With my trip complete, my original FAQ list is a little bit out of date. The questions I receive most often have changed, so I figured a new FAQ page would be in order. And here it is:
Question 1: How was your trip?
Answer 1: Good, thanks! Also exhausting. But mostly good.
Question 2: How far did you travel / how much did you spend / how many cities did you visit/ etc.?
Answer 2: I would encourage you to check out this post I did that runs through some of the basic numbers of the trip.
Question 3: Did you ever get sick?
Answer 3: Nope! I'm proud to say that I didn't once get sick, despite eating almost nothing but street food for three straight months.
Question 4: Did you eat dog?
Answer 4: Yes, on three separate occasions. Once on noodles, once in a soup, and once in a sandwich. For the curious, there's a pretty grisly pile of dog bones in the picture at this link (don't click if you are sensitive to the idea of dogs as food).
Question 5: What was the weirdest thing that you ate?
Answer 5: This.
Question 6: When will your book be finished?
Answer 6: It's hard to say. I've never written a book before, and I have a couple of time-consuming commitments coming up later this year. Also, the trip was so grueling that I'm being gentle on myself now and not giving myself a firm deadline. I'm aiming roughly for the end of this year--I'll keep you updated as things progress.
Question 7: What is the book going to be like?
Answer 7: It will be a travel guide. No narrative or anything like that. I am planning for it to be structured like a traditional traditional travel guide, divided up by province and city, but instead of using it to find the local tourist attractions and hotels and whatnot, it will be used to find which street foods are local to each city.
Question 8: What was your favorite food that you tried?
Answer 8: That's a difficult question, and my answer changes all the time. There were so many great foods all around the country, I'm not sure I could narrow it to just one. If pressed, however, I might go with this one. I have a major sweet tooth, and this one really hit the spot.
Question 9: What is the best city in China for street food?
Answer 9: Another difficult question to answer. I don't think I could limit it to one city, so here are a few of my favorite spots: Lanzhou, Kaifeng, Chengdu, Chongqing, and Guiyang.
Question 10: Wait, this isn't Google...I was trying to get to Google.
Answer 10: That's not really a question, but here--try this.