The restaurants come in all shapes and sizes, and varieties of cleanliness. Actually, with respect to cleanliness, they're all pretty clean as long as you don't ever pick anything up that has dropped onto the floor. Spitting, though pretty much looked down upon by the Central Government, is still pretty common. It is not as frequently encountered as it used to be. But between the rice, chicken bones and spit, walking in a restaurant without slipping and falling can be a feat. And this leads me to another survival rule. If if falls on the floor, consider it gone. But if you must retrieve it, protect the top of your head.


Some of the restaurants are outdoors. They cook on these little coal driven stoves. This year I noticed an increase in propane fueled stoves. The food ranges in variety from just pouring hot water on freeze dried bowls of noodles and mystery meat, to "cooked before your eyes" noodles with mystery meat. Try eating a meal and getting up off of one of those little stools.


I've always said that everything in Shaolin village teaches you gong fu. The typical chairs are not the exception.... Here Yong has his daily dose of "little red things in the glass of water". The glass is half filled with little red and green beans and god knows what else, and the rest is water that has probably soaked these little beans for the past year and a half. I've actually tried it, and it isn't all that bad. After seeing the effect on Yong after he eats the bean portion of the drink, I avoid those. He's better in those Chinese toilets than I am. Oh, and using those toilets teaches you gong fu too..... And yes, I did get up off of that stool. I'm sure the stool was happier than I was after I got off of it.