Friday, March 10, 2006


Wow. I did it. I ate the herring. Which is to say that I allowed a raw, bone-in fish covered in raw, chopped onions and sandwiched in a cheap hot-dog bun to have access to my mouth.

This was some straight-up Fear Factor shit, folks. I am ready to go head to head with Joe Rogan after today. Putting that herring in my mouth was almost exactly like french-kissing a slug with the added value of having my breath reek of our intimate moment for the rest of the day. Also, I didn't just french that slug: I ate him. Oh my dear Dutch Lord that was just truly wretched eating! Once again my most primal instincts kicked in and AGAIN I made the "Oooh-wat" sound, and this time I had to spit out what was in my mouth. But delicately, like a flower. Like a Dutch tulip I was with the spitting of the herring. This oral violation occurred in Delft, by the way, in case anyone wants to file an international police report on my behalf.

Though the weather remained literally piss-poor, we decided to cycle to Delft, a city famous for its blue and white china, rather than take the train. The Dutch LOVE their bicycles, and I LOVE that they do, because it makes the entire country seem quieter and, let's face it, dorkier. It is inspiringly dorky to see families and businessmen and ladies in skirts and old men and little kids and sexy teenagers just biking around. And NOBODY wears a helmet! When I asked my brother about it he said, "Do you wear a helmet to walk around? It'd be like that." Huh. Now I kind of want to walk around with a helmet JUST TO PROVE A POINT.

So we rented bikes and cycled under grey skies and chilly air to ANOTHER charming Dutch city. Delft basically looks a Hollywood set; it's as if someone from the Disneyland Urban Planning and Policy Commission acted as a consultant. Canals? Yup. Cobblestone streets? Totally. Crooked churches dating back to 1607? Yawn, snooze, unconsciousness. Delft is all that and...not much more. It was quaint. It was cute. It made me "Oooh-wat" in public with its baby-fish-guts. "But aren't you glad you tried it?!" my brother asked me. "Uh, no," I said, my eyes tearing from the effort of my dry heave.

I lost a part of myself today. I know travel's supposed to make you stronger somehow: gaining perspectives, learning about different cultures and therefore yourself and all that hooey, but no. No thank you. A part of me died when that creature from the sea passed my lips and entered the precious portal to my soul. I will come back from The Netherlands, but not as a whole person. No, a little piece of me is gone. Which piece, I don't know, but I'm reasonably certain that it smells like fish and onions.


Blogger crabbydad said...

Stumbled across your blog, put it in my mouth, and I must say I enjoyed it immensely. Funny with a healthy helping of snark and a hint of cilantro.

My grampa used to eat herring by the handful? Ladle-ful? He ate it a lot. And I "oooh-wat"-ed every time I witnessed it. My hat is off to for sticking something so horrific into your mouth (if only momentarily).

I eagerly await your next dry heave.

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