I'll get back to food very soon (if the mice don't eat it all) but in the meantime, here's an anecdote about a friend who went to Shanghai for ten days. So sit back, put your feet up and listen, all of which I realise is impossible, but you get the drift.
He had borrowed one of those tour books from the library; you know, the ones that tell you where to eat, where to go shopping and how bad the government is if it's a Western capitalist democracy and how good it is if it's run by a guy like this.
Anyway, he turns up in Shanghai with his tour book and has the notion to photograph himself holding up the book right there on The Bund at Yan'an Road, so that the view behind him is exactly what is on the cover of the book. Neat.
Then he comes home, and the book has to go back to the library. So he takes the book to the library and thinks he will leave a copy of the photo in the book as if to say, Hey, this book about Shanghai has been to Shanghai!
But instead of simply dropping the book in the slot, he thinks it will be a lark to take the book in and show the photo to the librarian. They might even display the book on the counter with the photo, like a little advertisement. Cool.
So he hands the book over and shows the photo to the librarian.
No reaction. No smile. Nothing.
Then: That will be $1.60.
Friend: Pardon me?
Librarian, again, deadpan: That will be $1.60.
Friend: But the book isn't even overdue.
Librarian: That's the prescribed fine.
Friend: Fine? For what?
Librarian: For taking the book out of the country.
My friend was gobsmacked, lost for a reply.
So he hands over a two dollar coin. The librarian, deadpan, silent, hands back forty cents change.
Friend (on receiving his forty cents change): Thank you very much.
Life is too funny. Sometimes you just don't realise it.
(I just want to know who set the penalty of $1.60 for taking the book out of the country, and by what process they arrived at that particular figure.)