I’m finding it hard to try to put into words how I’m feeling about going to South East Asia for 2 months. It’s completely outside of anything I’ve ever experienced before. There’s no framework for me to fit this into, or other situations in my life that it is comparable to. I guess you could say that I’ve lived a pretty sheltered life.
I grew up in a Christian home, went to a Christian elementary school and attended a great church back home (the Cambridge Vineyard). As for international travel, I’ve been to Florida a couple times and around Europe with my parents the summer before last. So, not much in the way of interaction with foreign cultures or developing nations. I’m sure that I’ll adjust once I get there, but right now it’s the great unknown!
Probably the thing that I am worried about most is the food. I can’t eat spicy food. It’s not that I don’t want to eat it, it’s just that any time I do I have to be prepared for violent hiccups. I get hiccups after eating anything hotter than mild salsa … and mild salsa isn’t even that spicy! I’ve had people suggest things like yogurt or sour cream to help mask the spices, but that doesn’t work when you’re lactose intolerant! Other unhelpful advice from websites has been: “avoid spicy food” – not completely possible in SE Asia! I had never heard of this spicy hiccuping phenomenon happening to anyone else, but apparently there are others like me: (http://www.thaivisa.com/forum/Link-really-Spicy-Food-Hiccups-t222347.html) (See?? It’s not that weird after all!!)
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! I’ll let you know in the next post how I’m fairing with the foreign food fare!