Author Susan Grant has a reputation for transporting readers across the universe with her science fiction romance tales — and this month's The Last Warrior promises to be another trip that is (pardon our pun) out of this world. But Susan Grant is happy also happy to take people around the world during her day job, as a jumbo jet pilot who frequently heads to exotic locals.
Most of you know me as a bestselling author of 15 assorted paranormal, military, and science fiction romances. A few may know that I live a double life as a 747 jumbo jet pilot, flying overseas routes for United Airlines.
I've flown commercially for 23 years, and before that I was a jet pilot for the US Air Force. In any given month I may land in China, South Korea, Australia, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Singapore, or Japan, staying a night or two then flying home.
Good thing I love traveling! The experiences I accumulate in exotic lands always find their way into my into my stories of far-flung worlds, and also into my blog at www.susangrant.com where you can jet around the world without ever leaving your comfy reading chair! I have a lot of fun sharing photos of the foods I eat, and the menus and signs I happen upon. For instance, I really enjoy the Shanghai layovers I've been having this month. The city is one of contrasts--very cosmopolitan with very modern skyscrapers mixed with dingy apartments and hovels.
Besides being the land of fabulous shopping and replica aka knock-off purses & designer clothing, and $5 foot massages and 2 hour, $20 facials that are to die for, Shanghai is a place for fantastic food. I have a little mom & pop type place near the hotel that I like and often bring back takeout from there.
On a recent trip I decided to try something new: #14 special, translated as "perch in sweet sauce and pine nuts." It sounded pretty good. But when I got it back to my room and opened up the styrofoam container, I was shocked to see Mr. Perch's yawning maw, and all the way down to his little fried tonsils:
And all I was given with which to consume him was a pair of chopsticks! His fried lips grinned in challenge, daring me to turn away in disgust. Do ya think I wimped out? I was hungry! Once I removed the head I dove in, mixing the tender fish with steamed rice, all while trying to avoid obstacles and choking hazards like fins and a tail.
Other fish I'd rather stare at than eat, like this bright blue fish in a market on the island of Tahiti:
When in South Korea I often catch myself gazing at the infinite varieties of kimchi (think: spicy, garlic, pickled):
There, I also enjoy Buhdae Chigae, a dish based on a blend of Korean soup and US Army GI pork & beans. It looks like something a penny-pinching college student would make, but it's sooo delicious:
These sticky rice-flour treats in a store in Kobe, Japan were almost too pretty to eat, as demonstrated by a friend's pointing finger :)
In Beijing, China, a favorite post-flying treat is an icy cucumber martini, and bowl of...desiccated shrimp thingies?:
Speaking of cucumbers, a Chinese favorite is cucumber-flavored Lays chips--and they're actually amazing:
Some dishes on display at the hotel breakfast buffet in Hong Kong look, um, questionable:
(don't worry, they're roasted taro root...)
But in Hong Kong one of my favorite breakfasts can be had for about a dollar--turnips cakes with pork and preserved vegetable congee (rice porridge):
Then, there are the menus, a source of continual entertainment for me. Here, why wait for a bar brawl when you can order a drunk fist?:
Don't know if it's the blood curd that throws me or the "other stuff" :)
And, I've heard of pork belly, and also popcorn chicken, but...
But sometimes the chef is just honest and there's crap on the menu:
For a dose of cute, I love this coffee shop at the Melbourne, Australia airport:
Oh, there's so much more I could share with you, but you'll have to visit my blog for that. I hope this whet your appetites and made you curious to see how I weave my adventures in eating into my stories. You'll find all that and more in my new release, The Last Warrior, which kicks off my all-new Lost Colony series!
- Susan Grant
For a taste of her latest outer space adventure, you can pick up Susan Grant's The Last Warrior in stores now!