"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. " ~ James 1:2-3

Shippin Up To Boston (Part II)

Friday was just as interesting, conference wise. I’m learning that this information is on the cutting edge of “how we continue learning medical knowledge,” but I’m slightly concerned that being at the tip of the paradigm shift is not going to go over real well back at home. Thank goodness I’ve got an outspoken, enthusiastic educator for a boss.

I didn’t spend as much time walking around the city as I had done the night before. The temperatures were in the 30’s, and while I brought gloves, a hat and a scarf, it still wasn’t as enjoyable, partially due to the blister on my pinkie toe. So I asked the concierge for a recommendation for dinner instead of exploring the town on my own. Given that we are so close to Chinatown, and as I walked around the last two days I keep getting delicious wafting Chinese food smells; I was craving good Chinese!

He directed me to a little place called East Ocean City. Right inside the door, you are greeted with tanks full of live crab, lobster and other sea creatures. There is also a decorative tank for Nemo fish to contrast the dull look of impending doom (but what a depressing, sociopathic thing to do). You’d think that having 6 or 8 large fish tanks as you walk into the door would be unappetizing, but the mouth-watering smell of Chinese spices and sauces overwhelm any negative scents that might be emanating from the death tanks.

I ate alone, all by myself, at a two person table next to the window. I was immediately brought tea (unsweetened tea), and there was no sugar or sugar substitute on the table. Ah, to be back in the North! (The last time I ordered Chinese takeout in Wilmington we got a free side of sweet tea.) I wanted to branch out, but as typical, there were no dish descriptions, so I ended up going with something I’d heard of before, but hadn’t tried. My spring rolls came immediately.

While waiting for the rest of my food, I people watched. It is awkward to eat alone, but I was determined not to feel uneasy. The restaurant was almost full, with at least half, and closer to two-thirds of the clientele were Asian, speaking an Asian language (I have absolutely no ability to determine which languages were being spoken, but I imagine that at a Chinese restaurant in Chinatown, Chinese was a contender). I figured that had to be a sign of good Chinese food. Outside, there were a disproportionate number of Asian people walking by, mostly women. I watched two people parallel park, both Asian women. The first was perfect and talented; backed in and forward and done. The other needed her passenger to get out of the car to direct her into the spot. Oh well.

The food arrived, delectable and spicy, just as good as I hoped. I refreshed my memory on using nice, solid chopsticks by watching the lady at the next table; parallel is the key! Halfway through my meal, I realized the pork had been supplemented with tofu. I was neither pleased nor displeased with this knowledge. I hadn’t realized sooner, which indicated that it did not affect the taste. The prices were extremely reasonable, so I didn’t feel duped or ripped off. I was mostly curious; I never had tofu before (that I can recall).

I walked back the hotel and stayed in for the rest of the night. A little after midnight I realized, “Oh yeah, it’s my birthday.” I’ve had to keep reminding myself, since this is unlike any birthday I’ve ever had. Alas.