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Lost in Beijing – part 1 (Spiderman)

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Walking down Donghuamen road, we came across food stalls selling centipedes, crickets, snakes, frogs, cicadas, silk worms, starfish and many mouth-watering treats. The aromas were a mix of fish and acid(maybe due to smoke coming out of the hot coals or the cars)…it was rather indescribable.Everything looked alien and of course, none of us spoke mandarin.

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I came across a stall selling black spiders along with other delectable grubs. My eyes lit up. I always wanted to eat a giant spider.

“How much?” I enquired pointing at the black-fat-eight-legged-hairy things.

The vendor with his index finger made some figure on his palm.I was quick to decipher, “20 yuan?” and looked at him for affirmation. He nodded vehemently. I asked for one spider. In went a black spider, into hot oil.

Excited with my snack, I handed over 20 yuan to the vendor. He was displeased and now he pointed a stick at price list at the top of his stall.

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My heart sank as the sign read 80 Yuan. With whole day of sightseeing, Great Wall and Forbidden City, I had 50 Yuan left with me.

“But you said 20 yuan!”

He ignored my reaction and handed me the big black spider.

“He is eating a spider,” shouted someone near me and within moments tourists swarmed me, all set to take my picture.

“I just have 50 yuan  with me, why didn’t you show me the sign before?  Can you give me something for 20 yuan?” I looked sheepishly at the creepy centipedes, it was for 20 yuan. The vendor said no with theatrical hand waves and facial expressions adorned with throaty gesticulations – he would not even take back the spider.

“Money….more” he demanded

“This is all I have” emptying my pockets, I showed him all my cash.

A bystander said, “How can you leave the hotel with not enough money?”

“I am a flight attendant on a layover, we get a fixed allowance.”

The transaction was a stalemate.

A kind Australian mate passed 10 yuan to the vendor just to see me eat a spider. Another tourist, probably from Hong Kong, negotiated for me. Thanks goodness for her mandarin or bargaining skills. We reached an agreement. I handed over all that I had.

I thanked both of them. The show was about to begin…

The spider was in my hand and all eyes and lenses were on me. There must have been 6 to 7 tourists surrounding me, to watch me eat a spider. I took my first bite of a leg. The audience cheered. My Aussie sponsor asked me how it tasted like.  “It tastes like fried dried shrimp, nice and crunchy.”

Then I took another bite of a second leg and then a third. A French woman standing next to me nearly gagged. “Frog legs, any day!” she must have thought.

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By this time, the look of the spider grossed me out; hence, I put the whole thing in my mouth and started chewing. My audience gave me a final cheer. I smiled and nearly gave a bow.

For a second, I thought might get sick. That was least of my worries. The hotel was far away, and now I was penniless with my colleagues. Soon, I lost them and how I made it back to the hotel is another adventure.

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31 responses to “Lost in Beijing – part 1 (Spiderman)

  1. birajini patnaik

    good one

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Apparently funny and weird but really an adventures experience..

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Kedar Narayan Mohanty

    Crazy! Spider:Well written,Blessings

    Like

  4. discoveringtheheart

    Sounds Yummy lol glad you made it through it!

    Like

  5. I saw that you requested some feedback on the Daily Post. I really enjoyed reading your story. I enjoyed how you built up to the climax of actually eating the spider. One suggestion I’d make is to change your paragraph justification. I think having it left-aligned would be a lot easier on the eyes since some of the gaps between the words are quite large and slow the reading down.

    Like

  6. Ewww !! spider 😦 I can’t eat them..NEVER !! even if they come free… 😦

    But the account was a fun read and engrossing..thanks for sharing your gastronomical adventure.. 😀

    Like

  7. sarbadaman mohanty

    well written story,though weired to my gastronomical taste.You have a flair for writting.Keep it up. Badabapa,Puri

    Like

  8. Divya Anantharaman

    Ewww is all I can say bis for poor spidey 🙂 …. well written post

    Like

  9. Kshirod Kumar Padhi

    Congrats. You have talent and a flair for using language to good effect. I am sure you are going to be better and better. Here is wishing you the very best. Do keep writing

    Like

  10. Soumendra Patnaik

    It’s really an adventure of taste buds!
    Thrilling and quite exciting….. Babi . Mamu

    Like

  11. Pingback: Lost in Bejing- part 2 (City of Angels) | L i m i t l e s s S k i e s

  12. Oh Gosh! That is gross. I would have thrown up. And seriously, you paid so much.

    Like

  13. Author Rosalind Hill

    How did you make it back to the hotel?

    Like

  14. Author Rosalind Hill

    I would have thrown up just looking at the cooked creepy crawlies

    Like

  15. Pingback: Ubud, an Indulgence in Finer Things | L i m i t l e s s S k i e s

  16. Brave man eating that spider. Hopefully, there was nothing poisonous in it! I am enjoying your blog so far…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thankfully there wasn’t! It tasted like dried fried shrimp…you must try it, at least once.
      I am glad that you are enjoying the travelogues. I had started the blog a year ago to practice writing.
      I see that u are enjoying Blogging 101…:)

      Liked by 1 person

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