Saturday, June 23, 2012

Wonders (and Banquets) Never Cease

Welcome to our year-end foreign affairs banquet.  Hope you brought your appetite!

Here we have Attraction #1, the sea cucumber.  Contrary to what I first believed about this delicacy, it is not a vegetable.  It is a leech-like bottom feeder that is chewy but expensive, and therefore is required fare at a banquet designed to impress.

Yum yum yum!  The seafood broth wasn't bad.  I nibbled on this guy but didn't eat the whole thing.

Minutes into the meal, a giant plate with a grotesque and gargantuan figure was placed on the table: Attraction #2.  Looking at it from the side, I didn't know what it was.  Then someone told me it was a cow head.  Here's the progression of Beefy as he made a few turns around the table:

Beefy as he first appeared

Plenty of people took a serving.  I thought it was pretty good.

Picked clean

Tell me that's not awesome.  Here are a few other dishes.

Cicadas.  This is the second time I've seen them at a banquet.  (They're also expensive.)  I recently read a World-Vision report that described an African famine in which children were eating locusts to survive.  And yet here they are a delicacy, and local people seem to like them pretty well.

A sweet and spicy meat dish and a big fish.

Seafood and stir-fry

 As usual there was toasting a-plenty:

Since it was the last school banquet of the year, my roommate and I decided to bust out our traditional Chinese dresses.  They were a hit.

With teammates Sara and Joni

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