This is hilarious. Esquire magazine offers a rundown on the “7 Things to Avoid Eating or Drinking While Traveling.” Perhaps unsurprisingly, our fair capital gets a nod.
Eating the kinds of bizarre foods TV omnivore Andrew Zimmern puts in his mouth each week was once the hapless lot — never the intent — of 19th century adventurers like Sir Richard Burton, who while trekking from Zanzibar into the Congo would have given anything for some good British beef and Yorkshire pudding.
Traveler’s illnesses will lay low, even kill, guys who count themselves manly if they gulp down stinky tofu in Taipei or maggots in the Yucatan. Ernest Hemingway would have shot anyone on safari who suggested he drink the blood of a water buffalo. It’s bad enough just dealing with unwashed lettuce in a salad in Madrid, much less shrimp pulled up from the putrid rivers of Phnom Penh. And you can just as easily come down with Delhi Belly in Mumbai as you can Montezuma’s Revenge in Mexico City.
Okay. So putrid might be overstating it a bit. And Esquire’s guide is no doubt meant to be a lighthearted, tongue-in-cheek read, not necessarily a set of rules to rigidly follow. But there’s definitely some sound advice there, issued by a seasoned traveler.
Take Rule No. 7, for example: Spit. You definitely don’t want to drink any of that.
But really, who in the hell drinks spit, anyway?
As the story points out, spit can easily slip into your alcoholic home brews unbeknownst. In the Amazon, the local hooch is called chicha, and it’s traditionally made by women who chew fresh cassava root and spit the juices into a bowl, allowing the mouth-watering concoction to ferment.
If that sounds yummy, you’re in luck, because Khmers do something similar. Be on the lookout for “Cambodia Special Wine,” which is not terrible, actually, until you realize where it comes from.