Category: #food

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

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. 

I’ve Been in Thailand for 28 hrs and These are the Things I’ve Already Over Paid For

I’ve been in Thailand for 28 hrs and these are the things I’ve already over paid for:

  • Taxi ride from the airport: when the driver says “highway? No traffic! You pay tolls!” And then refuses to say anything else because “sorry, English bad” you know you’re stuck (but, not in traffic).
  • Spring Rolls: when you’re hungry and you agree to buy spring rolls at what you think is an exorbitant price, but what do you know – you just got out of an expensive taxi cab – and then about two blocks down the same tourist congested, alcohol induced road you find springs rolls for a third of the price.
  • Scorpions: when you negotiated because you just realized you over paid for spring rolls, but probably didn’t negotiate enough because the vendor agreed to the price with the same eagerness as a bunch of kids who just heard, “who wants ice cream?”
  • Dessert “tacos”: cause who wants to learn from yesterday’s lesson and not agree to pay the first price. 

I am SO out of practice. 

But, at least I learned one thing: fried scorpions are pretty tasty, they just taste like “crunch”