Remember That Time…Creepy White Guys And Surprise Soup

06.December 2010

Remember That Time, Thailand

Now that we’ve returned home and have settled back into our routine lives again we find it funny how our travel stories keep coming up. Invariably one of us will look at the other and say ‘Remember That Time…’ I thought it would make a good series; a way to tell these small stories that take us back in the blink of an eye.

I should have known the day was going to go downhill as we passed the creepy, white guys in the ‘lobby’.

It had been a long day on the bus and we had arrived in Kon Kaen (in central Thailand) late in the afternoon. Planning to stay only one night we sought out a cheap place to sleep.

Looking around at the old, wooden walls and floors I could see what Lonely Planet described as ‘past glory’. And it did indeed look past but, when you’re looking for cheap; beggars can’t be choosers. And it was cheap…150 baht…about 5 bucks.

Ten minutes later and we were hauling our bags back downstairs. The room was as creepy as the white guys in the lobby and all I could imagine was the sounds of illicit sex seeping through the walls at all hours of the night. Some times cheap is just not worth it…so we hightailed it a few blocks away and spent more than double that at a business-type hotel! (My records show we spent 400 baht instead…about $13…price becomes distorted when travelling and we thought this to be an expensive hotel…I know, crazy!)

Hungry, tired, and cranky we set out to find a bite to eat. We didn’t want much…maybe just some BBQ chicken and rice (the popular local Isan dish)…but couldn’t find anything that fit the bill.

Finally, we happened on a corner with a few soup vendors. We pulled up a couple of low stools and headed to the cart to see what was on offer.

Thai food carts are amazing. In a small, hand pushed, cart the lady had a full kitchen going on where she could make salads and noodles and, her speciality, soup.

There were three huge vats of soup. One looked like a thick, pasty chicken noodley like soup, one looked like a rich beefy broth and I can’t remember the third. We ordered up a chicken noodle and a beef simply by pointing at the vats and went to sit. A few minutes later the steaming hot soup was delivered to us in huge bowls.

Mine was indeed a thick, starchy chicken noodle soup – a little bland but it would fill the hole until morning.

J dug his spoon into his soup and came up with a spoonful of chickens feet and blood cubes!

Chiang Mai Market, Thai Farm Cookery School-1

Yep, full on chickens feet, and more than one…it was a generous portion of skin, nails, tendons, and ligaments…yummy. Served up with a good dose of congealed blood cubes. That’s right; blood that has been drained into a flat pan, allowed to congeal, and then cut into cubes.

I looked over at the soup lady to see if she was stifling a giggle as we realized what we had gotten ourselves into, but she looked as nonchalant as ever as she served her next customer. This was not unusual to her and so why would she think we would be upset about it?

Jason was a real trooper here. Although he ate neither chicken feet nor blood cube, he did tuck into the broth and managed to get enough in him to fill his belly for the evening.

We eat soup often now that we’re home and we often chuckle to each other and say Remember That Time…

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17 Responses to “Remember That Time…Creepy White Guys And Surprise Soup”

  1. Jamie Says:

    Funny little read. Thailand is a major destination for me on our rtw trip next year. Based on stories like this ( and many other horror food stories I’ve heard) it is also a place that has me nervous. But really, like you say…. It’s normal for them. So I suppose that brings me back down again. Seriously can’t wait :-)

  2. Amy Says:

    Oh god, I couldn’t do it. Kudos to Jason for stomaching even the broth. We’re in Thailand now, and the food has been delicious so far. But they do seem to like to eat EVERYTHING from the chicken. I usually get fed up trying to eat around the skin and fat and just skip the chicken all together.
    Amy recently posted..Shirakawa-go

  3. Ayngelina Says:

    $13 is totally the high end of my budget and if it doesn’t include breakfast I’m heading elsewhere the next day.

    So funny at home we wouldn’t hesitate to spend that on breakfast alone.
    Ayngelina recently posted..How to watch football like an Ecuadorian

  4. Michael Hodson Says:

    Just happy for any story about creepy white guys that doesn’t mention me…. ;)

    This is a good tale. Thanks for sharing.
    Michael Hodson recently posted..World Cup 2022- The Drinking Guide to Qatar

  5. Lisa E @chickybus Says:

    I’ve had some unusual soups, but not one with “blood cubes.” OMG! :) I’m glad you opted for the better room. I agree that cheap is not always worth it.

    Sounds like a great adventure, of course, and that’s what it’s all about!
    Lisa E @chickybus recently posted..SWF in Syria concl- Tips for a Great Trip to This ‘Bad Boy’ Country

  6. Ryan Says:

    Blood cubes? Oh my goodness, that just sounds vile. At least chicken feet aren’t that crazy…

    Glad you made it through that night… definitely a memory!
    Ryan recently posted..The Paradox of Motivation

  7. Gillian Says:

    @Jaimie: don’t be nervous…this was the worst we got…but I had expected even worse!

    @Amy: we SO miss the food from Thailand…well, except this one I guess!

    @Ayngelina: I was just discussing the distorted price paradigm with my girlfriends at lunch yesterday…it’s true!

    @Michael: I’m sure you aren’t a creepy white guy…right?

    @Lisa: I had never seen the blood cubes before either – took us a while to figure out what it was!

    @Ryan: you’re right, at least chicken feet are recognizable!

  8. Matt Says:

    Chicken feet and blood cubes…dinner of champions! I love stories like this. I remember eating with my sister-in-law and her offering me some of her food. Not one to turn something down I put it in my mouth and started chewing. It had an interesting taste and texture. I asked her what it was. Cow brain. I’ll take chicken feet any day.
    Matt recently posted..Climb To The Top Rung And Hang On

  9. Cole Stan Says:

    It’s really creepy if you are not used to those stuffs. In some places, chicken feet and blood are barbecued than used to make soups. I can’t imagine hows your experienced to eat something weird like that affect your taste to any kind of soup!
    Cole Stan recently posted..Engraved Lucky Horseshoe Money Clip for Men

  10. Zablon Mukuba Says:

    the cubes were made of blood? isnt that something. i am sure you miss your days on the road

  11. eric Says:

    eeeewwwwww!!

  12. Nick Laborde Says:

    I wonder if I should start practicing at home before I hit the road. I could probably get chicken feet for free too. I would be killing two birds with one stone (pun Indented), saving money and training.
    Nick Laborde recently posted..The Association of bad ass people AKA The Travel Blogging Community reverb10

  13. Shenee Says:

    HA, this was funny! I love Thai food.

  14. Shenee Says:

    But not that kind : )
    Shenee recently posted..Reverb10 Beautifully Different Party Wisdom

  15. Kyle Says:

    Haha, that’s one hell of a post title and definitely a hilarious read :)

  16. Dave and Deb Says:

    Hey we are in Thailand right now. Gonna see if I can hunt down the chicken foot blood cube combo. Might even beat the pigs snout and tail soup we saw in China…..mmm I’m getting hungry now, how about you?? :-)
    Dave and Deb recently posted..20 Best Moments in Travel of 2010

  17. Julian Durnford Says:

    Knowledge rests not upon truth alone, but upon error also.