That Point in a Trip to Asia Where All “Western” Tourists Start Ordering Fries 

The dreams started a couple of weeks ago – giant baked potatoes piled high with cheese, sour cream, bacon and chives, poutine with spongy kind of cheese curds, chili cheese fries – pretty much any combination of dairy and potatoes – the dreams were vivid and mostly happened during the daytime when starting at a menu that didn’t have much more than “fried rice.”

There comes a point on this stretch of the journey (Thailand, Laos and Cambodia) where all “Western” tourists feel the same way. It happens in Laos. 

At first I felt so guilty, I didn’t want to be “that” type of tourist – fried rice, fried noodles, and noodle soup are all delicious, and if I were eating nothing but burgers and fries I would definitely be craving some spicy noodle soup. 

But then someone in our group started asking, tentatively, “do you have French fries?” and the floodgates opened, it didn’t matter how much side eye we were given – asking for fries became a sort of embarrassing mantra – a desperate zombie-lile craving for potatoes had taken hold. 

Luckily, restaurants are aware of this trend, this affliction, this ravenous craving – and suddenly as we worked our way south, fries were featured on menus. So we’re burgers, and pizzas. Later came “faux” Mexican and then loaded jacket potatoes, chips and gravy, bangers and mash. None of it was very good, but it didn’t matter – it is kind of like the “so bad, it’s good” movies – you keep watching them over and over again even though you know it’s not good for you. 

But, it’s a slippery slope – today one person in our group mentioned that she would really like a Yorkshire Pudding, which I’m pretty sure, if found and ordered here (Phnom Penh) would sway the whole equation of “so bad, it’s good” to just bad. 

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