A Meal at Food Republic and Other Food for Thought

The work schedule as an English teacher here in Guangzhou still has me fucked up. Lunch, if it can be called that, is more like an early dinner. Since I have gotten tired of Subway with one type of cheese (which has the nerve to be priced higher than it is in America), and having the shits or being constipated after eating ten-quai meals with the general population of locals, I decided to have a meal at Food Republic (or should it be called the People’s Republic of Food?).

Hunan-style dish at Food Republic

Essentially, Food Republic, at least at the mall across from my workplace, is a food court that specializes in regional cuisines from all over China. Not being able to wait until the Spring Festival for a taste of Hunan flavor, I decided to enjoy a spicy dish from the Hunan region. This venue is comparatively expensive with local restaurants in mind, but cheaper than what I would pay back in the States. It’s GAF too, so I can’t complain.

Better yet, there was a cute girl from Guanxi Province waiting the counter that helped me to order my dish. I thought that I would pay at the counter like in America, but there is a center kiosk that customers buy meal cards at. They can then take this card to various restaurants at Food Republic and order until the card is depleted. Any money that is left over is returned at the kiosk when it is time to leave.

Needless to say, being a foreigner, rarely eating out (at least back home), and not having a command of the local language made this a new concept for me. I was lucky to have such a friendly helper, and it gave me an excuse to smoothly ask her for her WeChat. I will try to set up a language exchange with her at a later time. Pushups have become boring, so I am happy to know that I do not owe PlayerSupreme any this time around. On a somewhat related topic, I will be hitting a real gym tomorrow on my day off; I am really looking forward to getting back under the iron.

Cute girl I met at Food Republic
Said girl from Food Republic. Got her WeChat.

Another Chinese Scam?

When I had my phone out talking to the girl that I had just met, a man approached me asking for the time. After giving him the time, he asked if he could make an emergency call using my cell phone. I just bought this phone to replace my old Xperia M, so I would be mighty pissed to lose it so soon. I told the man that he couldn’t, fearing that he would try to steal it.

Generally, despite having read Machiavellian literature such as The 50th Law and The Prince, I still tend to prefer to help people when I can. After being exposed to a couple of Chinese scams since I have gotten here, and knowing how the game can work against foreigners, particularly Black men, I wasn’t going to let the guy put his hands on my phone. He probably would have taken it from me, and if I tried to get it back, he would claim that I am a Nigerian drug dealer trying to steal from him, despite my name being on the lock screen. Hell, he’s Asian so he would probably hack it in twenty seconds or something and put his name on the screen. Stereotypes for the win.

As I have said before, protect yourself at all times. Still looking for a niche to exploit while I am out here. Getting to the gym regularly will likely help in all aspects of life. Hopefully I will have more interesting experiences in the near future.