So maybe I was not telling the whole truth on why I am OOO (Out of Order) today.
Last Saturday, a colleague brought me to the market. I love markets despite being a little bit chaotic. It reminded me so much of the ones we have in the Philippines. The problem was the heat. It was like I was punched in the face. It was a sweltering 32 degrees Celsius there in the city.
I lived in a tropical country all my life but since I migrated to one of the hills in North Sumatra, it doesn’t feel so tropical at all. We have 18-24 degrees Celsius everyday, sometimes lower.
So I think that one set me back. And then I had to attend a travel fair which could have survived the light of day without me. I have to remember not to attend such things again unless I need to buy a trip for a cheaper price.
And then I went to Cemara, the biggest Buddhist temple in Medan. It has become a local attraction. People of all kinds are there. The rows of street kitchen and restaurants probably also added to the appeal.
So dinner time and we decided to have our feast there. The colleague has been dying to let me try Sayur Assam since she learned that I like sour taste. She caught me picking green mangoes from the tree in the city office one time and that sealed it. Anything that is sour, Leslee will like.
I was curious what this Sayur Assam is. Sayur means vegetable and Assam means sour in Indonesia. From the picture I saw it looks like the Filipino version of Sinigang. If it is, I won’t have a problem with it.
I checked the ingredients: shrimp, beans, cabbage, eggplant, tamarind, fish stock, turmeric, almond, shallots, garlic and dried shrimp paste. Sounds like Sinigang to me except for the shrimp paste.
The dish came. A soupy dish. I tried it. The sour taste is overpowering. Then there is the sweet taste. But the killer was the shrimp paste. I almost puked. It was horrible.
When asked if I like it, I said it is interesting.
I finished one whole bowl without breathing but promised to the self that I will not touch that dish ever again in this lifetime.
Until now, I can still taste it on my tongue. It has that lingering effect which makes me cringe my nose.
I hope I learned my lesson. Just say no.
But the problem with me is I always find it hard to say no. Haaaayyyy.