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Fishy tales. And heads. And dogs and frogs... (II)

We ate the fish whole. It was like chewing a mouthful of mud and needles.

We ate the fish whole. It was like chewing a mouthful of mud and needles.
The oddest thing I have been served was at another of the restaurants near the lake. 在湖畔的另一家餐馆,我吃到过一种最奇特的食物。
On this particular occasion we had been invited again to eat a fish huo guo. It was all very pleasant. Then the waiter arrived with a strange contraption which he fitted on top of the communal bouillon. It was a cylinder about the size of a top hat, slightly narrower at the waist and with a lid. I wondered what this was all about. 那一次,又有人请我们去吃鱼肉火锅。用餐的整个过程都很愉快。之后,服务员拿来了一个奇妙的装置,安装在汤锅的上方。那是一个圆筒,大小和高顶礼帽差不多,在中部微微收细,有一个盖子。我很好奇这是用来做什么的。
A few moments later he reappeared with a pail of fish. They were the size of goldfish, and they were alive. He took the lid off the cylinder, and upended the pail into the boiling bouillon. For a few seconds there was vigorous splashing, then silence. 过了一会儿,那个服务员带着一桶鱼再次出现。那些鱼只有金鱼大小,都是活的。他把盖子从圆筒上拿掉,把一桶鱼都倒进了沸腾的汤里。锅中猛地响起汤水泼溅的声音,几秒种后又沉寂下去。
I looked on this scene of appalling carnage with as much enthusiasm as I could muster. Fortunately, the screams of fish are inaudible to the human ear. The waiter took the cylinder away, and we ate the fish whole. It was like chewing a mouthful of mud and needles. 我眼睁睁地看着这场令人震惊的屠杀,尽力做出热切的样子。值得庆幸的是,人类的耳朵听不到鱼类所发出的尖叫。服务员把圆筒拿走,我们将鱼整条吃下,口感近似于咀嚼满口的泥巴和细针。
Sometimes, though, I get my revenge. For all the breadth of their own culinary tradition, the Chinese are remarkably unadventurous when it comes to other cultures. In fact, they're total jessies. Serve them lean roast beef or lamb with the faintest trace of pink in it and you'll have them bleating like medieval serfs being knouted with a knotted rope. 不过有时候,我也会报复一下。尽管中国人的传统食谱包罗万象,但他们面对其他饮食文化时却毫无冒险精神。事实上,他们在这方面完全是胆小鬼。请他们吃精瘦的烤牛羊肉,上面只要还残留有一丝粉红色,他们就会像被粗绳鞭打的中世纪农奴一样惊叫。
Give them a taste of it, I say. It'll put a bit of backbone in them – if they haven't already had that for breakfast…


(China.org.cn 李潇 译)

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