Since I have a sort-of gigantic change coming up in my life (moving to Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan in August!), I started researching travel blogs in order to (1) look for tips and interesting things to do in the region, and (2) scope out the sort of content, tone, writing, and photography needed to run a good, engaging travel blog.
The number one thing I found? Write about Thailand! Seriously, there must be some secret travel-blogger discount across the country. Or maybe a national campaign to encourage blogging? Who knows. This was pretty frustrating to discover when looking for information on…umm…the rest of the world, but it did bring back some memories about my trip to Thailand.
Like this soup.
So there I was, 19, on my own, in Sukhothai. It’s north of Bangkok and seemed like an overlooked destination compared to other cities. I had only landed in the country a few days prior and had no luggage due to some mistake on the part of Etihad Airways. The airline personnel encouraged me go on with my plans without the majority of my belongings, sending me off with good wishes and a wad of cash…probably to convince me to stop bothering them everyday.
Despite traveling in peak season (Christmas/New Years), there was nobody else in my guesthouse. One of the employees took pity on my situation and let me accompany her on her motorcycle as she did errands around town, dropping me off an adorable Thai boutique along the way. I replenished my wardrobe and then rejoined her at an open-air market to buy food.
Truthfully, it was a strange experience. I was just shadowing this woman’s daily life in a place that was completely unfamiliar. Then, we stop at a food stall and I’m handed two plastic bags. One is filled with iced coffee and a straw. The other has several other plastic bags filled with ingredients for some sort of soup.
We wandered around town a bit more after that. She stopped to chat with friends, bargain over veggies, while I happily caffeinated myself and only half-wondered what was lurking within that murky liquid. She eventually dropped me back at the guesthouse and I examined the soup more thoroughly…
…gross. I was not expecting an appendage in there.
Even grosser? I ate that freaking tentacle! I couldn’t handle the dark mauve block of slimy tofu though. Too much.
And, did I mention the national dish of Kyrgyzstan is a boiled sheep’s head? Keep your fingers crossed for that post!