I consider myself a pretty respectful traveler. I make reasonable efforts to consume local cuisine. I demonstrate what I consider to be an above-average level of interest in the history and lifestyles of the countries I visit. I try to see things beyond the tourist-trap circuit.
But I have to admit, it is a struggle to apply these principles before 9 am. When I rock up to the breakfast buffet, I want bread and cheese and jam. Rice and fish are great, fine. But I don’t want them for breakfast. Thanks for the offer of beans and chipotle, South America, but wait til a dude has his pan and queso, alright?
Sometimes I’m surprised at my own dickishness about this. I’m perfectly capable of seeing something like crocodile or cow tongue on a dinner menu in a foreign country and thinking ‘hmm, interesting’. Last week in Jakarta, though, when I saw that my hotel was offering fish heads as part of the breakfast buffet, my first thought was ‘Eww, what the fuck, Indonesia?! Get it together.’
I don’t know if this will wear off as I get older and travel more. I have a sinking feeling that it may just spread to lunch and dinner.