I have always proclaimed myself an ‘eater,’ and I guess some would say ‘drinker’ too. Buffet owners and any place with an all-you-can drink alcohol policy beware, what were you thinking? I have always eaten what I wanted and tried things I didn’t want, I guess for the sake of trying. I have seen people get food poisoning – they rush to the toilet, throw up, complain that it’s too hot or cold, cry, etc. I usually tell them to calm down and to stop over-reacting as I order another bacon-wrapped hot dog from a street vendor who probably doesn’t wash his hands after he urinates.
It was not until I arrived in Cairo, Egypt did I meet my match. I had already drank five mugs of fresh juice, and eaten some sort of macaroni from a cart (I pretended not to see the guy pick up a few noodles that had fallen on the counter and throw them back into my bowl), and a lamb doner from a place called GAD which was probably camel or something. Everything was actually pretty tasty. I saw each of my travel comrades succumb to something, but I just called it weakness. The next couple days consisted of bathroom stops every five minutes. How they could use the toilets in the alleys of Cairo was beyond me, but they were troopers.
The next night would probably change my life forever. I should have known by the name of the dish that it would be bad news, ‘Stuffed Pigeon.’ Stuffed with what?! Dysentery? Parasitic worms? I have had pigeon in Hong Kong before, and it is quite tasty. It was just like quail, and because they were caged and raised for cooking, I like to think of them more as snow-white doves. This was definitely not a snow-white dove raised in a spacious and hygienic cage; it was more likely caught while eating trash. When it arrived, it looked like a wooden shoe; I tried it and it tasted pretty bad. I was guess it was an acquired taste. I am not the type that likes to waste food, but I could only con my friends into trying a bite each. I was there trying to eat my food, digging into the cavity that was filled with rice and gizzards which I pushed to the edge of my plate. I could only finish half and opted for some more GADs.
The next couple of days were horrible. If you are cold on a train in Egypt, in the afternoon during summer time, even after using a pair of jeans as a Snuggy (thanks Sunny), you’ve got some problems. The evening was probably one of the worse nights of my life and far too graphic to ever post online. The next day we were in Alexandria, my friend really wanted to go scuba diving. After seeing me throw up an egg that I had just eaten (it might be because boiled eggs smell like farts though) and saying “I feel like crap, but if you REALLY want me to go I guess I’ll do it,” he responded with “Great! Let’s do it, it would be fun together.” I am a trooper , so I threw up one more time, got suited up, and we jumped in. He immediately jumped back out and said “I can’t do it, there’s no way.” The water was a little murky, but I had already paid, so I went exploring Cleopatra’s Lost City by myself, (well with the dive master holding my hand). In the quietness of the water, I vowed to no longer be an indiscriminating pig, which some jerk once called me and throw up one more time for the fish.
My trip to Egypt was still amazing though. I really think the reason I got sick was the lack of alcohol consumption in the country to kill the bacteria in the food I ate; maybe that’s why my stomach is usually so strong?
P.S. I really like what I did to my picture…(^__^)