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Day 22 – Poetically Justified Schadenfreude

November 1, 2010

Location: In bed, Lima, Peru

Date: Monday, November 1, 2010

For every yin there is a yang. For every dawn there is a dusk. For every purchase, there is a price. For every R2-D2 there is a Jar Jar. For every season, there is a turn turn turn.

The last two days have been about as perfect as I could hope. I have been neck deep in Peruvian food and culture. Unfortunately, today things evened out. After a spectacular run, the wheels came off the car and I careened into a gastric wall. I fell ill.

When I travel I usually eat less than I do at home, in part because the portions abroad are smaller and in part because I try to save money. (Sure, I’ll splurge on a special meal here or there, but that’s on par with any other unique activity like Machu Picchu.)

My first two days in Lima, however, were the opposite of temperance. The first day was an orgy of food and the second is best described culinarily as “The Day of the Pig”—nearly everything I ate was delic. . .made of pork. (e.g. A meal I didn’t document involved thick slices of bacon with rice and fried sweet potatoes.)

All that fat and starch (Peruvians love eating potatoes with their rice) and the sheer quantity of it all threw my system for a loop. Doug had warned me. On his last trip, he experienced flu-like symptoms because of, shall we say, blockage. I heeded that warning, eating as much veggies as I could find. I did not heed it enough.

In the morning I felt fine, but tired. By lunch I was shivering even though I was bundled in my winter gear and some people in the street were wearing t-shirts. Lightheaded, I couldn’t bring myself to take full portions of a colorful lunch. Unable to eat! Something was definitely wrong.

I excused myself from the restaurant, went back to the apartment, and slept for 6 hours.

That was up there with any of my roughest nights I’ve had traveling.

Was it worth it? Absolutely. I’d do it again in a heartbeat or a stomach pulse, as the case may be. Though next time, I might stop at the third or fourth plate.

Special thanks to Doug, who took the title picture without my knowledge.  He is the photographer of my pain.  I couldn’t do it and I’m glad somebody did.

I Couldn’t Put It in My Mouth—An infrequent feature on not eating food

GALLERY: No bonus pictures today. Some things are better left to the imagination.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. November 9, 2010 11:35 pm

    Hmmmmm…..there really ARE some things that being (more or less) kosher will deliver you from!


    Although it’s true that you miss some things that way.

    Hope you’re better soon!

    • November 10, 2010 2:16 pm

      I’ve always said, “If you haven’t hurt yourself, you’re not really trying.”

      When you are a food adventurer, you have to expect to get injured every once in a while. Nothing worth doing didn’t come without risk.

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