06 Dec

Remember That Time…Creepy White Guys And Surprise Soup

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…

17 thoughts on “Remember That Time…Creepy White Guys And Surprise Soup

  1. 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. 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.
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  3. @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!

  4. 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.
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