red curry I had in Bangkok was pretty good, if a little too spicy for a foreigner:

Thai red curry with salad, rice and salted egg

Thai red curry with salad, rice and salted egg

And I’ve also had some excellent food in Japan, like this Ramen and Gyoza set:

Japanese Ramen and Gyoza set meal - nutritious and very delicious!

Japanese Ramen and Gyoza set meal – nutritious and very delicious!

I’ll also say there’s a world of discovery out there. One find I made in China was this rather good fruit flavoured chewing gum:

Clockwise from top: pomelo, strawberry and watermelon flavoured chewing gum

Clockwise from top: pomelo, strawberry and watermelon flavoured chewing gum

They’re kind of hard to find outside of China, but I did find some more when I visited Kuala Lumpur’s ChinaTown in Malaysia. It was kind of an expensive trip to go all the way from Bangkok to Kuala Lumpur just to buy some gum though.

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