The Challenge Of Eating Balut (Part 2)

By BobbyRica | November 10, 2010

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I stared at the dead duckling and then looked at the sweet young Filipina girl smiling back at me. She cooed to place the balut into my mouth. I hesitated at first. Then I prayed to the gods to prevent anythingt nothing bad happens to me. I closed my eyes and popped the entire thing in my mouth. I immediately chewed as I felt the soft yolk hit my tongue. A small stream of grayish oily fluid streamed down my cheek as I tried not to process what I was eating. I can hear the soft crunch of duck bones immediately being masticated down into mush. There is also some chewy bits from the duckling meat. An unmistakable meaty smell permeated into my nostril as I knelt chewing. All this time, my gaze still fixed on the beautiful little Filipina girl who beamed with pride.

Then she said. “See, I know you’d like it.” But before she could finish the sentence, something went out with my reflexes. The great amount of balut mush that was in my mouth rushed up and flew out of my nose. Akasha suddenly turned beet red as I was choking and gagging. I can feel my sinuses getting blocked. Whatever that was left in my mouth, I spat out. I was retching so loudly, the people around me were running away from me. I was also sneezing out the food that got into my nose. The young girl yelped and ran towards a security guard.

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Since we were nearby the hotel, one of the bellhop — who was in his civvies — ran towards us and helped me back into the hotel. While I was wheezing and trying not to retch, I was calling out to the beautiful girl who had enchanted me that evening. With raised arms, I wanted to see my tropical princess again. Just for a few more moments. My eyes were getting watery. But she didn’t return.

So with a broken heart and balut in my nose, I went back to my hotel room crying and alone. I never got to see her again. Maybe she was banned from ever selling balut near the area again. Or maybe she fled, ashamed. I wish I can see her again. And without that damn balut.

So ends Day One of my trip to Manila. What wonders await me next, I wonder?

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