My friend, Jamie, captured the moment in such a way that almost doesn't need explaining, but I like words so I'm going to explain anyway. For the weak stomached...proceed with caution.
There is an area in Beijing called Wangfujing. When Chad and I had the privilege of being a language students in China more than ten years ago, we were told that Wangfujing is very famous or "famers in our Chinar" if you know what I mean. It is a pedestrian area with many shops, weird (to Westerners) foods, and in some places, so many people you can only barely squeeze your way through. Wangfujing will cause sensory overload to those who have sensitive senses. To me, it was a great place to people watch, walk, and soak in the "famers" atmosphere that I had heard about in my classes many years ago.
One of the delicatessens on this special road is fried scorpion on a stick. It's a lovely little snack that is sure to satisfy. Crazily enough, they skewer the little nasties while they are still alive, so they wiggle and squirm while awaiting their deep fried deaths. I can't exaggerate the experience. Here is a photo of a collection of skewered scorpions:
Thankfully, the friends I was with weren't interested in trying out these huge black scary things or I wouldn't have even cared to try and impress Kyle. We stuck with the "easier" version.
Interestingly enough, I had absolutely no intention of partaking in this lovely afternoon snack, but the look in my face begins to explain my thought process. "Hmmm, maybe it wouldn't be so bad. I could tell people that I ate a scorpion! Kyle would be so proud!"
"Oh no! I'm holding the stick. I can't back out now that would be totally lame! How in the world do I get that gross looking thing from the stick to my mouth and down my throat. If I do this Kyle will be so proud!"
"Here goes nothing! Kyle, you better think I'm the coolest mom EVER!"
"Oh my gosh. This is really gross. I'm actually eating a scorpion. I hope I can swallow this terrible thing. Kyle, this is all for you!"
I know several crazy people that have actually experienced eating one of these scorpions. Kyle happens to be one of them. The majority of the scorpion munchers say it tastes like a greasy french fry. Now, I hate it when people tell me what I think about something isn't true, e.g, it doesn't hurt when you get a tattoo. It does hurt and people who tell me it doesn't should sit for four hours and get on one their ankle and foot. So, to me it did not taste like a french fry. It tasted like a super crispy bug. Each little leg was stuck in my back teeth and the body was crunchy and squishy all at the same time. It took awhile to not feel pokey objects in my throat and teeth. It wasn't at all a french fry sensation because I usually can't stop eating french fries, and one scorpion satisfied me for the rest of my life.
Was it worth it? Absolutely! Kyle was so proud of me. The smile on his face when I told him about my experience was exactly what I pictured in my head while I was trying to make myself bite the nasty little thing off the stick. Kyle said he was impressed which made it all worth it. I fear impressing him will be more and more difficult, but hopefully, it won't involve anymore gross food challenges!
For now, I'll stick with candied strawberries on a stick. These beautiful fruits were perfectly ripe, still warm from cooking, and perfectly coated with a hard candy shell. Waaay better than a deep fried doesn't taste at all like greasy french fry scorpion on a stick!