STREET FOOD AND FLU IN KOTA KINABALU, BORNEO, MALAYSIA.

OR BACK FOR MORE OF THAT LOBSTER TOO!

After recuperating from my flu I was determined to get out on the KK front for something which cannot be missed, the night market. Although some of it is for the everyday food of the locals there also is a street food section. Amazing! Although my second time there I lusted for that electric atmosphere of the night market. Legs still a bit wobbly I slowly walked from my cab across that buzzing beeping waterfront street. I had been in my luxurious hotel for three days now just resting and writing my journal sat at the roof bar, and in my room sleeping.

Exhaustion travelling solo is a bitch as you’re open to sickness, and it had got me by the throat and strangled me. I would go up for my incredible breakfast thinking I’d go for a stroll after in a sedate and civilised way only to go to my room for my bag to collapse again in my bed. You can’t fight it you just have to rest but I must say I’d met a lovely friend there who was always available for a chat and who I finally went to the island with for snorkelling. I called her Darling Daughter and she called me Mummy for some reason, no doubt some conversation I had had with her while a little merry from the hotels generous cocktails

The muddy path next to the chicken stall is evidence of torrential downpours

The fishing boats come in to the side delivering the fish and crustacea direct to the stalls. On the mountains of crushed ice beautiful arrangements of brightly coloured beauties are arranged. It’s mind boggling the array. I noticed to my distress those parrot fish with whom I had swum the previous year (well obviously not the exact same ones) were up for offer along with some very exotic looking items. I had an uneasy feeling that is ecologically was not on but how beautiful it all was. In my heart I knew I couldn’t really face eating Mr Parrot with his beak for loudly crunching on dead coral or some of the other brightly coloured fish that kinda looked like they could be pets. The blue crabs looked sort of evil as if they contained cyanide and some of the other fish had faces that only a mother could love. The clams seemed a good idea and I wasn’t disappointed.

Parrot fish and friends

Alert: Although street food is a great way of trying a countries cuisine, do make sure that it’s all super fresh like in this market. It’s a bummer and a false economy if you fall sick. Make sure however fresh it’s cooked through if it’s chicken especially and don’t plump for something that could be left over from the day before. Remember it’s not always good to be too hip and risk that snack from a very ethnic but possibly poisonous delicacy. We all like to be adventurous but still keep a sharp eye. check out if the locals are using it and if there is a high turnover at the place you choose.

The colours and smells rock your world, this hard core protein bonanza is yours for the asking, you point at what you fancy and they weigh it and whisk it off to cook it behind the display. The heady smell of garlic and spices they use gears you up for your culinary delight of the night. I sat at a plastic table with an ice cold bottle of beer in my hand waiting for my fishy feast and drank in the atmosphere.The brightly lit stalls twinkling in the night and sizzling or steaming pans full of goodies. Lots of excited bargaining and people craning their necks to try to decide what they were having with such a huge choice, so difficult. The fish wives were shouting and teasing some with rather low voices until you see, well yes, they are men, very beautiful lady boys as exotic as their wares.

The sweet buttery juices from my clams which tasted of the briny sea from whence they had just come were so delicious and fragrant I swooned. Prawns were delivered to the next table and lobster which is their speciality there and I was told by their proud owners that they were indeed delicious.

Huge mixture of delicious stuff!

Walking away and to a bar for a cocktail overlooking the harbour I felt nostalgic. This was my last night and in the morning I would be in Bangkok. Goodbye KK you have been so kind to me in my hour of need. Recovering from the flu, tempting me back to normal life and finally feeding me a banquet on my final night.

Bangkok here I come!

OVER AND OUT FROM A FAT, FISHY GUZZLER, REBECCA X

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