Thursday, November 30, 2006

Dream Sequence - Episode 2 – California/Japan

My car has a problem and I need to find my mechanics phone number. I’m searching in sprocket’s parent’s condo that they just moved out of with the hopes of this number being left behind. I search the right side cupboards with no success then to the left side where I find a photo album of the condo with outdoor photos. I tell myself that my condo is better because it has a pool even though my subconscious reminds me I hate the pool because there are too many children and distractions. However, the photos are beautiful and suddenly a girl watching me asks why I’m looking at her photos. I tell her I’m looking for a phone number and thought sprocket’s parents may have left it behind.
She invites me into the dining room for a drink where I find a maze of 3 intertwining rooms that all have large dining tables and chairs. It would appear to be large enough to serve 50 people and I wonder how large her family is and how much space and time it would take to cook for such a large family. At the bar, her father is giving a long winded toast and the family seems quite cozy with the atmosphere. I suddenly feel a strong sense of demophobia and look for an excuse to leave. I meet a faceless man and we leave the party.
My date and I (I use this term with some confusion because somewhere in my subconscious I’m aware sprocket exists but throughout the dream I think he is somewhere at our destination) start out in a faceless vehicle. We park at a random parking lot and enter a faceless building. Thus starts the frantic date. My date is a tall broad man, much older with a non-descript face and dark hair. He wraps one arm around my tiny waste and guides my up a set of escalators which move at a rapid pace and we are climbing with the pace. At every top we walk swiftly around the corner to the next set without a single glance to double check signage. At the top, I feel like we have climbed more than 10 stories and we are outside on a street in Japan. We cross the street and walk several faceless blocks. I understand we are going out for dinner. We continue walking at a rapid pace which is somewhat of a challenge due to my 3.5” black Candies’ heels but due to the arm around my waist, I keep up with the pace. We arrive at a set of buildings and my date indicates we need to climb down the roof tops to arrive at the bottom. While in heels, I manage to walk sideways across one V top and then in rock climbing mode work my way down the little V roof tops while still hanging onto the top. It’s only while writing this that I realize my hands stayed anchored to the top during my entire stepping down the building side. Either my arms extended or I simply suspended reality for arm reach length.
We arrive at our destination but find a hamburger joint. My date seems disappointed and we decide to leave for a better option. We walk through a graveyard/park where people are enjoying picnics and to the left is a hill with gravestones and amazing decorations on each site. I see large flower arrangements in the shapes of Pokemon and other famous Japanese cartoons. We continue walking through an airport runway where we dodge small planes taxing in the queue. We then find ourselves walking through a 3-d animated amusement park and animated animals are shooting at us. This part is actually rather horrifying rather then fun because the darts hurt and characters are on all sides chasing us. We run as fast as possible through the crowd and again my 3.5” heels negotiate the charge with the help of my partners arm around my side. At the end, there is a splash of water to wipe off any muck received from the animated character scuffle. We then find ourselves at a carwash with no possible way through except to walk directly through the pouring watery depths. I look on in despair and wonder why we are walking for so long with no destination in site except a carwash. I think wake up at 10:20am in a cold sweat and realize it was all a dream - a surprisingly vivid dream.

Dream Sequence - Episode 1 – Moon Trip

My parents had planned a trip to the moon on their own space shuttle. We stopped for gas on earth and my brother stepped off the craft to go buy some snacks. My mom, not realizing he had left the shuttle announced take off and to my surprise, immediately pulled the shuttle lever into forward launching us directly into outer space. There was no turning back due to the force needed to break the sound barrier so brother was left behind. When my parents were told, they were not too worried with his safety. Apparently with space travelers, independence is expected of the youth.
Upon arriving on the moon, I discovered a large astrodome with many settlers. I made a faceless friend and we decided to take a walk outside and see the sights. We stopped by an ocean that had a large dock for sun bathers. We of course stayed in our heavy suits but left our faces and hands exposed. During our stay, we noticed several brave people leaping into the frigid ocean to test the waters and their endurance. It seemed strange, us sitting here with heavy winter clothing and them in the water. We soon wandered back inside where I noticed my hands had what appeared to be a combination of frost burn and sun burn. I was worried my face may have the same. But I never made it to a mirror. In fact, I’m not sure how this tale ends.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Try dim sum-style chicken feet - and other experiences with Chicken in Asia

My co-worker has told me stories of this dish, but it took me 3 weeks in Hong Kong to finally find this famous dish on the table. Actually the most startling thing was prior to this serving, I found a plate of stir fried chicken on the table and as my eyes ajusted to the dim light, I noticed a very startled bronzed chicken head at the corner of the dish. The follow up of chicken feet was almost expected.

Three weeks ago, I was at a factory in Shenzhen and my host announced lunch was Northern Chinese style. It was my 2nd day in Asia and I was excited hear stir-fried chicken with chiles had been ordered. It sounded familiar. It was only after I piled my plate full that I noticed the bone, skin and possibly other parts were stired fried together. It appears as though an entire chicken was passed through a wood chipper and stir fried with chilies. I've learned to avoid chicken in Asia.