Tuesday, January 30, 2007

And the rest is monosodium glutamate

A nine-year-old girl has become a TV chef in China.

Shi Yulan, from Shanghai, is now writing her own recipe book, reports Qianjiang Evening News.

By thunder, I love Chinese food. But nobody can pretend it’s that technically difficult, as this story demonstrates. You basically chuck it all in a wok and stir it round, adding as much soy sauce as you can tolerate.

An old pal of ours is a lawyer and occasional male model (heh!). He is of Hong Kongian extraction and for his recent birthday bash he took us along to one of Bristol’s best secret restaurants, hidden in a concrete underpass and mostly patronised by Chinese. The night had everything: a rotating table-top like in Indiana Jones; about twenty dishes the like of which you definitely don’t see down the local Chinese Chippy; karaoke songs in logograms and then, completely incongruously for what was a relatively quiet, genteel, mixed party: a stripper - procured as a surprise for our host by his brother. She was a Miss Whiplash, public humiliation-type performer, and we were supposed to laugh as she made him do embarrassing things.

Sense of humour is a very deep cultural fault line. The English sat with fixed grins and tittered awkwardly. The Chinese were roaring, hysterical, on-the-floor. Really, they were uncontrollable. Schadenfreude is a German word but it doesn’t come close to this.

1 comment:

annalouise said...

Shouldn't it read 'A nine year old girl dressed like Minnie Mouse has become a TV chef in China'.