Ever eat something you instantly regretted? Yes, we have all been there. You might try to be polite and swallow it down with a stymied grimace on your face. You might grab your napkin to slyly empty the contents of your mouth into without being noticed. Or you might say nope, and spit that crap out on the spot.
This story comes to you from Bangkok, home of some of the best street food in the world and my moment of instant food regret.
While roaming the not-to-be-missed Chatuchak Market in Bangkok, Thailand I got a little “hungies”.
Chatuchak is one of the largest weekend markets in the world and boasts over 200,000 visitors a weekend. Within the market there are stalls upon stalls of food vendors. I want to try everything, but the smell of meat on a stick lures me in. This isn’t just any meat on a stick. You have the meat (don’t ask me what kind. If I had to guess it would be chicken, but I cannot confirm that). Then you have two grilled tomatoes topped off with that I think is a mild green pepperoncini pepper.
After I devouring the tender grilled meat, I move on to the tomatoes saving the pepper for last. I love spicy food and the pepper was going to be my dessert.
Now, before I tell you about that “mild green pepper”. Let’s talk about the heat in Bangkok. I’d say it is about 10 degrees cooler than hades. You wake up with swamp ass and go to bed with swamp ass. Water is a necessity. I thoughtlessly and carelessly chugged my remaining water before getting my meat stick.
Now on to the innocent looking green pepper
I’m not afraid of heat so I pop the entire bad boy into my mouth. At the beginning it is very similar to a pepperoncini; crunchy, mild and then…instant regret. I cannot feel my mouth. I cannot feel my tongue, or my lips, or my face. The pepper is too far gone to spit out. I numbly chew until it disintegrates down my throat. I have no water to save me from this fiery hell. I have nothing. I need something, anything to take away this pain. Of course there isn’t a vendor in sight that has water so I go to my next best option. Chocolate covered frozen bananas. I can’t even get words out, I just point and shove some bhats at the man in the stall.
Upon receiving the choconana I shove the whole frozen pop into my mouth. I don’t even care that I look like a 3-year-old with chocolate drool melting down my face.
The frozen banana helps slightly, but it’s not enough. The banana soon turns to mush and I am still dying from the heat. I finally find a man selling water and buy the largest bottle he has and drink it down in a few chugs. This helps slightly.
I am a chocolately, banana mush mess, who’s tongue feels like it’s too big for my mouth. I decide to cut my odds and grab a tuk tuk and head back to my hotel. The wind from the ride gives me some reprieve from the heat. My mouth slowly regains feeling over the next three hours. That’s not even a slight exaggeration.
I told you this as a warning. Never trust a pepper. Always have water on hand.
Have you ever had that instant food regret? I’d love to hear your horror stories to know that I am not the only idiot out there who shoves an entire unknown Thai pepper into her mouth.