Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Thailand Trip Planning: Germs by Jessica

Am I going to get sick?  About 3 weeks before the vacation, I told Zack “well, it’s time for just lettuce and water pre-vacation diet” and he said “why?  You’re just gonna get sick and lose a ton of weight there anyways” and I said “you think so?” and he said “definitely” so I continued on with my decidedly non lettuce and water diet and didn’t lose a pound beforehand.  Didn’t lose a pound there either -  didn’t get sick once.  Mom felt sick one evening after a long day out on a boat tour.  It could have been something she ate, or a bug but more likely a little too much sun.  

Should I eat from the food carts?  There was definitely times while walking along the street and looking at the food carts that I did not feel comfortable eating from any of them.   So we didn’t.  

Nope.  Didn't eat anything from here:
We only ate from carts where they were making each dish on the spot.  Mikey’s advice was to find a grandma type lady with a wok.  I tended to look at the way the ingredients were laid out: clean and organized with clean mixing bowls.  I also made a comment once that I chose by the cleanliness of their feet, and thought that’s not entirely accurate, I did look at the person.  We never chose the people just sitting on a stool looking bored, picking at their teeth or combing out their companions hair. 

We didn't eat any of these either:

Only once did I think, hmm I hope I don’t get sick from this.  We wanted to try banana pancakes and as we were nearing the end of our trip, I told Mom, “the next banana pancake cart we see, no matter if we’re hungry or not, we have to get it”.  So, one night, walking home from a night market, we ran across a cart.  Banana cart man was totally clean, and there was a line of people waiting for their pancake so it was an approved situation. 

He had clean feet too:
He pinched off a little round of dough (from a clean mixing bowl) and then slapped and smashed the dough around on the top of the cart (clean little area) until it was round, and then cooked it on a sizzling hot little wok griddle. 

This was before is was covered with copious amounts of sweetened condensed milk:

I wouldn’t have thought ANYTHING about it, but Juli had mentioned that her banana cart guy was mushing his dirty fingers in the dough and then THAT was all I could think about.  Were his hands clean?  Did he take money from those hands that were now smashing my banana pancake dough?  Thankfully I was vacationing with my mom, and if I’d said, “eew you think his hands are clean?”  she’d undoubtedly have said “it’s fine”.  This is the woman who, in the back of a taxi in Bangkok, after a morning of traveling to the airport in the back of a crazy man’s taxi and a long flight, was eating some fried bananas and licking her fingers.  I said “mom!” and she looked startled “what?  My hands are sticky”. 

Sticky Fried Bananas:
Okay, what about getting sick from germs?   We did bring wet ones and I was definitely glad at many moments to have them, we used them a lot to wipe DEET off our fingers.  Packets of tissue were helpful too.  Not a lot of toilet paper available.  But as for germs, I didn’t see a lot of sick people.  I sometimes saw people wearing masks and I couldn’t tell if that was because they were sick or if they were afraid of getting sick.  Who knows?  We were in the back of taxis licking off our sticky fingers, so we’re probably not the ones to be discussing germs in Thailand. 


Sue said...

so happy you have great photos. my memory car was not retrievable as per Tristan. you make me laugh

saraH said...

Ah, I want to go to Thailand SOOOOO bad! those foods look interesting, some I would love to try!