Montezuma's Revenge

Today officially marks two weeks left in Hong Kong for me before I move to Atlanta. I never made an official bucket list but I have been trying some new things lately. I did a dining in the dark experience with friends last night where we ate a 5 course meal that we couldn't see. We didn't know what any of the dishes were in advance, and that made the whole thing way more fun. Did you know that beet is really hard to identify if you can't see it?

This had me thinking about how we take the food here for granted. In my four years in Hong Kong, I have had food poisoning twice (from some Indian delivery and delicious spicy Korean fried chicken). That is nuts! Considering I had diarrhea for two years straight when I lived in Ecuador, the hygienic nature of Hong Kong restaurants is something I really appreciate.

A true dumpling guzzler, in Hong Kong

One of the downsides to backpacking is that you will get food poisoning at some point. It doesn't matter if you are staying in fancy resorts or only eating Western food, it just can't be avoided. And my god I have had some terrible experiences. This only goes to show how travel makes you stronger.

On a carrot farm in Israel-
I'll eat anything

In Yangon, Myanmar the hostel I was staying at had shared toilet stalls that didn't have running water for most of the day. No joke. I would very publicly destroy the toilet, cry a little in the stall, and then limp back to my room to cry some more. This went on for a full day before I finally caved and booked myself a fancy suite at a Novotel in suburban Yangon. The friend I was travelling with had to carry me to a clinic to get hooked up to an IV and the doctor just laughed at me, 'you white people think you can come here and eat everything.' Uh, well, yeah duh.

Rotting in a Burmese clinic

In Mexico over spring break I got food poisoning as well. I had already booked myself into a street food tour of downtown Mexico City and I was not about to miss out on that, so I went on the tour, ate my way through the pain, and let my stomach explode later. All the electrolytes in the world couldn't help me. My friend Laura helped me obtain white bread and butter and kept me company as I lay in bed groaning.

Found some electrolyte drink in Mexico City 
to help my poor poor stomach

Then there was the time I had food poisoning so bad in Cusco, Peru I had to be flown home to be hospitalized in Miami! No joke. I was in a wheelchair at the airport because I was so weak and could no longer stand. Although I was a vegetarian at the time, my grandma brought me beef stroganoff and basically force fed me to nurse me back to health. Thank goodness I was traveling with my mom at the time, and she was able to take care of me.

The last nice photo of my mom and I 
before my stomach self imploded in Peru

You can't live in fear when you travel. Sometimes you will get food poisoning, or break your foot, or break your heart, but that's the risk that makes backpacking so much more fun than your everyday normal life! I am a human garbage disposal, and I will continue to find the tastiest looking street meat and stuff my face, regardless of how many times I end up crouched over a squattie pottie in agony with no toilet paper in sight. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger, right?

Sucking fish bone dry in Santorini, Greece

A seafood feast on the coast of El Salvador


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