Yummy spicy food
Novel exotic flavours
Tummy shrieking NO!
English in other countries
Conned fish and checken
And a third – a joint effort with Don:
Khmer menu choice
Omelet with chess, and long beens
Play to win good food
Diet is a constant issue when travelling. We can’t eat the way we did at home, when we had a home. Also apparently our bodies are less tolerant than when we were younger.
In India we had some pretty awful, but “serviceable” breakfasts of eggs and bread. For other meals we ate Indian for about the first three weeks. As long as it wasn’t too spicy we were fine. But . . . . an Indian’s definition of mild is quite different from ours. It was fine for Julie and Robbie who had long since developed a taste for highly spiced food. Don and I were on fire. I was determined to get used to it, and did with time. I loved butter chicken and chicken tikka and some of the other dishes. But when we forgot to ask for mild both Don and I were in trouble. Holy moly I am not into masochism. It was painful. Not only in my mouth and on my lips. All night my stomach would be shrieking what have you done to me?
Then after about three weeks or so we were both done. The craving for familiar food took over, and it was not hard to find. But . . . . yes another but – unless you’re really sure about preparation it’s not smart to eat raw food. It’s the water it’s been washed in, or not washed in, or the unwashed hands that prepared it. In Tiruvannamalai we ate salad at a “western” restaurant, owned by a German woman and her Indian husband, that was highly recommended. It had great food and friends had been eating there regularly for weeks. We had one salad and both got sick. Someone that day didn’t wash the lettuce properly. So mostly we do without fresh fruit and raw vegetables, not just in India, but in South East Asia too. It’s not that we never eat fruit, just not as often as we normally would. When we do we call it living dangerously.
Just this past week I’ve been sick enough that I knew I had to take a course of the broad-spectrum antibiotics we carry with us. Who knows what it was. We’ve been eating the local pineapple. Once I forgot and rinsed my mouth with tap water after cleaning my teeth. We’ve been eating baguettes with lettuce and tomato in them. It can be any little thing.
Since leaving India and coming to SE Asia we often have soup for breakfast – broth with vegetables, chicken and noodles. Or fried rice with vegetables. We think differently now about what kinds of foods should be eaten at particular meals. We eat what’s available to a large extent, still avoiding anything too highly spiced, and sometimes taking the risk with raw food. Yesterday we had rice and fish and vegetables for lunch, and chicken baguettes at home for dinner.
We take our daily vitamins.
We never never drink tap water.
A deeper side of this is my life-long issue with weight, at times verging on anorexia, and how being nomadic had forced some painful self-awareness and letting go. I’ll write about that in the next post in This Nomadic Life
Photo of the day: The meat market, Thongkhan Kham Market, Vientiane, Laos
All words and images by Alison Louise Armstrong unless otherwise noted.
© Alison Louise Armstrong and Adventures in Wonderland – a pilgrimage of the heart, 2010-2015.