Hello, my friends. Here we are at last, on the esteemed back page of the Beijinger. Welcome, welcome.
I’m on the back page of the Beijinger – the seat of power – and if you yourself, dear reader, are like the majority of our readers, you yourself are also on a “seat of power”: the porcelain throne.
Don’t think I don’t know.
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: You’ve already wiped your ass with the entire issue and there you are with this one final page – this one scrap of salvation – gripped tightly in your sweaty palm. You’re only just skimming these words now before sending them in a shaky hand down, down between your legs.
Sound familiar? Might I say it seems like not only are you are a veteran of this fine publication, but also of the fine dining establishments in our city. Truly, you’re living the most Beijinging-est life you can possibly Beijing. In honor of our “Restaurant Hall of Fame” issue and as an attempt to be vaguely useful in the last remaining seconds before being directly useful, here are a few things I know about dining in Beijing and a few tips from a pro on how to snack like one.
Lower Your Expectations
There is nothing “good to eat” at the convenience store. Everything is good-for-only-right-now-good, bad-good, bad-bad, and rapture-bad. That’s the entire scale. You’re looking for “good for right now good” – Doritos, the Japanese donuts, Magnums, the booze that comes in glass skulls. Just satisfy whatever cravings you have without thought. Actually, that’s a key way to live your life too.
Know Your Pairings
A drinks pairing is crucial with snacks. If you’re going salty, I recommend “sports drink” or “vitamin drink” – Pocari Sweat or Power Ade. Whenever I go sweet snack I go with A-Ha Ice Coffee to complement. Makes me feel cultured, like Italian or something. I like people to see me drinking it. It conveys that I am a person of inner worth, richness, and accountability.
Don’t Fear the Fridge Dinners
Are they good? Good lord, no, but the chow mein one at 7-Eleven is only 50 percent straight-up poison and also goes great with the all-in-one salad they also have there. Don’t forget about the hot foods section, either. It might look like the cafeteria at an illegally-run old folks home, and oh man it definitely tastes like it as well, but it won’t kill you. Kinda.
There’s No Such Thing as “Empty Calories”
Exactly. Forget all that nonsense right now. Well … maybe there is, hang on, let me Google it. Oh. Yeah. There it is. Noun: “calories derived from food containing no nutrients.”
Hey, Live a Little
I’m of the opinion that the main joy of traveling and living in strange and wondrous lands is experiencing their convenience store culture, really diving into the 2,000-plus years of glorious history and culture available at, say, the local 7-Eleven. We’re citizens of the world – Dutch chocolate, American vitamin drink, Japanese instant noodles, Korean ice cream, and Chinese cigarettes, although 7-Eleven doesn’t sell the latter anymore.
Anyway, that’s enough for now. Hey, that wasn’t that hard, doing this column! Tune in next issue for … umm … let’s just pencil in “hardcore Kaiser Kuo slash fiction pornography.”
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