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Chicken Feet Soup

20 05 2008

There are a lot of things that you kind of accept, deal with and/or try while traveling that would never cross your mind as a possibility at home. Sometimes these encounters were due to the attempt to conserve money when we opted for the least expensive option, and sometimes it was just due to cultural differences. So here is a brief list of these acceptances and trials that we have chalked up to new experiences and that contribute to the adventure and reason we travel.

  • Chicken Feet Soup–I have never seen chicken feet sticking out of soup at a buffet at home, and even if I did, I probably wouldn’t try it, but this soup was actually delicious (I didn’t eat the actual chicken feet)
  • Ants marching through the hotel room–I’m quite used to that now; they really don’t bother you too much
  • Sand in the bed–at home I probably would have left the hotel if there was a layer of sand coating my bed, but when you pay so little and are right on the beach, it is hard to complain :)
  • Sharing the shower with insects and reptiles
  • Squat toilets and scoop showers
  • Bathrooms without a separate shower, just a drain in the floor and shower head on the wall
  • Staying in rooms with peeling paint, walls that have never been washed, mildew stalactites, rickety furniture, bare bulbs hanging from the ceiling, shelf paper instead of linoleum that is not cut perfectly to the size of the room and folds up on the walls, no amenities such as phone, tv, fridge, AC, heat or hot water
  • Staying in windowless, cement rooms
  • Staying in brothels
  • Sewers backing up into the room
  • Crowded buses–so crowded that your neighbor’s elbow is in your ribs and you are sitting on someone’s shoulder, but they let more people on the bus, at least if there is an accident you won’t move
  • Having to buy drinking water in a bottle even for brushing teeth
  • Having meals come 1/2 an hour apart when dining with others–in Laos they said this is because everyone shares everything, so it doesn’t matter when the meals come. In fact, in the Laos language the word for yours and mine is the same
  • Fish head, eyes and all–fish are served with the head and eyes still intact, to me it looks less appetizing, but the body tastes the same
  • Hearing, “Sorry, finished”–finally settling on your 5th choice of meals at a restaurant because the first four things you chose from the menu don’t actually exist
  • Viruses at internet cafes that can infect your iPod and camera
  • Negotiating everything–taxi rides, hotel rooms, clothes, food, tour prices
  • Safety third–barefoot construction workers, exposed wires, no handrails, no seatbelts in cars or helmets on motorcycles
  • Nonfunctional sidewalks–used for motorcycle parking or a storefront instead of for walking, not maintained and in such bad shape it is easier to just walk on the street, giant holes that could swallow you and lead to the sewer below, tiled sidewalks that are so slippery in the rain it is a wonder I didn’t break my neck

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3 responses to “Chicken Feet Soup”

20 05 2008
Deanna (11:46:43) :

After all of that, the Peace Corps should be a breeze! I ran into the squat toilets in the train station in Tokyo. I think that would top my list as least favorite thing about Japan.

20 05 2008
Nicole (15:00:37) :

Sooooooooooooooooooooooooooo true!! But without all of that, where is the adventure?! Can’t wait to see you guys this weekend!

20 05 2008
MeggiePie (22:26:14) :

Peace Corps preparation! Great excuse to travel! And it certainly was adventurous, and I wouldn’t trade that for anything–it is one reason we travel :)

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