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Toko Takeda

     Hi! I am Toko Takeda writing from Japan. Let me shortly introduce myself. I am living in Fujisawa-city, a suburb of Tokyo and commute everyday between Fujisawa to Ginza, one of the most fashionable places in Tokyo. I work at an international trading company. I am quite interested in other countries' way of life. The following episode is one of the stories of my trip to China, which excited me and opened my mind. During Japanese "Golden Week," when national holidays gather to make almost a whole week holiday, I visited my parents in Shanghai and my friends in Beijing.

     You may have heard "Chinese eat any four-legs except tables!" Literally they seem to eat everything alive. "No-leg" is no exception. Well, my friend convinced me to try "Snake-dish," then took me to a restaurant where you can choose ingredients, small snakes to huge ones. Goodness!! He chose the biggest one, black and shiny. He told me it was a venomous snake.

     Oh well...It was too late to retrace my path. But hey! The ugly snake turned out to be a "must-try." It started with fried snake and fried snake skin. The ribs & scales may tell you its origin, shut your eyes, try some, they are gooooood! The skin especially is said to be good for your clear skin. So, don't miss them, Ladies.

     Next came the "snake blood." (Oh, no. Am I supposed to? It's coming, it's coming!) Well, it was served in a small glass mixed with above-proof spirit, so you couldn't smell the blood. It went down through my throat. Tasted hot & strong. Now, I thought nothing would surprise me until the liver came. When a liver was cut to be mixed in liquor, the color changed into bright green. It was like magic!! Seriously, I couldn't believe it was all natural. Taste? Uhh...it is good for you, anyways. Okay, finally the main course came - "Snake pot." The meat was like pork. Boiled in a pot for several seconds, in which a lot of ingredients from chicken head to herb medicines, & dipped in sesame sauce, snake meat was delicious, indescribably profound taste. It was definitely nutritious, too. I am very fascinated about all the new things on this trip. I am sure that more and more surprise are coming!

     China, with it's huge land and millions of people, is such an interesting country. I would assume that we have something in common, between China and Japan. However, I found that even 3 hours flight made a lot of difference between us. How unique, and what an exciting and exotic place it is!!
                                                                     - Toko Takeda, Tokyo

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