I ate BULL PENIS! My friend Naomi and I went to another friend's place in Songjiang, kind of a Shanghai suburb of only 700,000 people, spending several days together. We took an arduous day trip to Xitang, a little ancient water town, that was swarming with people because of the 'golden days' national holidays going on. We stayed an hour...then back to Songjiang where we went to "Little Lamb Hot Pot" - a familiar chain of 'hou gou' or fire pot in English. We ordered a ying yang pot, which is half "la" which means hot peppers, and half not-hot broth. We cooked tofu, lamb, beef, mushrooms, potato, bull penis, cabbage and spinach. The penis was a little chewy, kind of like chewable gristle. I don't recommend it. Not for the hot pot, anyway! And dessert was fried mantou, a kind of small bun, that we dipped into condensed milk. A Chinese treat.

I decided I better study Japanese while I am here because my friends are Japanese! We have a few hundred Japanese children in our so-called international Japanese kindergarten and some of those teachers are my good friends. It's really funny to hear Japanese speaking Mandarin...and even funnier when Chinese people look to the Japanese friends as if the Japanese should obviously be able to speak Mandarin while I obviously should not be able to...really funny to be their translator! Naomi, Mizui and I indulged ourselves one afternoon with foot massages in a room for 3 guests while 3 Chinese young men rubbed, pummeled, twisted, massaged, slapped and hit our feet and legs for an hour!


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