Spicy Sichuan-Style Food
Jerry and Fei are talking about getting something to eat.
Jerry: I'm hungry Fei, let's go out for a bite.
Fei: For a bite? Do you mean get something to eat? What do you feel like eating?
Jerry: I want something really delicious! I could go for some good seafood.
Fei: Maybe we could go out for some Sichuan food. Have you ever tasted "shui zhu yu"?
Jerry: "Shui zhi yu"? Is that a spicy fish soup that they have in Sichuan restaurants?
Fei: Yes, that's the one. It's cooked in a bowl full of red chili peppers.
Jerry: Yes, I've eaten it quite a few times. It's really delicious!
Fei: Wow, Jerry, I didn't know you like Sichuan food.
Jerry: Actually, I like Sichuan food very much. The problem is that Sichuan food doesn't like me.
Fei: It doesn't like you? What do you mean?
Jerry: I mean that I enjoy the taste, but I don't enjoy the way Sichuan food burns my mouth and tongue. My stomach often hurts after eating spicy food, too. Sichuan food is not very kind to me!
Fei: I was under the impression that most foreigners can't eat spicy food at all.
Jerry: Well, I couldn't eat "shui zhu yu" the first time I tried. After just one bite, my mouth and throat felt like they were on fire. My tongue was burnt, my lips were numb, and tears filled my eyes.
Fei: Wow, I would have liked to see that!
Jerry: My friends thought it was very funny. They asked me if I was okay and I whispered, "Yes, it's delicious" through my tears. They all had a good laugh when I said "delicious" with tears running down my cheek!
Fei: Ha ha ha, I guess they didn't believe you. But you really did like it, didn't you?
Jerry: Yes, it really was delicious. But Fei, the most interesting thing came after that. The next dish was spicy tofu. In Chinese I think it's called "ma po doufu".
Fei: Oh yes, that's VERY spicy. I'm sure you couldn't eat it, right?
Jerry: No, just the opposite. After the spicy fish soup, I found the spicy tofu was very easy to eat. It didn't bother me at all.
Fei: I see. Then, I guess that means you just have to get used to spicy food. So let's go have some Sichuan food right now. Your treat!