Despite my traveling to far-off lands, I’ve rarely had a case of food poisoning on the road. Actually, I’ve only had one that comes to mind after eating at the Alliance Française in Abengourou, Ivory Coast. I was the unlucky victim to having eaten what were otherwise delicious meatballs the day after a power cut from which their freezer hadn’t restarted. So it goes. I was much happier having that very fast heave-fest that the day or two my more steel-stomached ally experienced in eating the Swedish meatballs at the Ikea in Sacramento, California.
And that’s really the thing of it. All of my episodes with a meal hell-bent on making me one with the “thunder bucket” were in the “civilized” world. I think I’ve been taken down at least four times in San Francisco alone. I attribute some of this to having what is probably a stomach made of tissue paper from having drank horrid irrigation water as child–nobody mentioned to my city folk parents that what came out of the tap was not potable when they bought the farm. But, it’s also the fact that people are dirty (like dudes with a half meter beard making my food in San Francisco) and the more advanced a society is, the more it stores its foods, and the less fresh items are eaten. Food storage, while in days of yore had its merits, is now rancid.
Take for example, eggs. It takes some time to get used to them not being refrigerated in Europe. But, in the end you think, “Fuck it, it’s getting cooked/boiled/poached, so who cares?” The problem arises though when you mistakenly buy hardboiled eggs in the supermarket. Why on earth would anyone buy hardboiled eggs? To put it succinctly, I don’t fucking know unless there is a huge degree of foreigners who don’t understand that they’re hardboiled and buy them. That and people could just be lazy as all hell.
My foray in to Spanish hardboiled eggs promptly ended with a worship of the porcelain Buddha, throughout the night, without my stomach needing any call to prayer to show bare my neck to the almighty lord of gastroenteritis. Needless to say, I won’t be making that mistake again and I’m still, as of now, mystified as to why these are even being sold. Sure, I’ve bought them as a snack before, like in Ghana where street vendors have them, but they’re fresh there. Actually, all over Africa they have hardboiled eggs to buy and many a loved one and friend have basically lived off them without issue. They haven’t been sitting on a shelf all day and I’ve never had a problem buying those hardboiled eggs, just those in the fine establishment of Mercadona.
On that note, I think it’s time to go cook up the wild asparagus I just picked for lunch and make an omelet with some fresh, farm eggs.