So it's, I don't know, about an hour after lunchtime here in Chengdu, and my home phone just rang.
It was my husband.
He was calling from the site of an all-day-long business meeting. He and a couple of coworkers are there today for some reason or another, and in the process of today's events, there was a working official luncheon.
And our phone conversation went like this:
~ ~ ~
ME: So, how was the food at the luncheon?
JAMES: It was a little spicier than what we're used to. And there were some... things... that I didn't recognize and hadn't... heard of before.
ME (thinking this sounded ominous, since we're in China and all): Oh. Wow.
JAMES (less than enthused): Yeah.
ME: Things you didn't recognize? Like... what?
JAMES (hesitantly): Well, some sort of... of... worms.
ME: Worms. As in WORMS worms? As in from the GROUND worms?
JAMES: Well, I don't think they came from the ground.
ME: You don't think they came from the ground. Where the hell did they come from, then?
JAMES: Um, they were actually Bamboo Worms.
ME (horrified): Bamboo Worms?!? You actually ATE something called "Bamboo Worms?" Are you serious?
JAMES (miserably): Well, they were deep fried. And I only ate one. Because I felt like I had to be polite.
ME: Wait, my laptop is right here. I have to Google this and see if there really is something called Bamboo Worms...
~ ~ ~
And I did.
And there is.
And get this.
Bamboo Worms? Yeah, they're not really worms. THEY'RE **WORSE** THAN WORMS, YOU GUYS.
Turns out, my husband actually ate MOTH LARVAE. As in, a mommy moth lays her eggs in a bamboo stalk. Then the eggs hatch into wiggling larvae. And the Chinese know exactly when this will happen during the year (of COURSE they do!). And they hack apart the bamboo in order to pull out the wiggling larvae, which they call "Bamboo Worms." THEN THEY COOK AND EAT THEM:
OH MY LORD, only in China.
Ah, the super glam life of the U.S. Diplomat.
Dude, y'all. Hope no one ever tries to feed ME worms. That ain't happening, let me just say. My reaction would be a cross between:
So I explained to James, who was still on the phone, what he had just eaten at the luncheon. He was super duper thrilled.
A dinner has also been planned for this evening.
Who wants to bet that James will be eating worms again tonight?