My best meal at Bifengxia Panda Base this trip

Filed in Food, Travels

It’s the Chinese National Day today, and the start of a seven-day holiday for the whole country. Approximately half the panda team is on holiday and with many visitors expected over the next seven days, those on duty will not have time to go for lunch in the canteen at the staff quarters. Instead, the canteen will be sending a food van (Bifengxia’s version of “Meals on Wheels”) around to every department and exhibit.

Around 11:15 a.m. this morning, I saw a couple of the team members carrying a bowl and pair of chopsticks each. Then someone called out, “It’s here!” Melody from the Panda Club office asked if I’d like some lunch. But I didn’t have my own bowl and chopsticks. Instead, my lunch came in a set of three paper bowls and pair of disposable chopsticks.

The first bowl had white rice, the second bowl a mix of sprouts, stir-fried pork and cold meat, and the third bowl cabbage soup. The fourth bowl, which had white rice buried beneath the sprouts, stir-fried pork and cold meat, was Melody’s. We ate at the coffee table. Levi, with his own metal bowl, was eating at his desk, behind his computer monitor, but soon came to join us. We ate and discussed panda stuff and I had the best meal of my trip to Ya’an, and on the last day, no less.