Capn's Blog

Tuesday, January 31, 2012


One of the consequences of living in China is a change of cuisine.  No more do I have the dishes of the west where the components are cooked individually then combined on the plate.  Most Chinese cuisine involves cutting stuff up into bite-sized pieces, and cooking them together with some kind of sauce.

Much as I like Chinese food cooked by a pro, a lot of the food I find in the restaurants here is oily overcooked mush - the Chinese equivalent of fast food.  As a consequence, on my first trip to Shenzhen, I had a lot of trouble finding food I liked, and I ended up losing seven kg. 

My second trip was less depressing.  I'm starting to learn (by trial and error) which dishes aren't crap, and I've discovered the wonderful fried noodles the street sellers sell at night: Cheap, relatively nutritious, relatively safe, and incredibly tasty.  That's revolutionised my evenings.

I can't finish this post without mentioning my cravings.  I'm often stricken by visions of food from back home, both during my waking hours, and when I'm asleep.  Someone this morning mentioned fish and chips, and it took me several hours to stop having visions of light, crispy, golden battered fish out of my mind.

One word for a song you can't get out of your head is an "ear-worm".  One well-known cure for an ear-worm is to start singing some other song.  The idea is that the second song will displace the first, and hopefully the second one isn't so catchy.  Generally, it works.

I tried doing the same for my fish-and-chips "mouth-worm".  Right now I'm imaging a baking dish filled with macaroni, swimming in a cheese sauce, and baked golden brown on the top.  Unfortunately this particular vision is every bit as compelling as the fish-and-chips, and I'm still being tortured.  I do have some cheese in the fridge that I brought with me for emergencies, but I've only been here a week, and it just seems to soon, and too pathetic, to call emergency so soon!

Cheese, oh cheese.  It's the thing I most fantasised about in my first trip, and as soon as I got back home to Australia, I bought a 1kg block and ate it all. Most Chinese people can't understand how I feel about cheese, which is not surprising, as most Chinese people have some measure of lactose intolerance, and it's not part of the cuisine.  I remind them of all the different kinds of doufu, and what life would be like without doufu, and they see what I mean.

What's Mitch doing?

Just in case anyone is unclear about this, I've moved!

Mid-last year I had the idea to start a business providing electronic components to hobbyists, and order to make that happen, I've moved to Shenzhen, China.  You can read more about my business adventures here:

I currently spend three months in Shenzhen, then one month in Australia.  I went home for Christmas and to go to the Linux conference, and I arrived back in Shenzhen a few days ago.