San Francisco – When paradise backfires

August 8 to 12

San Francisco wasn't what we expected it to be. For weeks Johnny and I have been planning what we'd do in San Francisco, or more specifically what'd we eat. In Kuala Lumpur after going out for more delicious satay and shaved ice dessert, we got back to the hotel and I told Johnny that I think I'm going to be sick. Like Dalat sick. A minute later I was throwing up. Food poisoning is bad enough but it was made all the worst knowing the next day I was going to be trapped on a plane flying across the Pacific Ocean.

Evil cold buffet that should be hot. This isn't the buffet I'm blaming for making us sick but this is an example of a cold, day old buffet that Johnny and I constantly came across in Malaysia. It looks yummy but they're best to be avoided. What was I thinking having salad from one of these places


After a long restless night Johnny and I walked across the street to the train which would take us right to the airport. I felt pretty horrible and Johnny helped me a lot even though at this point he was starting to feel sick too. By the time we were past security we barely had energy to move and I could hardly force myself to eat a plain piece of bread.

Johnny started to feel sick about 12 hours after me and his theory is that he caught food poisoning from me. Is that possible? My theory is that nostalgia bit us in the ass. When Johnny and I were cycling up Malaysia in January and February there was one thing that we both had a distaste for. Cold buffet. In the country side, buffet that sat out all day was a fact of life. We generally tried to avoid it because who wants cold food that should be hot and has been sitting out exposed all day. When we got to Kuala Lumpur a couple days ago we were so excited and I for one was overcome with nostalgia and I was feeling invincible. So when I saw cold buffet I thought it would be great to have it one last time (Johnny had a couple bites of my disgusting mushy, warm salad). I find it so ironic that we made it through India without getting sick but two days in Malaysia had us tied to a washroom.

What else is there to say, travelling for 20 hours with food poisoning sucks but eventually we did make it to Johnny's sister's and her husband's place in San Francisco. Even though we weren't feeling great it was nice to be back in North America after seven months and it was lots of fun hanging out with the family.

Once we got past security in the airport Johnny really started to feel sick too. See that muffin, I nibbled on that thing for four meals. Usually I'd nearly be able to swallow it whole.

How sad. We were served three meals between Kuala Lumpur, Manilla, and San Francisco but we were hardly able to have a bite

Our passports are stamped and we're outside of the airport. Johnny and I officially went to the Philippines!

The airport in Manilla is the worst we've ever been to. On our layover we had to go to a different terminal which should be no big deal. The shuttle is supposed to leave every 10 to 15 minutes except it took at least an hour. We had to pay for the shuttle to take us a few minutes across the airport to the other terminal. Luckily I had a little spare American cash. Once we got to the new terminal Johnny and I walked in circles around the outside of the airport trying to figure out how to get inside. Once we finally made it inside we had to pay $30 for their airport fee; clearly they need the money since the airport is old, grungy, lacking in signs, transportation, and amenities, but it's a tough pill to swallow since there's nothing to show for the money. Never going to the Philippines again.

At least we got a nice view of the sunset as we wandered around the airport trying to find a way in

One of the things we wanted to do is go to a San Francisco Giants game. After a little last minute scrambling we were able to get some good tickets. Doesn't Johnny look good in all his gear

At the game. Even though there wasn't much happening on the field, it was still lots of fun

Johnny's sister and her friends. I was a little envious of them. Before Johnny and I got sick we were excited to go to the game and have a beer and hotdog. Then Johnny's sister said they have the best caramel popcorn at the park. Unfortunately because of our stomachs Johnny and I only managed a couple pieces of popcorn. It was so fresh and gooey so we'll have to go back so we can have a real taste

The next day we had lunch at a bunch of food trucks. Luckily by this point Johnny and I were able to enjoy our lunch. I enjoyed it so much I ate my lunch and one of Johnny's sliders

Weeks ago Johnny and I made a list of what we wanted to eat in San Francisco. Mexican at the place by Johnny's sister's, beer and hotdog at baseball game, deep dish pizza. We missed the first two but one night we met up with a friend and his boyfriend who moved to San Francisco from Vancouver. It was great being able to see them and the pizza was soooo good.

mmmmmm. I just don't understand why we can't get pizza like this in Vancouver.

How come Johnny's the one who ordered the large ice cream but it was me who ate most of it.

Our last day in San Francisco Johnny and I actually felt good enough to walk around and go for breakfast. Our stomachs were still healing as even though we could eat, every meal would leave our stomachs aching and it would remain that way for a couple more days. It's surprising how in sync our bodies were in terms of symptoms and when we actually felt better. Anyway, I look at this breakfast now and it looks pretty average. At the time Johnny and I couldn't believe how BIG it was. After coming from Asia, Johnny and I couldn't help but be amazed at portion sizes back in North America.


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    2 Responses to San Francisco – When paradise backfires

    1. Laura-Dawn Matta says:

      Sign me up for some of that deep dish stuff…yum yum!! Too bad your journey back was rough with illness but it is soooo great to have you home! I wonder if there are foods you’re still wanting since returning? Or if there are now Asian dishes that you miss?? Maybe too soon ….

      • Houston Marsh says:

        There’s not really much I’m craving now. Come to think of it Mexican sounds good. The only Asian food I’d want is some Vietnamese vermicelli or some fake Chinese food like sweet and sour sauce. Yummy

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