|Dishes on display|
Popping raw chiles has become kind of an addiction for me; the resultant endorphin rush is worth any temporary discomfort. My mom's experience has become my litmus test for whether something is too spicy for me: if I lose my hearing, I've gone too far (Fingers crossed it hasn't happened yet, not that I haven't pushed it a few times...).
On our first full day in Bangkok, we were at lunch with my Thai brother and his friend, and I saw the little red chilies innocently hanging out on the edge of the plate, thought "Why not?" and popped one into my mouth, to the mild horror and amusement of my dining companions.
At first I was thinking "This isn't so bad." But then, inevitably, the heat started building, the insides of my ears started to hurt, and my eyes began to water. To get through it I just kept eating rice (no water; that's the worst) and slowly, slowly, the fire abated. Totally worth it (I personally believe that subjecting myself to this trial set me up for the intensely spicy somptam that we had in Chiang Mai a few days later).