Monday, July 23, 2012

Tamed by a Taco

Today I ran into a strange predicament.  For lunch, we went out to a delicious Mexican place here in Chiang Mai called Miguel's.  It is one of the few excellent Tex-Mex restaurants I've seen outside of the United States.  We started off with chips and salsa, my downfall snack.  (There were many late-night study sessions during college after which I realized I had devoured half a jar of salsa by myself.)  I ordered a taco and an enchilada, and my plate came with rice and beans.  I happily munched away until I was stuffed.  

Tortillas are on the long list of food from home that I miss.
Also on that list: mac and cheese, hot dogs, turkey sandwiches and chicken pot pie.
Looking down at my plate, I had half an enchilada left and the majority of the rice and beans.  Excuse me?  I devoured an eight-course meal last August, have eaten most of a Cottage Inn medium thin crust sausage pizza on my own, have always managed to find room for dessert, and now I'm being felled by a taco and an enchilada?

My appetite disappeared when we first got to Phnom Penh due to the heat, jet lag and the cold I was still getting over.  When I finally started to feel hungry again, the sizes of Cambodian dishes felt like plenty.  I knew that portions in Asia were supposed to be smaller than those in the United States, but I guess I adjusted without noticing.

Chicken Amok, my first meal in Cambodia
That said, there have been moments when the size comparison was obvious.  There were A&Ws all over Indonesia and at the Surabaya airport I convinced Eric to stop in one.  Sadly, they didn't serve hot dogs — I was only a little heartbroken — so we went for chicken strips.  The meal came with three strips and a small container of fries.  I'm not sure a kid's size in the US would be that small.

All American Food in Indonesia
In other news, Eric waited two more weeks to cut his hair.
This looks like the first sign that returning to western foods and portions might be a challenge for me.  We're headed to Turkey* in August, back to richer dishes that include cheeses and heavier sauces.  Until then, I'll be eating as much curry and noodles as possible.

Have you noticed changes in appetite or diet as you've traveled?

Coconut curry on noodles, possibly my new favorite Thai dish
Khao Soi, a northern Thai dish of chicken curry on noodles with crispy noodles on top
It's amazing.
I couldn't decide on a final food photo.

*Eric and I visited Istanbul briefly in 2010 and one of my enduring memories is getting yelled at by a Turkish waiter when I was too full to eat all the food on my plate.  After today, I'm starting to get a little worried.

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