Fried bees is a particular food specialty of many mountain towns in Yunnan. To be precise, actually, it is deep fried, baby bee or embryonic larva. To make it more vivid, one can see the originals squirming in their flat pancake-like beehives on the streets, during fall harvest season. These wild bees are collected by farmers from the mountains, and brought to town to sell to the hungry town folk. There’s nothing like wriggling worms to stimulate one’s deepest appetites. When asked what fried bees taste like, I usually respond that “It tastes just like fried crickets! And really crunchy.” I might add it’s not mushy, and just tickles your palate.
在云南山区，炸蜜蜂是一道独ー无二的特色食品。明确地说，它是经过油炸的蜜蜂宝宝或胚胎幼虫。说得更生动一点, 就是在秋收季节，街上到处都可以看到像薄饼般的蜂窝内有无数幼虫在蠕动著。这些野生蜜蜂是農夫们在山上采收的，然后 运到镇上卖给饕客。没有什么东西比蠕动的幼虫更能刺激你的食欲。当有人问，炸蜜蜂是什么味道时，我通常会回答 : “像油炸蟋蟀ー样，蛮脆的。”我还可以加上一句，不会黏糊糊的， 很能搔动人们的味覺。
For the medical mission teams that came to serve in this area, it was unquestionably a “rite of passage for new team members to crunch up these delicacies. Black or brown ones usually served piping hot, at the first welcome dinner. On one trip we had 7 delightful interactions with this insect in 10 days. For those who worry about depleting the honey-producing bees of the world, let me assure you they are not your stereotypic honey-producing bees, but a “ma-fung” (sort of wasp) type of bee, although the novice would never notice the difference. The locals take great pride in serving this delicacy whenever there is an important meal (lunch and supper, not breakfast, thankfully). And there is a big point made about how nutritious it is (lots of protein, and probably “full of anti-cancer value”，they say).
对于来到此地服事的医务队，新队员毫无疑问必须经历这 番 “洗礼”，就是说要吃上这个脆脆的美味佳肴。那些黑色或褐色的虫子在第一次的欢迎晚餐时就会吃到,端上桌时通常是 热腾腾的。有一次，我们十天内就与这种昆虫有七次 “美妙的互动’’。对于那些担心全世界的蜜蜂会被用尽的人，我向你保证，这种蜜蜂不是你想像中那种会产蜜的蜜蜂，而是ー种叫“蚂蜂”（黄蜂的ー种）的蜜蜂，一般人是不会注意到它们的差异 的。当地人觉得能在重要的餐会（午餐和晚餐，还好不是早餐） 端上这道美食是件很自豪的事。他们会强调这道美食是多么有 营养（含丰富的蛋白质，他们还说也许 “有很高的抗癌价值〇）。
Against this “exotic” cultural background, it is perhaps not surprising that there was an encounter with another deeply entrenched cultural habit: smoking. Smoking comes in the great rich, Yunnan variety (the main produce of the province), or the pricey “higher class” American models (think Marlboroughs). Often smokers use yellow fluffy powder impacted into large bamboo water pipes, said, of course, though unconvincingly, to reduce the nicotine level, etc.
在这种异国文化背景之下，想都想得到，还有另ー个流传 已久的风俗，那就是抽菸。菸有两种 : 浓郁的云南品种（菸草是云南主要的农产品），或者是较昂贵的美国品牌的高档货（例如是万宝路牌）。抽菸的人往往把黄色的碎粉末挤压进一条大竹管子里，说是为了减低尼古丁的浓度等等，但此说法不具说服カ。
When we first arrived in the town, smoke was literally blown directly into our faces in an affectionate manner. Cigarettes were offered in a packet, along with our welcome cup of tea, and a tangerine or banana. Plus the offices of the hospital’s leading doctors were often smoke-filled, in spite of an obvious large “no-smoking” sign.
当我们第一次来到这个镇上，随处可见的烟直接迎面袭来。 包装的香菸会与欢迎茶ー起摆上，外加一個蜜柑或香蕉。即使 有一个显眼的牌子挂在那里写著“不准抽菸”，医院几位主要医师的办公室总还是烟雾弥漫。
I approached this carcinogenic problem creatively. Fanning furiously did not seem to make any points (but did make one feel better). Turning on the electric fan in cool weather just seemed odd to the locals. Refusing a good cigarette bordered on being rude, especially since every male doctor around us had a cigarette dangling over the ear, just in case he needed a nicotine relief shot.
We warred on the lecture front: every team had an anti-smoking lecture. We went to the middle and high schools to teach about the “evils of smoking . We performed puppet shows. We did skits where each team member represented a disease related to smoking – heart attack meant falling on top of the students, hacking noisy cough meant emphysema, walking with a limp meant paralysis from stroke, coughing up blood over a student meant lung cancer. Falling down flat and dying with a cigarette dangling from the mouth was usually enthusiastically received, especially when draped dramatically with a white cloth. Sometimes we did one of these dramas in the hospital. We announced that this was to let the doctors critique the skits, “to improve the presentation before the kids. Afterwards, we asked the audience of doctors (50% of whom were smokers) to comment. One doctor declared “the leadership needs to lead on this issue. Another declared “from tonight I’ll stop smoking. Did we detect a change in the air?
我们是在讲台上发动战争的 : 每ー组都要举办反菸害的演讲。我们到初中及高中教导学生 “抽菸的害处’’。我们表演木偶戏，也演短剧。在短剧里，每位队员代表ー项与抽菸有关的疾病ーー跌倒在学生身上代表心脏病发作，很大声的乾咳代表 肺气肿，跛行代表中风后引起的半边身体麻痹，在学生身上吐血代表肺癌。他们一般很喜欢看到的一幕是，死人平躺著，嘴巴还叼著ー根烟，特别是当病人身上戏剧性地盖了一块白布的 时候，反应最热烈。有时候我们会到医院表演这些短剧。我们 声称来医院表演是为了让医师们评论这些短剧，让我们表演给儿童看时能有所改进。表演之后我们请这些医师们（他们有一半人都抽菸）提供意见。有一位医师说 : “领导层需要继续关注这个议题。”另外一位说 : “今晚我就戒菸。”从他们的反应， 我们是不是嗅到空气中有一股改变之风呢?
A small barometer of this possible change was our official escort. When we first met him, he often produced clouds of smoke at dinnertime, especially it seemed, if I was sitting next to him. Quietly he changed his habits to only smoking after dinner outside the door. Then quietly he was not smoking around us. After a while, many of our dinner conversations easily turned to the evils of smoking, and the desirability of stopping. We could now talk about the difficulty of quitting, and the value of nicotine patches; and advice on techniques for quitting. The perils of passive smoking then came up, and a great deal of banter, especially from our female members: “you should stop,” “you can stop , “please stop”，to “if you stop….”
So it was inevitable that the confluence of cultural norms occurred one fateful evening. A vivacious member of our team, who was able to talk to anyone and could eat most anything, to our total surprise, balked at the crème de la crème dish, fried bees. We pleaded, cajoled, laughed, bantered, and were nearly giving up, when some genius hit on the link.
因此，在那个至关重要的晚上，不可避免的文化冲突就发 生了。我们队里有一位活泼的成员，她很健谈，幾乎什么東西 都敢吃，所以，她竟然不肯吃这道美食中的美食炸蜜蜂，令我 们非常惊讶。我们恳求她，用甜言蜜语哄她，笑她，作弄她都没有用。正当我们快要投降的时候，某个天才竟想到ー个点子。
“Heidi, if you eat these bees, Doctor Escort will stop smoking.” After a stunned silence all around, we all applauded. After a long pregnant pause, in the most Christian spirit of sacrifice, tempered with a good scoop of steamed rice, our martyr swallowed the luscious bees.
“海蒂，如果你把这些蜜蜂吃掉，招待医生就答应戒菸。” ー时之间，全场一片寂静，紧接著鼓励的掌声响起。过了好久好久，我们的烈士以基督徒最高尚的奉献精神，和著一大汤匙的饭，把味道甘美的蜜蜂 吞下肚。
One verse from the Good Book encourages us. “When you enter a town and are welcomed, eat what is set before you.” (Luke 10:8) Even if strange, I assume. Fortunately there is no recommendation to inhale cigarette smoke!
圣经有一节经文鼓励我们 : “无论进哪ー城，人若接待你们，给你们摆上什么，你们就吃什么。”（路十8）我想，就算食物很奇特我们也得吃。幸好没有人建议我们吸二手菸!