If there is one thing that I have come to keep in mind whenever Itravel is to watch what I eat where I eat it and with who. I came tolearn this after an incident that happed in 2008 during a familyholiday trip to Thailand. Given that this was my first time to travelabroad, it affected my view of travel very much and also taught me animportant life lesson that I have learned to observe always when Itravel. This largely involves traveling into new countries andregions where I am most likely to experience new people and a newculture.
This event ruined what would have been a perfect holiday for myfamily. Everybody was very happy that we were going to spend the endthe year and beginning of a new year in a new environment and a newcountry together as family. My parents had made it clear that we weresupposed to remain together all the time. She had expressed her fearsof kidnapping and getting lost which seemed quite irrelevant to methen. I remember my mum stressing to my sister that Thailand was ahotspot for human trafficking and thus she insisted that we were toremain in the vicinity of each other throughout. I remember very wellI had dismissed her worries as just paranoia.
So it happened that we traveled on a Friday evening. For eightstraight hours, we were in the air. Soon we landed in Bangkok whichis the capital city of Bangkok. We had made travel arrangements witha local travel agent and soon we were whisked to a plush hotel in avan. On the way to the hotel, I could not help but wonder about thethousands of people we saw in traffic. The air was relatively putridand the heat going from the any people with tiny umbrellas shieldingthemselves from the sun was hot. I would think to myself that thiswas the perfect weather for the beach with Thailand’s beachesdescribed as some of the best in the world by Vidler and Davies (6).
However, by the time to go to the beach came I was in a differentmood. After four days of visiting major attractions, we chose tochange a bit. On one afternoon, my sister and decided to walk aroundthe city of Bangkok to see around and do some shopping. Although ourparents were skeptical they agreed on condition that we had a localguide recommended to us by one of the drivers from the travel agentcompany. The guide in his early twenties was a young man who seemedto have a peculiar slanted posture. He agreed to show us around themany malls. After we did our shopping, he advised us to explore thelocal cuisine.
Interestingly, we obliged without even second thoughts. He advised usto visit one local hotel where meals were affordable. On secondthoughts, he led to make shift eating joint where the meals were evencheaper. I settled on trying out the Massaman curry with beef whilemy sister tried out the hot and sour soup with prawns which wereheavenly. We left the hotel and on the way back to the hotel, ourguide advised to taste some oysters which I did not particularly likeas they had a funny taste. Woe unto us the oysters turned out to besomething else. We had been drugged.
Surprisingly, we came to ourselves about an hour and a few minuteslater without our shopping the guide or any form of cash. Up to now,I have never known what kind of drug was that but I am glad it lastedjust a few minutes. Despite losing everything, we were very gratefulthat we were not harmed or even worse kidnapped for ransom ortrafficked elsewhere to be sold. This experience is what makes methink again and again about trying out local foods whenever I travel.Although many people tend to fear food poisoning and such stuff, I ammore worried about being drugged and losing my belongings or even mylife. Thus whenever I travel, I am always careful of what I eat,where I eat it and with whom I eat it.
Shields, Munling.Essay writing. New York: Sage. 2010. Print.
Vidler, Steve andDerek Davies. Thailand: A travel adventure. New York: C.E.Tuttle. 2006.