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Fish Fry Surprise
Submitted by: asaricciardi
Sargento Aldea, Avenida Independencia 2120, Valparaiso, Chile
With five weeks to spend in Valparaiso, Dave and I settled into our apartment and felt immediately at home in this labyrinthine city. The first day we walked to a market for veggies, and Dave spotted a restaurant advertising fried fish.
"Mmmmm!" he licked his lips and looked at me.
"Wanna go?" I said. "Not now, but soon!" he responded.
It took us two weeks before we sauntered over for a fried fish lunch. We had dined at the swanky, locavore type restaurants on the hip and funky Cerros (hilltops), but this place was different.
This was where the locals ate, not the tourists. The decor was cheap and weird, the table cloths a little sticky, but we have never been picky.
In fact, we felt a certain pride that we could spend enough time in one place to really know where the locals go!
We both ordered the same dish, which was a mistake because the portions were enormous!
I wasn't even halfway through when I leaned back in my chair and reached a lazy arm onto the table, the other slung behind me over the back of the chair. "Food coma. I'm out." I said to Dave. "Was it everything you hoped?" I asked him.
He hesitated, but smiled and said, "Yeah, you know. Fried food. It's good, but it's also kinda gross."
Another two weeks went by, and we found ourselves talking over a homemade salad about all the homes we've lived in the past six months of traveling.
I said, "You know, I think this is the first apartment that hasn't had any cockroaches! It's too new. They haven't discovered the place yet, but oh, they will!"
"Oh yeah, that reminds me," said Dave said slyly. "I never told you, because I didn't want to freak you out, but there was a giant, fried cockroach under my fish at that place we got lunch."
"No there wasn't!"
"Siiiiick. Did you eat it?"
"No, I flipped it off my plate when you weren't looking. And, there were a bunch of cockroach legs hiding among my fries too."
I might have gagged a little, but I laughed a lot more.
That's travel for you. Sometimes you almost eat cockroaches.
I'm just thankful it was his plate and not mine. But then again, there's always the chance that he was the lucky one, and I unknowingly gobbled up my cockroach surprise commenting on that "nice, tangy, crunch."