My best ever eating experience was in Shanghai, and my first time was with Nicky and Lucia, the day after Lucia arrived. It was a forty minute taxi ride outside of the city.
It was a wide street, busy with taxis, bicycles and delivery vehicles. On either side of the street, and as far as you could see up the street, were shops selling the biggest and most bizarre collection of sea food imaginable.
There were tanks full of live fish, lobster, crabs and shell fish. Outside the shops were baskets of clams, prawns, shrimps and even snakes. Above the shops were restaurants, ready to prepare whatever you presented them with.
The ground is always wet and dirty, and the smell is incredible.
Again, I became a centre of attention wherever I went, as if many of the people there had never seen a westerner. Is this what it is like to be famous?
We spent about half an hour wandering around the shops, collecting our dinner, clams, crabs and a large fish, then climbed the steps and waited for a table. There is always a wait. The estaurant does a lively trade.
The food was wonderful and complimented by a couple of local beers. Lucia spent the whole evening complimenting Nicky on his choice of restaurant. We had a great night.
And it was a story to tell Maggie. It was another year before we would go there together.