July 5, 2013

to eat or not to eat.

yesterday in class we were in half tortoise and i forgot to get out of the posture when everybody else did. well i didn't really forget, i just didn't hear sy when he told us to come out of it. why i didn't hear him? well, i was thinking about my arrival in bangkok and if there were still restaurants open late at night close to the hotel, oh but surely i can get a bowl of pad thai anytime in bangkok, right? so now i apparently not only think about cupcakes but also about pad thai in my yoga classes. next time you worry that you are not focussed enough or that your mind wonders, don’t worry about it, because there might just be a teacher practising next to you who is thinking about noodles.
for this mental slip i blame the fact that i haven’t eaten pasta in 4 (!!!) days for pre-holiday toning reasons and that my mind currently revolves around little else but the planning of my upcoming trip. as you know i am a planner. i plan for a living and i plan for fun and yes, sometimes to a fault. it leaves little room for living in the moment and being spontaneous and all the crap wise things wise people tell you to do if you really want to be happy. but my happiness levels are okay most days and so i continue planning.
at times like these i enjoy the planning immensely because it is like having a mental holiday before the actual holiday and also because planning calms my nerves and i am slightly freaking out here. freaking out because i am going to asia and i have never been and i have always wanted to and what if i hate it and get homesick and cold and and and… so i am planning and since most of my trip has a set itinerary, i am focussing all my attention on the few days that i have added before and after. the amount of research i have spent on junks in halong bay and pondered on the question of how much titanic pre-sinking luxury i can afford is extensive. tripadvisor and i have gotten well acquainted and also my good, old friend google came to the helping when i simply asked: how to pick the best junk in halong bay?
google is like the reincarnated oracle of delphi. it actually found me a blog post comparing three different cruises that the author had all done himself. i like that kind of enthusiasm and effort put into the story and after i went on reading. eventually i found a post of how he went to eat dog in vietnam. let’s leave the question of whether one should eat any animals aside for just a moment and dear vegetarians would you just indulge me for a story of pure adventurous foodie spirit? i need a little food challenge in asia. what should i eat? it’s a given that there will be an entire pastaholic story about the art of eating noodles for breakfast, don’t worry. but here are some of the more … exotic options on the menu which are to be considered:

pets. i don’t want to eat a dog or a cat or a hamster. i completely understand that in other cultures they are considered food and that is fine, but for me they are pets. also hamsters have tiny, little bones and unless it’s a quail tasting likewaffle i am not fan of tiny, little bones.

snake. i think i have ophidiophobia and that extends to eating the things. i sometimes gag just seeing a snake on tv, so i don’t think the attempt to eat one would go down well.

critters and insects. anything that looks like a maggot, and a worm is just a big maggot, is a no. sorry, but i don’t care about their protein content, if you ever had maggots in your house, you wouldn’t pay money to eat some either. but maybe something crunchy, cricket-y as long as it is fried. i like fried and crispy things.

feet and stuff. i have once vetoed a mexican thanksgiving stuffing with chicken feet, but have eaten pigs’ feet and ears, so i am not sure where that leaves me on the issue of feet and other body parts like that.

blood and gore intestines. i would not necessarily say no, unless hanoi in august smells the same as nyc meatpacking district in august.

and that leaves me with the crème de la crème of exotic asian food:
the fertilized egg. a vietnamese speciality. it gives an elegant twist to the conundrum of which came first – the chicken or the egg? and no, as much as i like chicken and eggs, i don’t want chicken in egg. i would however very much like to see some fertilized eggs when they hatch. apparently it happens on the markets in summer sometimes and i think that would be awesome to see. the chicken totally wings it and gets away. sorry sir, but your lunch just hatched and ran off! now i would pay money to see that.

to summarize one could say that though i eat quite a few things, the asian, exotics might not be completely up my alley. but i like a challenge. you tell me what and i take a bite and have a picture taken to prove it too!

camel burger in fez. delicious though i felt slightly bad as we were riding camels 
the next day.

i ate some of henry's brains. the picture does them justice - they were unexciting and mushy.


  1. In Vietnam - I didn't see any "dog" on the menu but goat and frog. The meat market in Sapa didn't smell bad but the chopped up animals were worthy of a gag.

    In Cambodia - I just couldn't eat the deep fried insects, spiders or snakes.

    Re: Fertilized eggs- you'll find them at a street vendor both in Vietnam & Cambodia

    You'll probably explore more tasting the various exotic fruits & pastries

  2. ps :) In Peru - I tasted the guinea pig (cuy) but couldn't bring myself to eat the whole thing.

    Sadly I am not that adventurous when it comes to food & drinks

    1. Ja, I realize that I don't really care to eat adventurous food just for the sake of being adventurous. Unless it comes highly recommended and is supposed to be really good I will gladly stick to the fruits and pastries.


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