Tuesday, August 28, 2007

What's that? Can we eat it?

Last month, I took my two nephews, ages 6 and 7, to Shanghai. Traveling with kids can be very different from the solo travels I am used to, and it can add a new dimension to the whole travel experience. It was so much fun to see Shanghai, a city that is like a second home to me, through their young eyes.

One of the things I really loved watching was seeing their attitudes toward food really open up. A year ago, when these boys first traveled overseas (to Singapore to visit me the first time), they were quite skeptical any time a dish they didn't recognize was placed before them. They would try it, but only under some degree of external compulsion. Over time, they found that trying new things was not so bad after all. In fact, they found many things that they really liked.

So, by the time we traveled together to Shanghai, the boys had really developed an adventurous spirit towards food. It got so that their first question, upon seeing something new was "What is that?" When they heard the answer, no matter what it was, the next question was always, "Can we try it?"

One day, we saw this on the menu:

"What's that?" they asked.

"Snake," I said, reading the menu.

"Can we try it?"

And so we did. And it quickly became old hat with them.

Traveling with that sense of eager anticipation of whatever is to come is really the way to go when heading overseas.

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