October 7, 2018

Food for Thought

This is a papaya and lychee smoothie i got in Philadelphia today. The sourness of the lychee moderates the papaya from tasting too sweet, and the crunchy texture of lychee is a nice contrast to papaya’s smoothness.

The roundtrip tickets to Philadelphia for two on Amtrak was $320. My friend told me that the bus was only $52. I couldn’t believe the price difference. Upon hearing this, my wife got on the phone with Amtrak and cancelled our tickets.

I live in Lower East Side which is like Penn Station for Chinese buses. I see people boarding these long distance buses all the time, but I had never been on one myself until today. A number of people warned me to brace myself but it turned out to be a great way to travel. Even if the price was the same, I would choose the bus so that I wouldn’t have to worry about getting back home from Penn Station. (Even in Philadelphia, the bus arrived at the center of the city. The train doesn’t.) As you can see in the photo (swipe), a trash bag was provided for each seat—Amtrak does not! The driver was a young Chinese man who drove the bus as if he was playing a video game. On the way back, the driver was a short Chinese lady. They defied the stereotype about Asian drivers. I was impressed by how they maneuvered the big bus in the crowded city streets.

Many passengers were talking to each other or on the phone in Chinese. I also heard people watching videos on their mobile phones in Chinese. Without paying thousands of dollars and traveling thousands of miles, I felt like I traveled to China.

I read that the network of Chinatown buses was originally developed to dispatch restaurant workers, so, even today, they depart from and arrive at Chinatowns. It’s a perfect transport if you want to do a food crawl for Chinese food

#chinesefood #chinatownbus #papaya #chinesedrink #philadelphia #phillyeats #bustravel