Saturday, December 27, 2008
Ancient Chinese Secret straight from the Motherland
Despite being a person of Chinese descent (and Cantonese to boot!), it is a known, accepted and sad fact that I do not know how to spit up (aka "hauk") mucus and/or phlegm. Throughout my life, I either blew my nose or remained stuffed up, while admiring my brother's expert hauking skills and clear passageways. Interestingly I accepted my lot in life and never questioned my inability to hauk... until a few weeks ago when Divinestyler rocked my world. He was the first person in my life who actually explained the act of hauking to me: essentially, one would inhale the mucus upward into the nose and then downward through the back sinuses to the bottom of the throat and up the throat again by spitting a loogie out of the mouth. It's a basic circular motion.
I responded with wonder... and also with disgust. I was like, Joe, are you serious? That sounds fucken gross. That must be why I've never tried it... somewhere in my girlie subconscious, I must have suppressed even the desire to learn how to hauk. And now that I know, I refuse to do it. Yuck.
But both my primary care physician and friends disagree. They all say it's important to remove the mucus/phlegm before it turns into something worse. No one can tell me exactly what that worse would be... but if you think of hauking in a survival-of-the-fittest context, I would not evolve. I would just die off. And that's not cool.
So you think the Ancient Chinese Secret for ridding phlegm is hauking? WRONG. That's the harsh unnecessary unsanitary old school way. The aristocrats in Shanghai drink pig lung soup. Yes, you read it correctly... pig lung soup. Why would one need to hauk when there's plenty of pig lungs everywhere to consume! Be Chinese and don't waste any part of the animal, you know? Especially if it's medicinal, i.e. get rid of phlegm.
I did indeed boast to friends prior to my trip that I had planned to eat all the funky meats available (eg. dog, cat, raccoon, snake, whatever) in Shanghai and Hong Kong before returning to the US as a devout lacto-ovo-pesco vegetarian for the rest of 2009 after Chinese New Year.
Pig lung was not on my list of funky meats, but DBB said that it's good for eliminating mucus... he noticed my phlegmy cough once I arrived to his apartment in the French Concession. So I said what the heck. And you know what? It wasn't so bad. It tasted like bland gelatinous fat.
So I had the soup for lunch today at 4 pm. By 1 am this morning, the phlegm was gone! For real! It's crazy dude. The medicinal value of pig lung -- one of the many ancient Chinese secrets I will discover during my stay in the Motherland. I will share them with you all if you believe. But you must believe.