Snakes. Why’d it have to be snakes??

So we don’t discuss work topics very often on here but I did have a pretty big change in my role earlier this year. I moved over to managing one of our teams as my big project finished with The Company. It wasn’t a huge adjustment as I was still working with many of the same colleagues. The biggest change came as I actually have a direct line management role now. One of the first things I wanted to do was have a team building activity (always especially popular in China).

I wanted to do something that would give both a Chinese and a Western feeling to the night. So, we decided to go bowling (which they have in China but which is not common) and then go to a Chinese restaurant. And I delegated the restaurant choosing to one of my team members. Who then surprised me (and most of my team) by sending the invitation. To a famous local restaurant. That specializes in…

Did you remember the post title?

Yep. Snakes.

Now I don’t like snakes. I like spiders less. But snakes are definitely top five in my least popular animal book. I’m not sure why but the concept of eating them didn’t make it seem any better. I’m not the only one a little shocked by the choice (one of the girls on my team seemed particularly disturbed). I announced that we would still all go to this restaurant but no one had to eat snake if they didn’t want to.

So we get there and order. And we find out that each order of snake has just enough pieces for everyone to get one (10, including one lady that had to leave after our bowling). Oh boy. They bring it out and it doesn’t look so bad actually as they fry it. CFER and I are from the south (I’m adopted southerner anyway) and everything there is fried so I figure, why not, and dig in.

And find out there is one very good reason most people don’t eat snakes. They’re all bones!! It actually didn’t taste so bad, just was too hard to eat…So I finish the snake. Now, normally this is the end of the story, right? Not a chance – this is where it really starts to get good…

You see, I realize that there’s a quite engaging conversation going on between the servers and a few of my team members. They inform me that what we just ate is actually not the most important part of the snake. The real thing that you are supposed to do in China, after eating a snake, is to drink two things. Can you guess what they are? Here’s the picture below to help.

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If you said:

1) Snake blood
2) Snake gallbladder juice

Congratulations, you’re ready to move to China!

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3 thoughts on “Snakes. Why’d it have to be snakes??

    • Actually I did drink both (as did most of my team members pictured above)! They mix it with baijiu – super strong Chinese alcohol but it still was pretty rough. And yes, the gallbladder juice was worse than the blood…

  1. Nice, did you try snake soup? I think it’s easier for someone who wants to try eating snakes. Did you ever try turtles? I have to say that after trying Birds nest and Shark fins it’s difficult to find the strength to eat new stuff even though these 2 were not too bad for my taste…

    Nice blog by the way!

    I also created mine but it’s more about what people should be carefull about when they want to go in china. If you’re interested let me know what you think about it http://chinatrickstips.wordpress.com/
    Cheers