I Am Quite Satisfied

LandscapeFrom 1999-2000 I taught English at Tsinghua University in Beijing. I’m glad I kept a number of student pieces from that time. This response to the prompt “tell me about cooking your favorite dish” from my student Xu Dian still really cracks me up.

1)    Shrimp

2)    Struggle

3)    Beg

4)    Nose

5)    Stab

6)    Digestive system

7)    Revenge

8)    Spoils of war

I like cooking and eating shrimp more than commenting on their taste. Seeing the live shrimps struggling in boiled water, I am quite satisfied.

Although they beg piteously, I will not pay any attention to them. Neither will I show them any mercy. After adding a spoonful of salt, I transfer the shrimps to a plate.

I can feel they are at their last gasp. I am so eager, but I forget they are sinister. One of them stabs my finger with its sharp nose. Angrily seeing my now bloody finger, I understand they are revenging me.

I pull down its head ferociously and peel off its hard skin. The fresh and delicate muscle looks attractive. I know I can enjoy these spoils of war. Unfortunately, I suddenly feel something wrong with my teeth. Oh. It is the digestive system of the shrimp.