I have been back a whole week, but now I know I am officially here. I went with some of my friends to have the best meal that this part of the world has to offer, Hot Pot. If you are at all the germaphobic this entry might be a little much for you to handle, but trust me the taste is out of this world.
You sit at a table with a hole in the centre, each table has its own gas burner. They then place a big pot on top filled with spices and add water. As it starts to boil you can select what types of meat and veggies (all raw) you want to put in your soup. They all come on individual sticks so you can decide how much or how little of each food you want. Once you have made your decision you stick them in the water and watch them cook. Don’t worry about picking up raw meat with your chopsticks, if you leave them daggling in the water for an extra minute the germs will get boiled away. When things look ready everyone goes fishing in the soup with their chopsticks to pick out their favourites.
The longer you sit there the hotter you get. I have to wear light layers when I go just to survive the heat. In fact the restaurant is so hot inside that the windows (and your glasses) are constantly fogged up. The smell of soup is so strong in the air that you have to wash your clothes after a visit… but it is all worth it for the taste. After having hot pot I know I am home.
The soup (it comes in both spicy and mild)
The sticks of veggies and meat
The enjoyment ( yes this is a file photo from when Mel came to visit in fall '05)