01 February 2015

Mong Kok snacks, drinking worms

Mong Kok was packed with people and street vendors.  People were selling and buying selfie-sticks, sunglasses, hand bags, clothes, shoes, and toys; a little (no... a lot) of everything.  we strolled up and down streets trying to soak it all in.  After passing a few food vendors, we figured it was time.  Time to sample FOOD!  The first food stand to catch my eye had a few snack with which I was at least remotely familiar.  The first was stuffed dough balls, what its stuffed with can very, but its usually a sea food and veggie like cabbage, the other was like two mini pancakes with cream stuffed between. While I stood in line to get the snacks, AlphaPoppa went to the neighboring vendor to buy bubble tea... oooh, my favorite!!

Ordering my snack was not easy at all, the server/ chef know no English what-so-ever and as far as my Cantonese I had only learned good-morning, my numbers, and thank you, on the plane using a language-learning game provided with in-flight entertainment.  She was annoyed with me and I was only capable of pointing to what I wanted and holding up the amount I wanted.  All the other people at the booth were eager to help me order.  One man knew enough English to help, they all smiled and laughed with me at my awkwardness, but I really appreciated their help, they seemed to enjoy helping.  Paying also was weird trying to figure out the prices she said then figuring out the money.  AlphaPoppa must have had an easier time than I because as soon as I turned around with our snacks in hand, he was already behind me with 2 large bubble teas.  We saw a nearby park and decided to sit on a low wall surrounding the play area.  That would get us away from the crowd a little, allow us to eat comfortably, and let the kids play in the park.

Dude jetted off to the park immediately letting us know that he was not interested in what we were eating.  The rest of us were ready to try our new finds.

Octopus balls covered in sauces and shredded seaweed

Zane eating a tentacle, this dude is like the kid version of Bizarre Foods

Cream filled pancakes

I ate 2 of the octopus balls but I didnt like the sauce at all so I had to stop, to be honest even with Zane eating  tentacle I didnt realize we were eating octopus balls.  We'd had them previously in Japan prepared by my sister-in-law but without the sauce,  Her version was much better, in my opinion.  the cream pancakes were the real MVPs and were gone in a blink.  Periodically Dude ran over to check on us, he had made friends on the playground and was very aware that he didnt understand his new friends and they didnt understand him.  Playing, running and jumping, however were all their top priorities so they made the non-communicative relationship work.  While snacking Sane and AlphaPoppa were diligently sipping on that bubble tea.  All of a sudden Zane screams....

Zane: Oh my god! Oh my god! What was that? What was that?
Me: *about to panic at his hysteria* What?! What?!
Zane:  Oh my god, Oh my god, it slipped down my throat. Ughhhhh!
Me: *calming down* Oh Zane you know it's just the tapioca balls at the bottom.  You've have bubble tea before...
Zane: *more hysterical now* No! Not the ball! It was a worm, a worm slid down my throat!!!!!
Me: *back on panic level 10* WHAT?! A WORM?!?!?!  No it cant be!!
AlphaPoppa:  Ok, both of you calm down, Zane it was a noodle, I have them in mine too.
Zane: *relieved and pissed at the same time* It was a noodle? A NOODLE?!  WHO PUTS NOODLES IN A DRINK?!?!?! OH MY GOD!!!! Ughhhhh!

Bubble Tea picture copied from Google images
The straw is very wide permitting the tapioca balls at the bottom to be sucked up and chewed
In our case there was also tapioca noodles that passed up the straw

By then we were all cracking up and Zane and I were squinting through the milky colored drink trying to see these alleged "noodles"  AlphaPoppa caught one in his teeth and showed us what he was talking about.  A clear colored chewy looking noodle.  Immediately we started a game of catch the noodle while drinking the bubble tea.  

This definitely looks like a worm, but it is indeed a noodle.

After eating and waiting for Dude to finish playing we decided to try to check-out a Buddhist temple one stop down  None of us are big shoppers, so although Mong Kok was nice to see and experience there wasn't much of a reason to stick around long.  On the way back to the train station we passed a McDonald's Dude went nuts.  The idea of getting a Happy Meal in anywhere on earth was enough to make him jump out of his skin.  Since he hadn't eaten we with us we were game for letting him get his toy, hamburger, and fries.  We descended the stairs to find and underground McCafe and full McDonalds.  The line was short but EVERY seat was filled.  Hey! There go some black people! *waving and smiling* OK so we get in the line order and just like NYC needed aggressiveness while I waiting to be served the food the guys stalked people who looked like they were about to get up to get their seats.  Once seated and eating AlphaPoppa went back up to street level while the kids and I eat french fries and Dude happily bounced and feasted on his Micky D's.  All of the women at our loooong table sat and staring at me, the prettiest one looked at me and in Mandarin asked "Ni shi nagouren?"  Hey, I understood someone!!!  She was speaking Mandarin, we know a little of that!
So I answered "Wo shi Meigouren". (I'm American) She shook her head in approval and seemed satisfied enough to not ask anymore questions, but continued to look at us in a friendly way from time to time.  Once we were done, Dude pocketed his new toy we told our table mate "Zaijian" (goodbye) and headed upstairs to meet AlphaPoppa.

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