Why travel? For the food. Imagine sitting patiently somewhere in some country you’ve never been to before. You’re anxious. You’re at this eatery because it was recommended to you by a friend. Or maybe you read it online. Or maybe your hotel or hostel folks told you you have to eat at this place. So you went and searched for it. Got a little lost. But you made it. You cannot speak the local language, so you try to say what others had told you to say. You sit down. Your stomach rumbles with anticipation. Or hunger. Probably both. You look around and watch as the locals around you gorge themselves with the mighty fine food. Your mouth starts to salivate. And then, the server brings out your food. The aroma. The dripping barf of God himself. You reach for a fork. A spoon. Some chopsticks. Or you go screw it; you’re just going to use your hands. You lift up the food, give it one last smell, open your mouth, and then. HEAVEN. Ecstasy. You reach a moment of pure zen. You realize your entire life had been a lie. The food you had eaten at home that tried to say it is similar to the food you’re eating at this moment was a fake. A repulsive fake. You now understand that you cannot go back to eating this country’s food back in your own country again. Because it will never taste the same. It will never be the same. Because you know, once you go back home, you will say it is not authentic. You joke and tease. But inside. You know you’re not joking. You look to the blue sky. And yearn. Yearn to go back. Back to where you discovered heaven and bliss.
Why travel? For the food. If math is the common language of the universe, then food is the common language of the world. Your chef might not understand you, but he can understand the bright smile on that orgasmic looking thing you call your face, and know that he did a good job. You can taste the personality of where you’re at from the food. From the diverse and copious spices in India, to the dripping olive oil of the Mediterranean coast, to the mouth watering ceviche of Peru. Sure, you can get good Thai in New York City. Sure, you might find amazing Indian food in London. But you will never know. If you forever stay in your home country, you will always think what you’re eating is the best. That leads to pride. To arrogance. And most likely, it’ll lead to people giving you a WTF look when you tell them your country has amazing so and so food. But if you leave. It’ll be like someone giving you a good smack on your face. You will learn to appreciate other countries more because they have so much more better amazing food then you will ever eat, or you will learn to appreciate what you have at home more. Or most likely, you’ll learn to just appreciate food in general. The good. The bad. And the embryo eggs.
Why travel? For the food. For most of you growing up in the developed world, you’re probably only used to some of the more common fruits that’s standard. Apples. Bananas. Grapes. Oranges. But have you heard of mangosteen? Or waterapples? Or kumquat? Do you know that acerola, also known as west indian cherries, pack more vitamin c in one singular fruit than an orange? Bet you didn’t. It always pains me to see people who travel and refuse to eat the local fruits and veggies. Come on people! Get with the program! Eat! Eat everything. Teeth were invented for a reason. Don’t just eat the local cuisine. Try the different fruits. You’ve already took the first risk to travel outside your country. So what if you might get diarrhea from the fruit. So what if there might be a worm or two in the core of your custard apple. You eat enough bugs from your packaged food anyway. At least the fruits are healthy for you. And the veggies. And herbs. Dammit. I’m getting hungry writing this. Someone send me some damn waterapples (picture to the right) already.
Why travel? For the food. Seafood. Grilled. Sizzled. Stir fried. Cooked. Baked. Fried. Chopped. Sliced. Punctured. Seared. Roasted. Pickled. Fermented. Dried. Raw. So many different way to prepare different types of food. And if you remain where you are for the rest of your life, you will never see the beauty, the art, the wholesome deliciousness that goes into preparing amazing food. Shakespeare once wrote, “All the world’s a stage and all the men and women merely players.” If that is so, then food is the electricity that runs the light, or the nails that hold the stage together. Basically, it’s the bomb diggity. Imagine this scenario. You stumble onto a small barely illuminated restaurant. Or if it can even be called that. The chairs are wooden and wobbly. The table looks like it’s about to fall over if you put any pressure onto it. You’ve just had your bags stolen. You’ve lost everything but for the equivalent $3 in your pocket. You look at the menu. You can’t read the language. Tired. Frustrated. You just point at something and make international sign of “I’m hungry” by rubbing your belly and patty your head (okay maybe not so much that last part). The owner looks at you with sympathetic eyes. He walks off. You slouch on your chair. Your mind race with what you’re supposed to do. Or gonna do. An eternity passes by. The owner walks back out with the food you think you ordered. The smell lifted off the food in the form of white smoke and entered your nose. Your tense body relaxes. Your pupils dilate. You stare at the mass of rainbow spectrum food. Your hands tremble as you lift the food up to your mouth. You bite down. You swallow. Tears begin to mist. It might have been the worst day of your life. But now, at least, you’re full. Until the bill comes and it’s actually $5 for your meal. DND
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