In an effort to strengthen my stomach before the family grand tour of China and Cambodia in July, I have been availing myself of the culinary delights offered by two lunch trucks near my office. They always have long lines (well at least one of them does), so I thought I should try it. They're convenient, they're cheap... why, they're ptoumaine-y good!
On day one, I purchased a fairly innocuous steamed chicken, noodle and broccoli dish, which was nice and simple. The second day, I decided to try something else. I can't for the life of me remember what it was, but I remember feeling only mildly queasy for the seven hours following lunch. On Wednesday, I decided to forsake my new favorite lunch truck and try the lunch truck next door. Both trucks serve Asian food, and both display health certificates, so I thought, "What could go wrong? I'm two-for-two!"
I chose a chicken-garlic-scallion combination. With the lunch truck, every day is like my birthday, as I bring the styrofoam container back to my office and have no idea what's in store when I open the lid. It's magical!
I opened the lid on this day and laid my eyes on the most horrific-looking pile of "chicken" I have ever seen. Said "chicken" was actually knobs of gristle and fat with minuscule amounts of dark meat. I moved the pile to the side so that I could enjoy the rice and the one piece of broccoli underneath. I considered eating the styrofoam container. After lunch, I had a rather uneasy feeling; what I imagine one might feel after accidentally eating a human foot.
Finally, on Friday it was back to the old, reliable lunch truck. I decided to order tofu with peanut sauce. After all, how can you screw up tofu?
I learned that you can screw up tofu... you can make it really mushy and wet, and then you can pour a gallon of peanut sauce that's the consistency of slightly warmed-up Skippy on it. Once again, I picked at the rice and ate the one piece of broccoli.
I think I am done with the lunch truck, as I believe my stomach can now survive anything. I now know that I can eat freely on our trip without worry, and will enjoy everything from street vendor meat-on-a-stick to live chickens.