The great thing about Phuket is that it is an island surrounded by the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand. Outside our window are fishing boats galore. Fresh seafood is the pride and joy in this part of the world. Being die hard seafood fans, we just could not pass this up. Daily, we have been eating crab, fish, and shrimp. Our maid has a fishing family, and the stuff is literally caught that day. It has been glorious and healthy. We have consumed very little meat these past few months.
One of the big attractions in Patong is the seafood market. Rows upon rows of fresh seafood are displayed, with colourful tables and chairs ready and waiting. As you walk into the market, you are pounced upon by friendly vendors telling you their food was the best, that they would make you anything you wanted. I get a bit freaked out when I am crowded like that, so Jacques was set with the task of determining where we would eat. He methodically went from stall to stall, looking at the seafood on offer. We decided we wanted oysters, lobster and giant tiger shrimp. We finally settled on a place and sat down. Beers were rapidly produced, a welcome relief in the heat. We went to the counter to point out which items we wanted. I chose half a dozen pearl oysters, much bigger than the typical malpeques we get in North America, a rock lobster which is a creature minus the claws, and Jacques chose some huge tiger shrimp. After some explanation, we managed to convey that we wanted things simply prepared. Just grilled with a bit of garlic. The oysters were of course to be eaten raw.
Everything arrived and was spectacular. The proprietor was a lovely woman who kept coming to me and rubbing my arm. She thought it was charming that I tried speaking Thai. Simply things like “delicious, thank you, more beer, no chilies, rice”. After our lovely meal, we were presented with the bill, accompanied by more arm rubbing. She explained to me that she really liked the colour of my skin. The woman jokingly said 1 million baht (about $300,000) and I pointed to Jacques and said Bill Gates. Laughter all round and we bit them farewell, hoping we can taste that meal again.
Well, we did.
That night we were not well. Jacques and I managed to get some form of food poisoning. The battle for the bathrooms began. Fortunately, there are three where we are staying, so you just had to remember who was in which one when you made a “run” for it.
Neither one of us are fun when we are sick at the best of times. With both of us down for the count, this household did not improve. How do you explain “Gatorade” to the maid? Or chicken soup? Or plain crackers? Not that we were able to keep anything down. Fortunately, we had plenty of bread and water. So after a day, Jacques was master of dry toast and tea. I on the other hand, was still vertically challenged.
To entertain myself yesterday, I thought I would get on the scale in the morning to see how I was faring. Four hours later, after consuming nothing at all, I stepped on again and saw I gained a half pound. Go figure. I get food poisoning and actually managed to gain weight!
Overall however, we are both better and have managed to survive this bout. I think though, that I am off oysters for a while. What a shame!