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Showing posts with label Food. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Food. Show all posts

Friday, September 13, 2019

It's a Bird . . . It's a Plane . . . No, It's Grilled Cheese & Ham Sandwiches in Guangdong

Apparently at least one aspect of my recent travel adventures raised some eyebrows, and amazingly it wasn't the duck-dog. In regards to me questioning the cutting style of a grilled cheese & ham sandwich I ordered at a Cafe de Coral restaurant at the airport in Zhuhai . . .

grilled cheese and ham sandwich arranged like a plane


One reader tweeted:

Another reader emailed:
Maybe this will be more obvious after some sleep, but the airport restaurant cut your sandwich to look like an airplane.

Both readers make an excellent point about the airplane similarity. I wouldn't be surprised if there was an airplane element to what happened to my sandwich at the airport. It sounds so neat and simple. But . . .

But . . .

I was careful to say I questioned how the sandwich was cut. I didn't mention the arrangement. The importance of this distinction should become clearer with a photo of the same sandwich I ordered at another Cafe de Coral — this one in Zhongshan last year:

grilled cheese and ham sandwich not arranged like a plane, though the cut would've permitted it


OK, yes, I didn't mention this important detail before. Aha!

OK, yes, I ordered two sandwiches that time. Aha!

It was a wild and crazy day, and both sandwiches came with drinks. I went with a coffee and a tea to mix things up, because why not. The pork chop is pathetically small, but that's something to rant about another day. Just pay attention to the grilled sandwich on the right for now. Yes, ignore the corn too. It's just corn.

The sandwich cut is roughly the same as the sandwich I ordered at the airport in Zhuhai. The arrangement of the pieces is different though. This Zhongshan Cafe de Coral is far away from any airport. And I didn't see anybody flying around there.

So, I'm not completely ruling out an airplane theory yet. But I think we need more to explain the cut of these innocent grilled cheese & ham sandwiches. The arrangement of pieces could be another story.


Added important note: I'm now wondering if I changed the arrangement of the sandwich in Zhongshan in order to display its insides. I'm not sure, but this is something I might do. And it would explain why much of the plate is empty in the photo. So it is possible the sandwiches in Zhongshan and Zhuhai were arranged similarly. But the Zhongshan sandwich would still complicate the "they made it look like an airplane cause you were at an airport" story, since I wasn't even near an airport then.

Needing Sleep: Four (or Five) Chinese Cities in Two Days

Early Tuesday morning I was surprised when my phone's alarm woke me up at 5:10 a.m. It was supposed to wake me up a 5:00 a.m. Presumably I had slept through the first round of the alarm, and it had tried again.

Those 10 minutes mattered a lot. So I ended up taking a taxi to the Nanning East Railway Station instead of the subway. The taxi cost less than expected, just 35 yuan (a little less than U.S. $5 at the moment), and I arrived at the station with just enough time to pick up a sausage mcmuffin with egg for breakfast.

After about three hours on a high-speed train, I arrived at the Guangzhou South Railway Station.

Guangzhou South Railway Station departure hall


Less than 15 minutes later I boarded another high-speed train, and in little more than an hour I arrived in Zhuhai. Not long after checking into my hotel there, I crossed the border to Macau by foot. Soon I was at favorite cafe for a grilled onion pork chop bun where I noticed a Hong Kong channel was broadcasting a police news conference.

Hong Kong police news conference on TV at a Macau cafe


The sound was off but text on the screen indicated it was about the responsibilities of off duty Hong Kong police. Presumably this was in response to the protest-related news which broke the day before about the issuing of extendable batons to off duty police.

Later in the day, I spotted an animal that taxonomically baffled me for a very brief moment. But then I realized it was just your everyday Macanese duck-dog.

dog wearing a duck bill muzzle


Honestly, the animal attracted my attention to such a degree at the time I didn't even notice the "Do not sit on the staircase to avoid blocking" sign above the sitting-on-the-step woman until now. This raises the question of why, presumably, people like to sit there. Could it be related to the duck-dog?

As this animal experience suggests, as usual I enjoyed my time in Macau. I would've happily stayed longer, but that evening I had to cross the border back to Zhuhai.

young man wearing an "Obey Obey Obey" shirt


After a successful crossing where I learned a key fact from an immigration officer, I was at my favorite place for post-midnight razor clams.

yummy razor clams


I didn't sleep much that night. Actually, I'm not sure I really slept at all. In any case, at 5:30 a.m. I boarded a shared van to Zhuhai's airport.

Soon after arrival, I noticed my plane was already at its gate. So that was nice.

China Southern Airlines airplane at gate at Zhuhai Airport


Since I had plenty of time to spare, I ordered a grilled cheese & ham sandwich at a popular Hong Kong chain restaurant.

grilled ham & cheese sandwich cut unusually (for the US)

I'm not clear why they cut the sandwich that way. I probably shouldn't, but I'm still pondering it.


Anyway, soon I was in the sky and presented with an airplane snack.


Not so thrilling flight snack

The steamed bun on the far left was stuffed with some sort of meat-like substance. I will just say I have eaten many, many different types of steamed buns in China, and this one may have been the worst. But at least the turtle shell herbal jelly was decent enough, though I wondered whether it actually had any turtle shell in it.

Whatever the case, the flight was otherwise uneventful, which I mostly count as a very good thing.

After about 2 hours in the air, I found myself much farther north in China than I have been in nearly two years. Yet incredibly I am still in what they call the south.

So I would say in two days I was in four cities, though if you want to count Guangzhou (I wouldn't) you could say five. I need to sleep now. A lot. Once that happens, at some point I hope to mention the fourth (or fifth) city.

Friday, August 16, 2019

A False Sign of Free Meals at a Roast Duck Restaurant in Nanning

"免费加饭 - Free meals" sign at a restaurant
"Free meals"

No readers have insisted to me that they expect a free lunch, but I still feel bad about the extreme lack of posts here recently. I certainly can't blame things on a shortage of potential material.

In regards to the photo above, I took it last night at a restaurant in Nanning which features local-style roast duck noodle and rice dishes. I wasn't surprised to later discover that both Baidu's and Google's translation tools translate "免费加饭" as "Free meals", as seen on the top sign on the window. Google Translate, which is freely accessible in China, at least does a better job if the phrase is separated in half.

In short, no, you can't really expect to get a free meal at this restaurant. But you can expect "Free additional rice". Their rice dishes come with plenty for my needs, but many people in China appreciate an opportunity to load up on it.

So there will be more soon, both in terms of posts and of rice.

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

The Camphorwood Dog Meat Rice Noodles Food Cart in Yulin

After checking into my hotel the first night I arrived in Yulin, Guangxi, and before finding a special location, one of the first things I came across when I set out to explore the city were several outdoor food carts. Appropriate for the city, a couple of them served dog meat.

Camphorwood Dog Meat Rice Noodles (樟木狗肉米粉) street food cart


Like the restaurant I later saw in Yulin that had Budweiser advertising, the food cart in the above photo featured camphorwood dog meat, though in this case with rice noodles (樟木狗肉米粉). And though the food cart is smaller than that restaurant and much smaller than Yulin's First Crispy Skin Meat Restaurant, it is yet another sign of the everyday nature of eating dog meat in Yulin.

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

A Brief Look at Yulin's First Crispy Skin (Dog) Meat Restaurant

Yulin's First Crispy Skin Meat Restaurant on both sides of Xinmin Road

While walking around Yulin on a Wednesday in May I stumbled upon a restaurant which has locations on both sides of Xinmen Road (新民路) at the intersection with Jiangbin Road (江滨路). The signs indicated the name of the restaurant was Yulin's First Crispy Skin Meat Restaurant (玉林第一家脆皮肉馆).



In many parts of China the Chinese character for "meat" (肉) without any specific indication of the animal would suggest the restaurant features pork. But Yulin isn't one of those parts, and it is common, though not universal (for example, a dog meat restaurant with Budweiser advertising), for restaurants that feature dog meat (狗肉) to not explicitly indicate the animal involved in their name. Soon I had little doubt that this was a dog meat restaurant, though, since there were several locations where they were carving dog meat outside.

men bringing out cooked dogs to be carved


The restaurant's website is more explicit and uses the name Yulin's First Crispy Dog Meat Restaurant (玉林第一家脆皮狗肉馆).

Yulin's First Crispy Skin Meat Restaurant website explicitly using "dog meat" in its name


And the website also provides info about their dog meat.

information about dog meat


It was probably too early for big crowds at the time, but the plentiful outdoor seating in addition to the seating inside the restaurants indicated they were prepared for them.

outdoor tables at Yulin's First Crispy Skin Meat Restaurant


I later learned that the intersection where I found this restaurant is not so surprisingly a popular location for people to celebrate the Yulin Lychee and Dog Meat Festival in June.

So some simple points that are relevant in general and will provide some context for a story I will tell about my experiences at that festival:
  • The restaurant is one of many signs that dog meat is plainly available year round in Yulin.
  • Of course, the restaurant having two locations at the same intersection and the ample seating suggests it is (or at least was) doing quite a bit of business. And it is far from the only dog meat restaurant in Yulin.
  • The hanging dog meat at outdoor carving tables shows the degree of openness about eating dog meat.

cooked dogs hanging at an outdoor carving table at Yulin's First Crispy Skin Meat Restaurant

  • At no point was I asked not to take photos. I never even had a sense there was concern. In fact, the photo above captures a moment during which one woman who works at the restaurant was laughing about my interest. She soon jovially invited me to order some dog meat. I declined, politely saying I was already full. Later, based on my actions she apparently recognized I was wondering whether the locations on both sides of the street were truly the same restaurant. It's not something I see everyday and imitators aren't exactly uncommon in China. She helpfully approached and said they were indeed the same restaurant.

I wasn't surprised to find a big dog meat restaurant in Yulin. And I wasn't at all surprised to see dog meat hanging outside. These are both things I've seen plenty of times elsewhere in China. But what happened during my next visit to this location and what followed did surprise me.

I definitely didn't take as many photographs. More about that later.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

This Dog's For You: Budweiser Advertising at a Dog Meat Restaurant in Yulin

Tomorrow is a special day in Yulin, Guangxi — the first and biggest day of the Yulin Lychee and Dog Meat Festival. And for the first time, I will be observing the festival person. I hope to better provide some important context that I feel much past reporting in Western media about the festival lacked. So there will certainly be multiple posts here in the future about dogs in Yulin, the festival, and the more general culture of eating dog meat in China.

To get the ball rolling, in the spirit of highlighting the everyday side of eating dog meat in China I will first share a photo of one of the easy-to-find restaurants which feature or serve dog meat in Yulin year round like many (many) other restaurants I have seen across China — no festival required. So here is the Camphorwood Dog Meat Restaurant (樟木狗肉管) on Dabei Road:

Camphorwood Dog Meat Restaurant (樟木狗肉管) in Yulin, Guangxi


Restaurant signs with advertising for alcohol — typically baijiu or beer — are a common sight in (at least some parts of) China, and the Camphorwood Dog Meat Restaurant didn't pass up on this practice which at the very least helps save money on signs.

So if you want to wash down your dog meat with a cold (or outdoor / room temperature) American Budweiser beer, Camphorwood might be the perfect place.

Budweiser themed sign for the Camphorwood Dog Meat Restaurant


The signs with Budweiser advertising would really be something if they included Budweiser's retired dog mascot Spuds MacKenzie.

Regardless, the Budweiser slogan on the sign says, "Be Your True Self". So fear not if you don't want dog meat. According to the sign you can get assorted cow or pig innards & meat there too — also with a Bud.

Monday, February 18, 2019

Passing Up the One-Night Stand in Jiangmen: Creative Names and a Taste of Demolition of Cheese River Powder at Yes Cuisine

Yes Cuisine (YES茶餐厅) at Diwang Plaza (地王廣場) in Jiangmen (江門)
Yes Cuisine at Diwang Plaza in Jiangmen



So many questions . . .

Should I leap at the opportunity?
Would I regret doing so the next morning?

Pan-fried one-night stand (香煎一夜情) in the Yes Cuisine (YES茶餐厅) menu


In the end, I decided to take a pass on the pan-fried one-night stand at the Hong Kong-style restaurant Yes Cuisine (YES茶餐厅), and narrowed the options to two recommended dishes.

Demolition of cheese river power (拆燒芝士河粉) and Bizarre (比翼脆雙飛) in Yes Cuisine Menu


Choosing between demolition of cheese river power and bizarre was not easy, but I finally settled on the former. So I raised my hand to get the attention of a restaurant worker. He smiled warmly at me, waved, and then went on his merry way.

Something important was missing.

After recovering from the unexpected yet entertaining response and becoming convinced nothing further was going to result from it, I tried again with another worker. She wasn't as cheerful, but she immediately recognized I was ready to order. Excellent.

Everything was efficient after that, and I soon had a hot plate of demolition of cheese river powder.

Demolition of cheese river powder at YES Cuisine
Today's noodly lunch


If by "demolition" they meant at a molecular level then they were spot on. Either there was very little cheese to begin with or most of it had decomposed into something not very cheesy. I have had similar experiences with cheese in China before. I'm not sure all of it was really cheese. In any case, if this dish had been topped with more or better quality cheese, I might be a fan.

But at least the taste was passably pleasant, and I finished most of the dish. I only left some of the noodles due to being full enough. For what it is worth, a misguided literal character by character translation of the Chinese word for a wide type of noodles — "河粉" — gives rise to "river powder".

As far as the fish dish, I'd say "pan-fried one-night stand" is actually a good translation of the Chinese — "香煎一夜情". According to recipes for similar dishes, the witty name comes from the fact that the fish is marinated for one night.

For the translation of "比翼脆雙飛" into "bizarre", I am not sure what happened there. It is worth noting that this translation is the first result provided by Google Translate. Baidu Translate's result of "flying brittle with two wings" strikes me as closer to the mark. I will leave it up to the professionals to decide what would work best here.

More than noodle dishes or cheese, I would say the thing to take away from this restaurant is that, yes, there are plenty examples of translation gone wrong on menus in China, even including fried enemas. But that perplexing or entertaining name you see might be a good translation of a name that is creative in Chinese as well.

So don't let an unusual name alone scare you away from a one-night stand, whether pan-fried or steamed.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Another Lunar New Year, Another Prosperity Burger

On Saturday in Hong Kong before the big holiday, I was hoping for some traditional fare. Fortunately, I came across a perfect option: the Lunar New Year Prosperity Beef Burger at McDonald's.

Lunar New Year Prosperity Burger and curly fries at a McDonald's in Hong Kong


The burger seemed to have been overloaded with sauce. Normally with fast food I would not be happy about finding a burger in such a state. But this isn't normal. This is a Prosperity Burger. There is no such thing as too much of that black peppery sauce. They could have dunked the entire buns into the sauce, and I'd be fine. OK, I am actually happy they didn't do that. At the very least, I really don't need even more sodium in the burger.

I was quite happy to continue an edacious tradition that has included me enjoying the glorious burger last year in Taipei and the year before in Macau. The burger is typically available in a number of Asian markets around the Lunar New Year holiday, though oddly enough it isn't available in mainland China where McDonald's offers other holiday burgers that change from year to year. I had thought I would miss out on the Prosperity Burger this year, but for other reasons life ended up bringing me to Hong Kong just in time.

The curly fries were bonus.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

A Place for Fish Skin Dumplings Five Years Ago

This evening I had the grand idea of "I'll post a photo I took five years ago". In terms of a specific city, I couldn't remember where I had been.

After some searching, I discovered that on January 23, 2014, I was in Hong Kong. While I have been to Hong Kong many times, I still found it remarkable since tomorrow I may be heading back there yet again.

Regardless of what I do tomorrow, today's post is about today and, more so, the today I experienced five years ago. I can see I had a particularly interesting day in Hong Kong, even though most of what I captured is from just the late afternoon and early evening. I can remember visiting the Kowloon Walled City Park and Little Thailand that day. A post about either of them would require more effort than I can manage right now, so I'll post a photo I took of the place where I had lunch.

restaurant in Mong Kok, Hong Kong


When I first saw the photo I not only suspected that the restaurant was in Mong Kok, but it looked like the sort of place I would be tempted to order (hopefully) wonderful fish skin dumpling noodle soup. Fortunately, I discovered I had documented the moment and both details were correct. I had shared the photo with friends in part because the restaurant had a rather typical Hong Kong ambience.

I can't say for sure whether I will visit this same place, but if I'm back in Hong Kong soon then more fish skin dumplings will be happening.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Sales, Gift Cards, and a Turkey Leg: Some Retail and Personal Thanksgiving in Zhongshan

Most Americans would likely be surprised to learn that Thanksgiving is celebrated, even if just to a minor degree, in China. This isn't using the word "Thanksgiving" to refer to a traditional Chinese holiday with similar themes. This is the Thanksgiving celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November as in the U.S., though with some differences.

Based on my own observations and conversations with people, my sense is that in general people are far less aware of the holiday than Western holidays such as Christmas and perhaps to a lesser degree Halloween. And those who are aware of it tend to be younger in age. In short, I would describe it as not being a big deal, but it's there to a degree. Yes, "a degree" leaves a lot of wiggle room, and I need it here.

Like with many other holidays in China, some retailers are happy to jump at the opportunity to use the holiday for a promotion. For example, in Xiaolan, a town roughly 20-25 km (more than 12 miles) from Zhongshan's central area, the entrance to a Superior City Department Store had a distinctly Thanksgiving theme.

Thanksgiving Day promotion at the Superior City Department Store in Xiaolan, Zhongshan


The signs explicitly mentions the Thanksgiving holiday along with a special opportunity to earn a 50 yuan (currently about US $7.20) shopping card if you spend at least 888 yuan. The number 8 is considered very lucky in Chinese culture, and its use is unlikely accidental even in the Thanksgiving setting.

I can't answer why the gift card isn't 88 yuan as well. And admittedly, it wasn't entirely effortless for me to sort out the English message on the sign, which notably doesn't appear in Chinese.

sales sign with "The Chance Is Only This Time Miss, Wait Another Year. Happy Thanksgiving"


I believe the intended meaning is something like: "Now is your only chance. Miss it and you'll have to wait another year."

In central Zhongshan, I saw a few other Thanksgiving sales.

Thanksgiving Day promotion at China Gold
China Gold jewelry store


Thanksgiving Day sale sign at a Xiaomi Mi Home Store in Zhongshan
Xiaomi Mi Home Store


Sign for a Thanksgiving Sale at Erke in Zhongshan
Erke — a Chinese sports brand


Also, you could buy a Thanksgiving themed gift card at Starbucks.

Starbucks gift cards for sale in Zhongshan, China


Or you could participate in a Thanksgiving event at Meten — an English language school chain — which took place a couple of days after the holiday.

Sign for a Thanksgiving Day event at Meten


And I came across one American-style restaurant — Hey Farm —offering a special Thanksgiving meal.

signs for Hey Farm Thanksgiving Day special meal in Zhongshan


Now I will switch to a brief account of my personal Thanksgiving experience — in particular my dinner in Zhongshan. The Hey Farm option didn't appeal due to the lack of turkey. I suspected a few other Western-style restaurants might have special meals for the day, but I figured they would already be fully booked.

So I focused on a option that has worked well in the past, including last year in Wuhan, and planned on a buffet at a Western hotel. This year, things didn't go quite as smoothly. I initially expected to eat turkey at the Sheraton Zhongshan Hotel. However, to my surprise that afternoon I discovered they wouldn't have a turkey or anything else special for the holiday. After that, I went for plan B and just showed up hoping for the best.

I am pleased to say the Hilton Zhongshan Downtown indeed prepared a turkey for their buffet. There didn't appear to be anything else special to Thanksgiving in their offerings but no matter. I scored a whole turkey leg, and the cranberry sauce gravy was excellent.

chef cutting off a turkey leg


Additionally, for the first time ever I drank a Haizhu beer — a brand from neighboring Zhuhai —with my Thanksgiving meal.

Yes, shrimp, snails, and bamboo too


To top it all off, I also enjoyed a good dose of horse milk baijiu. I must say I enjoyed the flavor, not easy for a 52% alcohol drink to manage.



Merriment followed.

So thanks to Zhongshan for giving me a taste of Thanksgiving as I'm used to having back in the U.S. The horse milk baijiu really made it though.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Choosing Produce at Two Hypermarkets in Zhongshan

A woman selecting apples one weekday afternoon at the Carrefour in the Xinyue Dasin Metro-Mall (新悦大信新都会):

woman choosing apples at a Carrefour in Zhongshan, China



A woman selecting tomatoes later the same afternoon about 15 km (about 9 miles) away at the Walmart in the Sunshine Mall (太阳城):

woman choosing tomatoes at a Walmart in Zhongshan, China


The surroundings of the two hypermarkets contrast much more the settings inside them. More about that another day.

In the meantime, happy produce hunting.

Friday, November 2, 2018

Fruit For Sale as Usual in Zhongshan

fruit stand at night in Zhongshan, China
Fruit stand on Halloween night

Although it wasn't too hard to find signs of the holiday on Halloween night at some shopping centers, bars, and even convenience stores in Zhongshan, in most places life went on like any other day. And if you wanted some candy, or some fruit, saying "Trick or treat!" wouldn't help very much.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Black Dumplings, Gourds, and a Meaty Mannequin: Halloween Spirit in Zhongshan, China

In past years I have shared Halloween-related scenes from cities such as Taipei in 2011, Changsha in 2012, Shaoguan in 2015, Shenyang in 2016, and most recently Changsha again in 2017. The posts have numerous photos of people in costumes, promotions, and food. Perhaps some day I will fill in some of what I missed sharing here, which includes Halloween experiences in Dalian, Shanghai, and Zhuhai. But for now I will share a sample of what I saw in Zhongshan, since it is where I spent Halloween this year.

One of the earliest signs of Halloween I came across was a promotion at 7-Eleven stores which began weeks before the holiday. Yes, I gave the three black cuttlefish items a try.

Halloween black cuttlefish foods at 7-Eleven in Zhongshan, China


The dumplings were tasty with some Sriracha-style sauce, but a couple of them were rather soggy. The sausage was too dried out. The cuttlefish balls were OK. None of it was as good as the black spidery pizza I tried at Pizza Hut in Shenyang two years ago. At least 7-Eleven had a special price for getting the three together. Not all the items were specially made for Halloween, but the dumplings are now gone.

To wash down all of that cuttlefish ink, 7-Eleven had a special Halloween deal on . . . Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey lemonade and cola drinks of course.

7-Eleven sign for Halloween sale of Jack Daniel's drinks


Moving on . . .

Three years ago I saw a Halloween display at n RT-Mart in Shaoguan. This year in Zhongshan, RT-Mart kept up the Halloween spirit.

Display of Halloween items for sale at an RT-Mart in Zhongshan


Display of Halloween items for sale at an RT-Mart in Zhongshan


Their selection possibly surpassed what was available at a Toys "R" Us in Zhongshan. Also, the display had a dark area inside of it where glowing items could be tested.

children playing with toys inside a display of Halloween items for sale at an RT-Mart in Zhongshan


A Carrefour in Zhongshan similarly had Halloween items for sale.

Display of Halloween items for sale at a Carrefour in Zhongshan, China


Carrefour took it up another notch, though, with a Halloween gourd display.

Halloween display of gourds for sale at a Carrefour in Zhongshan, China


The Shiqi Dasin Metro-Mall had a Halloween-themed food fair as part of celebrations for the one year anniversary of its newest section.

Halloween-themed inflated arch at the Shiqi Dasin Metro-Mall in Zhongshan, China


Several nights before Halloween, the fair was packed.

Halloween food fair at the Shiqi Dasin Metro-Mall in Zhongshan, China


None of the food itself was any different from what could appear at any other food fairs, but at least one of the sellers was in the holiday spirit.

man wearing a caveman costume


There was also occasional dancing.

young women dancing


On Halloween day there were a variety of activities. The Lihe Plaza shopping mall appeared prepared for a musical performance, but I didn't stick around to listen.

Stage with a halloween theme at Lihe Plaza


One popular gathering area that night was the central outdoor area at the Central Power Plaza shopping mall, where there were several people painting faces as part of a promotion.

people gathered for Halloween activities at Central Power Plaza in Zhongshan


By 10 p.m on Halloween night at the Shiqi Dasin Metro-Mall, many of the vendors at the food fair had already packed up and departed. But even with a now sagging arch, there were still photographic opportunities.



Some bars, including one at the mall, also got into the holiday spirit. In part because most are far separated from one another, I didn't bother with a pub crawl — so no photos. I also won't be sharing a set of photos of people dressed up for the holiday. See the earlier posts for plenty of those. But here's one of a pirate sitting at McDonald's on Halloween night:

young woman wearing a pirate hat sitting at McDonald's in Zhongshan, China


Finally, for the first time ever I will award a winner (of what I happened to see) for best Halloween spirit. Carrefour wins hands down. No, the Halloween items for sale or the glorious gourds aren't what led to this special distinction.

Instead, I introduce the Halloween Dried Meats Witch:

female mannequin dressed in dried meats and wearing a Halloween witch hat


Perhaps that will become a popular costume for next year.