The food problem

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We all love food, we all need food. It’s a key element for survival, and on occasion, for a decent vacation as well. Undoubtedly, problems with food can ruin the travel experience, for a large variety of reasons.

Ever had food poisoning? It sucks, let me assure you. Get it and you’ll spend a number of days in bed and on the toilet instead of somewhere special, somewhere like, anywhere you could be if you weren’t so damn sick. It’s easy to get food poisoning, and often you’ll get it from a less than an obvious source. It’s not always meat; cut/chopped fruit that’s been out in the open sun for a few hours can be the perfect way to ensure you’ll be projectile vomiting for days. Unclean water is another way. There are many ways.

But food poisoning is just one issue. For the average traveller, it simply means you have to be careful and be aware of risks. But what if you are on a strict diet, because of food allergies or otherwise? Good luck finding a restaurant that properly deals with your gluten allergy in your own country. Now try the same in a country who’s language you don’t speak. And even if you can explain it to them, they can still mess up or simply don’t take your request seriously. You can thank Gwyneth Paltrow and her followers for that. Tour operators don’t always do a fine job helping out either, regardless of their promises. Many people with a food allergy limit their traveling, simply because of the hassle. Bringing your own food is an option, but it means hauling extra baggage along. There’s little point to a vacation if you can’t unwind and have fun.

Happen to be traveling to Thailand and suffer from a gluten allergy? Visit for information, help, tips, and so on.

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Another problem? Not knowing how to order. This sounds like a stupid problem, but it’s one that occurs. If you don’t know the language, and the menu doesn’t have pictures, how on earth are you supposed to know what to order? Sure, you can ask the waiter or waitress for help. Obvious right? Well, usually, you’re able to communicate with them and you become a little wiser, but in not so touristy areas, it can lead to more stumbling instead of solutions. Hell, I’ve heard of plenty of stories from people who didn’t even know how to order food. Yeah, the procedure of sitting at a table at pointing at something on the menu doesn’t apply to all restaurants. Some restaurants require you to write things down and hand the writing over at a counter. When my friends didn’t figure it out, they simply left and headed for a McDonalds.

Just getting something decent to eat can be surprisingly complicated. Luckily, there’s this thing called the internet that provides answers. Look up potential restaurants in your area of temporary residence before you actually go there. Travellers with food allergies often write about their experiences and have plenty of tips to offer. You can also go crazy and just point at things on the menu without knowing what it is. Let it surprise you.

Great, now I’m hungry.


7 thoughts on “The food problem

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