Do You Dare?

Tempt Montezuma? Or the belly of Delhi? When I tried 100 restaurants in Dhaka, Bangladesh, people would ask me how I avoided getting “Delhi belly” or “Montezuma’s revenge” — I have some basic policies. First, I follow my gut (ha! Had to be said!). If it smells like death on a plate, then I don’t eat it (gym socks, sure. Death, no.). I drank lots of water. And to that end… Frank, it it wants OUT… I let it out…

ojFaE_rDb005jRFaDDEZGL18yZuB_9dNWbn1WFcKZW6wOVHWAH7rF5qthwF_ghqFjeffKe8x0YszSuZaPd7FIzwNM_rbDJJu2m-aulUBTGtnQa04Am8JT_44aPQqwFst_27d9pDZU3zd7Is6FmxGZIhjfx28N85MJF32abjHeS_dJrsf8tRd1uJKGBack to the food cart here in my barrio… I am not willing to try every street food cart in the world, but, when I see a crowd lined up waiting, I have to go over and see what they are eating. As you can see, this vendor doesn’t even need to move the cart out to the street. It just stays in her driveway.

wQuKgbVQtFYauDvDyTY0s3OlWVU7EHSijKc5Xa36ESHJqJi2kKLsj9MOWdpddH3ZZfpmcRKYwD2SBkOTJnaucs1DkKFYYc-Z6b81wQ0r8DEK_RAE0QADeZvDWrdDIAgpRN7Z70PBrKVyUzgv_F3K45e0Le5AwMED66di7xKpZ5_E_eAJXtZ11bNyGThe other evening, I saw a crowd, again. So I went over to take photos. As you can see, they sell hotdogs, wings, breast, and mussels? Now, I just need to find someone who’s willing to try it…

Follow Your Gut – The Reality of Street Kitchens

Street kitchen in Kuala Lumpur.
Street kitchen in Kuala Lumpur.

That pink plastic. This and many other little things make street kitchens unglamorous and slightly un-photogenic. When I take photos for my blog, I try to take luscious photos but often, what is there, is not. Part of the “challenge” of traveling is appreciating the deliciousness in a street noodle even when eating it out of a styrofoam container while sweat drips in your eye. All while the locals either stare at you like they are watching a circus act. Or ignore you but wish that you would get out of the way so that they could also get their $1 snack of saturated fats and MSG.

This was a cute pot.
This was a cute pot.

In Dhaka, I rarely eat at street stalls because I’m not sure that my internal flora and fauna can hack it. I will eat at a few phoughka stands and Dhaba supposedly was set up to bring street food off the street, but the rule is to go with your gut. If there are a lot of people and the food has not had a chance to sit around growing bacteria, then maybe you’ll be okay. But if your instinct kicks in and you get a queasy feeling even before you eat on the street, then don’t do it.