My Thailand Tale Part 1

I’ve referenced the horrid story of my days suffering from intense food poisoning in Thailand a few times in past articles, but I’ve never actually gotten the full story out onto paper – er- online.

Closing TimePartly because I’m incredibly embarrassed that I made such a stupid mistake, and partly because reminiscing on these memories makes my stomach rumble (a Pavlovian response, I guess).

But, just as I finally succumbed to the projectile wretching in Thailand, I’ve decided that it’s finally time to let it all out. Hopefully, it’ll make me feel better.

********

I had already been in Korea for months without seeing any of my friends from back home, so when one of my gal pals decided she needed a vacation, I jumped at the chance to meet up with her in Thailand.

The flight into Thailand was fairly uneventful. I ate some terrible smelling Asian goulash on the plane because I was famished and forced it down with a couple beers. (The irony that this awful meal did not get me sick isn’t lost on me, in case you’re wondering.)

After a stressful cab ride at 3 a.m., I’m finally in my hotel room where my friend has been waiting for me. We hug and giggle and talk about all the adventures we have planned for the next coming days. She’s mainly excited about the elephant ride and boat excursion we booked months earlier.

And I, of freaking course, am mainly excited to try some new foods. We finally decide to get some shuteye and drift off to sleep, where I dream about hanging out with my dreamland BFF, Anthony Bourdain.

Day 1 in Thailand

It’s gorgeous out. Hot, sunny, and full of gorgeous people walking around in skimpy clothes. Thailand is my kind of place. After a quick breakfast in the resort restaurant, we head out for our first day of exploring.

Shopping here is great. Prices are incredibly cheap and it’s easy to bargain everything down. We already have bags full of trinkets and souvenirs after just a few hours of being out and about.

As it’s 11:00 a.m., and we’re on vacation, we decide we deserve libations. We stroll into a perfect open aired shack-converted-to-bar filled with colorful caged birds and a large selection of beers – the truth is we mainly decide this spot is perfect because of its lack of creepy old foreigners with young Thai girls. Bunch of weirdos.

A couple beers in, and we notice it’s lunchtime.

Oh, what a coincidence. There’s a food market right across the street. I’m sure it’s only empty because it’s early. Everyone in Thailand is probably still sleeping off hangovers right now.

“C’mon, let’s go get something fun to eat!” I shout while dragging my friend away from her barstool and over to the market.

We walk past a few stands. My stupid grin is starting to hurt at this point, but I can’t help that it’s plastered there because I’m too busy thinking about how I’m going to be as crazy as my foodie hero.

For some reason, I convince my friend that we should buy fish. After all, we’re on an island. It doesn’t get much fresher than this, does it?

The owner of the fish stand, an older toothless lady who looks like an honest person, beams at us Click To Tweet as we point to the poor dead animal we want her to cook for us. She skewers it and throws it on the grill.

“More?” she asks us.

“Sure give us that, that, and that,” I say while pointing out a bunch of random gray looking meats, “Oh, and two beers!”

More giant smirks and giggles are tossed at us from the (strangely) overly joyed fish seller as she packs up our lunch and takes our cash. She must be a very cheerful woman. I like her.

We take our bag of meats and beers over to a picnic table and lay out our spread.

Okay, I know that’s fish because it still has a head, but what’s this? Is this chicken? Liver? Duck? Do they even sell duck in Thailand

I can tell my friend is having reservations about this meal, but I don’t want her to back out. I grab my camera and tell her to take a big bite of the fish.

“I’m going to blog about this later and call it The Anthony Bourdain Project so be sure to get a big bite for the photo,” I say.

She takes a bite. I can’t gauge her reaction, so I take the stick of fish and take a bite. It’s gross. A swig of my beer and I’m reaching for the first unrecognizable meat. She takes my photo this time as I smile with the chewy hunk of meat. I bite into it. The texture is off. It’s not slimy, not chewy, not firm.

It’s just a combination of the three textures, which I’m not even sure how that’s possible, but this chunk of meat has managed to do it. The taste (if you can call it a taste) is just salt and flesh. Not my favorite.

The only edible food in our spread is the fish, so we decide to just split it. Half-way in, we realize the damn fish isn’t cooked. We throw away our disgusting lunch (much like we threw caution to the wind when we decided to go with an unmarked stand to eat fish) and decide to have a liquid lunch instead. Booze.

Hours later and it’s now midnight. We’re at a random bar and on our 5th (or 7th?) rum cocktail. We look at our watch and decide it’s time to head back to the hotel. We’ve been drinking all day and we need to get up early tomorrow for a boat trip we have booked.

So, we stumble all the way back to the hotel, somehow picking up more booze and random corner store snacks along the way.

We’re finally showered and in bed, but neither one of us feel too great. In fact, I can hear both of our stomachs making ungodly loud noises.

It must’ve been the fun-in-the-sun boozing, the chips, the hot dog, the rum, and the ice cream we consumed today. Yeah, it has to be. Anyway, that’s all I can remember eating and drinking today so we’re probably just drunk. We’ll feel better in the morning.

We both fall into drunken slumber, not yet knowing that our crazy adventurous meal is about to ruin the next 5 days of our vacation.

*****

Want to know the rest of this awful, sad, yet horribly true story (and learn a good moral at the end)? Check back here next week for Day 2 in Thailand

Have you ever had a bad food experience abroad?  Do you have a funny tale to share from your travels abroad? We want to hear about it! Let us know in the comments section below.

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