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Cinnamon patrol

Mr and Mrs Lili Wedding


David's big day out

Yesterday we had decided to take it easy and preoccupied ourselves only with finding a nice shack for brunch. Then we would walk back to our guest house and proceed to do nothing.

We had a delicious brunch of aloo palak and Goan fish curry and then struck up a conversation with the tattoo-wallah and the massage-wallah. Both were quite chatty and I enquired about where to buy paan, something I had read about many times but which is not really available in New Zealand. The tattoo-wallah organised through several middle men for a young boy to run off and fetch me some, which he did at length. (Meanwhile, we both got henna tattoos: Laura's of a stylised flower and mine of "David" in the language of Karnataka).

The boy returned with two "masala paan", which were 25 rupees each. We paid him another 20 for his services. Laura went to pay the bill while I stuffed one into my mouth. As I chewed on it, liquid that tasted like a mixture of lemon, chilli, salt, and pepper ran down the back of my throat and I started hiccuping immediately. By the time Laura had paid the bill I felt extremely intoxicated (I'd say the equivalent of a half-dozen or so vodka shots + a handfull of panadeine - I'm not sure if it was laced with anything but my god it packed a punch!). I panicked a little, not expecting this at all, but tried to relax into it; it became quite pleasant. Laura went for a paddle in the sea. (I should mention I had spat the mixture out after about 30 seconds instead of leaving it in the side of my mouth and chewing on it for sometime, as is the custom).

The feeling of extreme relaxation was quickly overtaken by profuse sweating and a very prickly heat. Laura was sitting next to me as I vomited all over the sand next to our table. Luckily, sand can quickly cover these types of things up. Very nauseated I sat on my chair, trying not to move my head. The shack boys bought me some water, which I had, and then vomited up (I felt very sorry for the people around us, as, without going into detail, my fish curry was red, and Laura's aloo palak which I had eaten some of, was, well, bright green of course).

At length I sat there sipping on a lemon soda until I felt well enough to walk back to our guest house. By the time we did get back, it was after 4pm. We'd left at around 11.30! Today I feel fine except for sore stomach muscles and I will never again eat masala paan - it is an evil evil thing indeed.


Laura says:

This was a scary proposition indeed. We were a good 5-10 minutes' walk from the nearest road (and thus transportation to a doctor), and this is only the second time David has puked since I've known him. Everyone was very helpful, but not unduly worried, which kept me from losing the plot completely and demanding an ambulance.

However, paan is well and truly off the menu. Forever.

It was a shame about the puking - what a waste of two particularly delicious curries!


Some photos below - cows in the street, a night market with hippies, just another beach-side restaurant.

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Anonymous Anonymous Says:

I reakon that the vomit/digestion problems are a right of passage when eating in Asia. If you haven't had some issues after a while, you haven't been trying hard enough!



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