The curious case of the Canadian crab

Crazy crab

Crazy crab

So this isn’t technically a travel post, since it happened in Hong Kong, but I figured that there are enough traveling characters from across the globe to qualify inclusion here.

Imagine going to your favorite hot pot restaurant in HK, with some family members who were visiting from US and India, hoping to introduce them to this fabulous cuisine. Imagine deciding to expand the repertoire of dishes you are familiar with and ordering some Canadian crab (at the suggestion of your friendly waiter) in addition to the usual assortment of Kobe beef, Spanish pork, dumplings and veggies. Imagine ordering enough for 8, when you are in fact just 4. Imagine some nice Portland wine and great conversation to accompany this rare occasion.

Now imagine… almost half way through the dinner, when you have already devoured half the quantity of food and most of the wine on the table, for someone to point to a plate which is set right in front of you, and make the observation “it’s still moving”! The object in question is the Canadian crab. We have done away with the claws, but the center portion still remains (picture above), and it is one of the appendages attached thereto, which is twitching in a regular rhythm.

Perfectly reasonably, MY reaction involved a lot of shrieking interspersed with hysterical laughter (to mask the shrieking).

Hubby decided this was a good time to regale everyone with stories of how I had once burst into tears during our honeymoon, when we encountered “some” (correction – HUNDREDS) of tiny little crabs scurrying all over the beach in Bali and how on another occasion, I had screamed loud enough to scare all of Boat Quay upon realizing that the pile of Sri Lankan crabs in the little cages outside the restaurants were, in fact, alive.

Anyhow, everyone at the table had a nice laugh at my expense… while I spent last night with dreams of crab claws crawling up all over me. I took a video to prove that it was not the wine… take a look and tell me if you think I am over-reacting.

I spent a good part of the day googling potential scientific explanations for this phenomenon… and came up with zilch. (I did come across a thread on Yahoo! Answers, where one of the responders accused the questioner of being high, and another one suggested conducting an experiment of freezing themselves.) Hence,  the only logical conclusion I can draw is that the crab was in fact still alive.

Needless to say, that was the last time I am ordering anything that is even remotely at risk of ‘awakening’ to join the party at the table… Until someone provides me a compelling explanation for this episode 😛

P.S. That’s how a post, which I thought would be about my favorite hot pot restaurant in HK, gets converted into a crazy story instead!

P.P.S. The place in question is Megan’s Kitchen. It still remains on my favorites list, and would definitely recommend it to anyone visiting Hong Kong.

P.P.P.S. The true test of my “foodieness” will be when I go to Trishna in Mumbai next, and am still able to order their butter-pepper-garlic crab. I am hoping it doesn’t come to that and that someone out there does provide me with some explanation soon.