Wednesday, June 19, 2013

A Meeting of Gizzards and Erguotou in Beijing

A little after 5:00 p.m. on Monday, I was enjoying spicy chicken gizzards and chopped Chinese brocoli at a small restaurant in Beijing when a man asked if he could sit across from me at the same booth. In some settings in China eating at a table shared with strangers is common. But in this case it seemed a bit unusual, especially since a number of other tables were empty. Regardless, I told him he was welcome to join me.

After setting down his various belongings, including a music player, he complimented me for choosing the gizzards dish (of course). While he waited for his dish of sliced raw tomatos with sugar, he offered me a cigarette and some of his 46% alcohol erguotou. I don't smoke and wasn't in the mood for more erguotou taste testing, so I declined his offer.

Since I had to go somewhere else, I didn't have a chance to learn more about this man. I can't say for sure why he chose to sit with me, but I think it's reasonable to consider this yet another example of the friendly people I have met in China.

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