The lobby of our hotel on the beach opened up in the back to a wide boardwalk that led straight to the sand. Del had suggested a seafood place for dinner, so we left the vegetarians of our group (whose number grew daily), and set off down the street for a nice long walk. The restaurant was right at the water’s edge, and, unfortunately we had to see our food swimming around in glass containers and awaiting inevitable death. Del ordered everything for us, partly because this was not a tourist destination, so the waiters did not speak English (nor was the menu readable to us). He was intent on our trying something we never had before and ordered horseshoe crab, steamed fish, some oversized version of escargot, and giant tiger prawn.
Brittany saved me by ordering fried rice, but of course it was laden with shrimp and squid. Next were the snails. One was about the size of my fist. After destroying the prongs of my fork trying to extract the creature, I tried to dip it into some spicy sauce first, then put the whole thing in my mouth. With every chew, the rubbery mass seemed to expand in my mouth, and I grimaced at Del. Next came the horseshoe crab, which looked more like a hard-shell stingray. Del said we were supposed to eat the eggs, so I imagined caviar. But what Del scooped out of the hard shell looked like chickpeas. I tried some, but the paste steadily became drier and drier. I chugged some water as a remedy, but now that Del was on his 2nd liter of Heineken, he did not seem to notice my green face.