Day 7: Testing the Limits of the Human Stomach

Today wasn’t much different from any of the other days.  We started off with some breakfast and then took the taxi to the Fu Tian Free Trade Zone and then hopped on the Shuttle that took us all the way to ISH3 where IBM/ISTC is located.  We spend a couple of hours working and then went out for lunch at a local Chinese place.  Today’s lunch was at a restaurant that is a stone’s throw from the main entrance to Fu Tian and also where we catch the shuttle in the morning.  This area where the restaurant was, featured tables located along the walls of the space and additionally around a large oval shaped fountain in the middle of the room.  The fountain was not operational (possibly to save costs in the same way that many levels of ISH3 are kept totally dark throughout the day and only illuminated by the glow from laptop screens), and rightfully so as there was one additional table located right near the spout at the center of the fountain.

I thought to myself, “Why not?”, as really it’s a pretty good idea.  If you’re going to be cutting costs by not operating the fountain, then really you’ve got a huge area of wasted space in the center of your restaurant.  So why not add an extra table and six chairs for overflow when your restaurant is too busy.  That way you don’t have to turn away six hungry (and paying) mouths!  Anyway I guess it’s not as interesting as I had initially thought so I’ll stop talking about it now.  Oh and by the way for lunch I got something spicy again, surprise!

Fast forward to the end of the day and we had decided to go for All-You-Can-Eat-And-Drink Japanese, which I was hella-excited for.  You could even say I was friggtastically anticipating going to dinner that night, as I knew that when there’s all-you-can-eat Japanese it really means that it’s all-you-can-eat Sushi!!  Atleast for me it is, because I simply love sushi.  I’ve always said that I could eat sushi all night and never get full.

Tonight changed my opinions on the matter slightly.  I think the main reason behind this change in opinion was the fact that Sushi is very expensive back in the states.  Here, in China we ate at a very delicious Japanese restaurant, all-you-can-eat style (not to mention all you can drink, sake included) and it was only about $20 USD.  Usually 20 bucks will only get you one and half rolls back home.  This was amazing to me.

So anyway, back to the topic at hand.  Sushi.  Usually when I eat sushi I stick to the rolls.  Most of the rolls that I eat only contain cooked fish.  Sometimes they don’t even contain any fish.  While I claim to love sushi I can’t really say that I’ve ever had “real” sushi.  Until this evening that is…  Tonight we had the real deal.  I’m talking a big bowl full of ice with raw slices of fish on it.  No rice.  No rolls.  No vegetables.  Just raw slabs of fish.  Mackarel, Salmon, Squid (which reminded me too much of deep sea fishing and I couldn’t eat after the first piece), Octopus, Sea Urchin, Eel, Crab, Shrimp… raw.  It was like we were swimming in the ocean and just happened by these animals and *CRUNCH* we eats ’em!

It was not only thrilling, but it was crazy delicious as well.  I felt like a shark.  Feeling like a shark made me want to eat shark (don’t ask me why, because I don’t know).  I asked Tony if there was any shark on the menu but sadly there was not.  So instead I got an ice-cream cone looking thing that was filled with nothing but Roe (ie, fish eggs).  I guess that made me feel a little bit like a shark?  Eating fish babies…  Sharks do that, right?

We had a few rolls tonight, but really they weren’t the main focus.  My absolute favorite piece of sushi however was called the “Long long eel roll”, and it was literally a standard ball of rice (maybe an inch long) with a long, long eel on top.  I’m talking over one foot in length.  This thing was huge.  IT was so big that it became impossible to eat… for me at least, as everybody else managed to fold it up nicely and bite it so that it wasn’t hanging out of their mouth like a ten-year old eating spaghetti.  It was flavorful and had sesame oil and some smokey bbq flavor and it wasn’t too tough or too slimy, it was just right.  Another good one was just the crab on rice roll.  That was exactly what it sounds like.  A piece of raw crab on rice.  Try to contain your excitement…

I discovered that night that I could very easily and very quickly over eat on nothing but sushi when I have a license to eat as much as I wanted.  Anytime I am in possession of such a license I seem to end up hurting myself in the digestive region.  Tonight was no different.  In fact, I was so stuffed that I could barely finish two bottles of sake, which by the way was also the best sake I’ve ever had.  It was really warm but it tasted like grape juice and was just so sweet and sticky that it went down so smoothly.  Mmm, I’m making myself hungry just thinking about it.

Anyway, I’m sorry this post was so boring, I hope to make it up to you.  Tomorrow will be the final day of the quarter so tensions will be extra high and it will be incredibly stressful.  Not sure what will happen but hopefully it will be something interesting.  Let’s keep our fingers  crossed…