Saturday, May 26, 2007

Kinda wish they had told me that before...

Well, I've inadvertently eaten the world's most dangerous food, and I didn't even know it.

Earlier this week I went out to dinner at a really fancy seafood restaurant with the boss's brother, his law firm partner, and the head judge of Yantai. Considering the company, it was no surprise when some of the most expensive dishes on the menu were brought out... after all, there is a lot of face to be gained when you are pampering a judge.

The mean started out with abalone the size of a small fist. Easily 200RMB ($25) each, everyone at the table was served one. The night went on with some delicious food, and far to much baijiu (just typing that word makes me cringe).

Cut to Friday evening when I am out to dinner again with the boss and his brother.

Boss's Brother: "Ni ke (Nick), did you like the food earlier this week?"
Nick: "Yes, it was delicious, thank you."
Boss's Brother: "Did you know it had poison?"
Nick: "Umm... what?"
Boss's Brother: "Two of the dishes that were served were a poison fish."
Nick: "Umm... really?"
Boss's Brother: "Yes, remember the sushi we had, and then the other cooked fish? Those were both the Japanese poison fish. If they make it wrong, you die."
Nick: "Gee... I wish someone had told me that before I ate it."
Boss's Brother: "Very expensive fish. Very delicious."
Nick: "(Resisting urge to give lecture on how you should not take other people's lives into your own hands without at least informing them first.) It was delicious, but I don't know if I'll eat that again. Remind me never to eat at that restaurant with you again. (spoken intentionally fast so he won't understand)"
Boss's Brother: "What was that you said?"
Nick: "Don't worry about it."

Yup... I apparently ate Fugu fish, which if not prepared properly will kill you in about 20 seconds. Sushi chefs in Japan need special licenses to make it... I sincerely doubt that in China they have such a licensing system, and even if they did there would probably be a black market for fake fugu fish licenses.

I am glad I am alive.