Episode 3: David Sanders in Taipei, Tokyo, Shanghai, Beijing, and Seoul

We’re back with more of the travel and dining adventures of one of our three favorite cellists of all time, David Sanders of the Chicago Symphony. As you will recall, in Episode 1, we introduced Maestro Sanders and told how he went from his first cello lesson to the symphony stage in a matter of months (about 48 of them), and we told of involved David’s dining adventures in North Carolina. In Episode 2, he added to his Southern explorations a trip to Europe — Warsaw and beyond in Poland, Paris, and Vienna, as well as a trip to Kansas City and more exploration of the Carolinas.

Now, in Episode 3 David transports us even farther afield, about as far as you can get from the Carolinas, to Taiwan (or, as you prefer, the Republic of China), Japan, China (the People’s Republic thereof), and South Korea. Actually, as far away as you can get without a Jeff Bezos budget. Technically, the farthest away would be in the southern Indian Ocean or in one of the slave camps in Xinjiang. Whatever your views on drowning and human slavery, neither place is a fertile area for great food.

David’s report from January 2016, which can be found here, is a marvel. The photos will fill you with wonder. The photo of the atrium of the Shanghai Grand Hyatt from David’s spot on the 80th floor is incredible. So is the shot of a dish of kung pao chicken that includes more of those little dried chili peppers than I have eaten in my life, and I’ve eaten a lot of those peppers. There even are photos of airline food, some but not all of which actually looks edible. (Korean Air.). And if you think the US gets a bad deal on prescription drug prices, wait until you see the pastries at Starbucks in Taipei.

There’s lots of architecture and greenery and, of course, food. David is a wide-ranging eater, but he sets limits. He passed up offerings of chicken feet and pig ears, as well as sundry other foods that defied identification.

Now I’m thinking of travel to Asia. Nancy has been to China with the Washington Women’s Chorus, and her Operation Smile trips include Cambodia, India, the Philippines, and Vietnam (see here). I’ve balked at the long airplane flights — long meaning farther than Paris. Maybe a trip to the West Coast, a rest for a few days, then to Hawaii for a few days, then to Guadualcanal, Tarawa, Iwo Jima, … maybe not. Meanwhile, David’s report is a feast for the eyes and the imagination. Enjoy it.


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