Buy my photos!

Notecards for $2.40

Monday, August 23, 2010

Mini Menu

Being a vegetarian, it's sometimes difficult to find things to eat here in Shanghai. It's not the lack of vegetable dishes that makes it difficult, but rather my lack of Chinese words to describe what I eat.

There are a couple of noodle shops by my apartment that I frequent, & the staff there are familiar with my crazy vegetarian ways. They laugh when I enter, asking what I'm going to eat this time, often offering various options to me. But when I go to another part of the city, I wind up eating the same things again & again because there are only a few dishes that I know how to order.

I have recently noticed that, just as most casual restaurants in the US will serve some form of sandwich & french fries, & probably spaghetti or chicken fingers, most Chinese restaurants serve basically the same dishes.

So I decided to start keeping a notebook in my purse. Every time I discover a vegetarian dish, I take out the notebook & write down the Chinese characters as well as the pinyin (Chinese pronunciation), along with the English translation.

Now, when I go to a new restaurant, I just pull out my mini menu & flip through to the dish that I want. I ask the server if they have it - most often they do - & I soon have a tasty vegetarian meal.

No comments: