I ATE A SCORPION IN Bangkok

· ...and I could use the Men in Black “Flashy Thing” now ·

Rachel:  “Have you tried a scorpion?”

Me: “A what?”

Rachel: “You know, the thing with the sting…”

Me: “I know… I just didn’t know that was an option.”

I always try things once. Whether it’s falling out of a plane voluntarily while being terrified of heights or swimming with sharks despite vivid flashbacks of Jaws.

I’ve always believed that you can’t be a slave to your fears, or you are never truly free. Hence me trying a scorpion-on-a-stick during my Thai adventure. Let freedom ring.

It was one of those things that I would do if I saw it. IF the option presented itself I couldn’t punk out. Because now, the conversation had already been had. Now  I had been challenged. As we walked around Khao San road with the backpackers of the world,I figured there would be activities tourists enjoy. Things like bargain shopping, drinking at bars and eating at restaurants filled with normal people food. I love a good Pad Thai. I assumed we would have so much fun buying bracelets for only 20 bhat somewhere that no one would remember our bet from the previous day. I thought we would have to go to a dark, back street to avoid the oddities of insects-for-consumption because that shit had to be illegal.

Wrong.

The moment I stepped foot out of the tuk-tuk, fate slapped me in my face with a PLATE of like — Forty-seven scorpions. Not only were the scorpions torched to a crisp, they were HUGE. Really, God? They couldn’t be tiny little things the size of a snap pea?

 

 

Our tour guide, “Peach”, our new travel friend, Rachel, and of course Brittnie and her evil side eye instantly remembered that I said  I would “eat a scorpion, no problem” yesterday.

Peach popped a scorp’ in her mouth like it was a potato chip and my brain exploded because:

I’ve never seen anything so disgusting in the entirety of my life. But, I always keep my word. I knew what I had to do. Maybe, just maybe, I could nibble a leg or something that would suffice for the masses.

I was shaking uncontrollably. My stomach twerked to a heartbeat faster than a soca song. The look of it disgusted me the most. It was enormous, HAIRY, and still in tact.

All eyes on me. All iPhones too.

When you eat chicken, you don’t necessarily feel like a terrible human. You aren’t eating the chicken in the same physical form as it was when living. You just know chicken as chicken and not a chicken.  Imagine holding a full beaked feathery dead chicken and chewing its toenails. You don’t feel like Hannibal Lector because you are ignorant to what’s happened to Chicken Little and ignorance is bliss.

My thoughts ran rampant to deter me from the task at hand. Did this scorpion have a nice life? What did he eat before I decided I was going to eat him? Was he found in a dumpster or raised on a eco friendly scorpion farm? Did he have babies that miss him?  Is this really worth $3? I could get a drink for this…

Brittnie: “ARE YOU GOING TO EAT IT OR WHAT?!?!”

I HATE Brittnie sometimes.

I took a breath. I said a prayer.

CRUNCH.

I thought to myself — You know…the taste isn’t bad… it’s like a salted potato chip had a baby with a seaweed snack. BUT THEN ITS EYES ARE RIGHT IN MY FACE WHILE I’M CONSUMING IT!

“I can’t.”

Peach takes another bite of another one of hers. Because, by now she’s had two.

I tried the tail. This time I broke it off and it was better.

I didn’t eat the whole thing. My odd backwards morality and left-side angel on my shoulder/conscience was like “Nawl…you proved yourself already. You did it. It’s done.” It’s mind over matter. It’s not the taste that’s the issue. It’s the idea of it that my mouth couldn’t move past.

It’s one of those things that you could do… or you could totally skip and move on with your best life. You’ll never regret missing your chance of trying street food scorpion because it’s actually nothing to brag about. You’ll just have people wondering what the hell is wrong with you. Much like half of the tourists passing me by shaking their heads and getting a drink instead, for the same amount of bhat.

Ash did that, so hopefully you won’t have to go through that.

To see the full video of this traumatic experience, click here

Ashley Nguyen

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