HomeWayne's WorldOn the Fourth Day, There Was Chinese Food

On the Fourth Day, There Was Chinese Food

By Wayne Chan

I recently took a Royal Princess cruise ship making our way around New Zealand and on to Australia. The beautiful cruise came complete with an incredibly nice crew that made our trip a pleasant one.

But to tell you the truth, I was a little apprehensive about the trip. Why? The food.

To be honest, the food was terrific…and more than plentiful. It’s not the quality of the food I was worried about. It’s the variety, or lack thereof.

To be specific, I was worried that I would not find a decent Chinese meal for the 21 days we were at sea. On trips like these, I tend to go through withdrawal symptoms if I don’t get some soy sauce or sesame oil into my body at least every three days.

And it’s not like there isn’t a lot of variety on board. You name it, they’ve got it. Fish tacos? Pefecto. Italian? Abbondante! Even sushi? Hai! But look for a steamed dumpling or anything kung pao?

Nothing.

I knew this going in. I knew there wouldn’t be any Chinese food on this cruise. Lucky for me, I planned ahead.

Our first few days before the cruise, we stayed in Auckland, New Zealand. New Zealand and Australia are so much closer to Asia than we are in the states, it shouldn’t be an issue finding some Chinese food during our stay there – and boy, was I right.

We soon discovered that right in the heart of Auckland, there’s Dominion Road, just row after row of Chinese restaurants. Chinese barbeque, hot pot, dim sum, seafood, and whatever your heart (and stomach) desires.

Of the three nights we stayed in Auckland, we had Chinese food for three of our meals. I wasn’t even the one insisting on it. Apparently in our group, I wasn’t the only one going through MSG withdrawal syndrome.

We ate more than we really should have. Peking Duck, crab, steamed fish, dim sum – you name it, we ate it. It was like we were camels but instead of storing water in our humps, our humps (or bellies) were filled with noodles and dumplings. I’m not sure the human body really works like that but it’s been four days on this cruise and I’m perfectly fine eating another croissant, pizza or a burger and fries. It’s almost a welcome change of pace compared to the abundance of Chinese food we’ve been eating.

And I’ve had the opportunity to try a few new things too! Turns out I love crumpets! I like meat pies too! Not so crazy about muesli though.

Still, I was worried. Towards the end of our trip, we still had nine days at sea with potentially no Chinese food, I thought that I would never make it.

Turns out, on our last stop in Sydney, there was a Din Tai Fung dumpling restaurant right around the corner. Am I not an experienced traveler or what?

I may need to talk to my therapist about this. Maybe he should have met me at the dumpling house.

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