Before I came to China, I braced myself appropriately for the three things I knew I was guaranteed to see:
- An ungodly amount of spitting;
- Children shitting on the pavement;
- Insects on sticks.
Lo and behold I found sight number 3 at Wangfujing Street’s food market in order to complete my Chinese cultural immersion. I’ve definitely seen worse things but still, it’s the morbid fascination that drew me in. People joke that the Chinese will eat anything and everything that moves and I have to say, I couldn’t argue otherwise whilst walking around Wangfujing Street. I wasn’t the only person to stop at many stools to work out what they were selling or to exclaim in horror “it’s still moving!!”.
Joking aside, the whole street has a great playful and relaxed atmosphere, which I never really found elsewhere in Beijing. The store owners are friendly and try to coax you into sampling their goods but aren’t pushy. And for those with more delicate tastes, don’t worry – they do sell other things like dumplings, candied fruit on sticks and odd steaming drinks. (Are they even safe to drink…?!).
From the comfort of your home, peruse below some of the delights I found. And please tell me if you’ve ever eaten an insect on a stick as a tourist and if it’s really as awful as it looks. I was waiting to see someone eat one but I never did, hmmm…