The question that I have been pondering in the last few days is, can a chilli kill?
The reason I have been thinking about this is because a chilli, or a slice of chilli nearly killed me. Well almost.
We were at a popular lunchtime spot called Quan An Ngon, here in Saigon. I was happily eating away at my Green Papaya Salad with Sliced Pigs Ears, and some Salad Rolls with Pork and Shrimp. These were going down very well, when I decided to try some of Lina's Hue Style Pho, which was fantastic. But it needed a bit of heat to match the Salad I was eating, so I reached over with my chpstix and picked up a slice of green chilli, and said to Lina, "I am addicted to chilli, I need the heat", and popped it in my mouth. Within 2 seconds it attached the back of my throat like a firebomb. I have never felt such pain before and so quickly also. Lina said my face went red from the bottom up, and my eyes were watering. I grabbed over and picked up her coconut and finished off her juice, then downed a bottle of water I had in my bag. Still the pain was there. Was it ever going to go away. Finally after a few minutes it resided.
Whilst this was going on, I was trying, and did a good job of keeping the pain in. No screams. Hopefully noone noticed around us that I was in incredible pain.
I always thought I could eat any chilli, as I really am addicted to them. But normally they just burn the front of my mouth, never my throat as this evil monster did.
The last time I felt real pain was a few years ago in a restaurant in Palenque, Mexico, we were given some nachos and a dark red chilli dip to go with our beers. The chilli's burnt my lips and tongue, but I kept going back for more and more. The pain was intense, it felt as if the front of my mouth was on fire. I was red and sweating, but I still scooped up loads of the dip on my nachos, knowing what it was going to do to me. But I had to keep that feeling going. Addiction.
After this recent incident, I have been wondering, could a chilli actually kill, and so how many times have these little devils struck. Should they be given a warning. Could you sue a restaurant or shop if you encountered a particularly fiery beast, and they never warned you. But isn't that the fun, every chilli could be that ticking time bomb, waiting to strike when you least expect it.
I, myself will continue to play Russian Roulette with these little time bombs. I enjoy living life on the edge.