Yes, you read that right, I ate a worm. A live, plump, wriggly, juicy worm but let me explain how and more importantly, WHY.
When I was chosen as part of the team of travel bloggers from travel.earth as part of a FAM trip, I promised myself one thing- I was going to experience everything! If you’ve ever seen the movie ‘Yes Man’, you’d get my drift. Basically, regret was not an option. I’ve been on trips where I’d miss out on certain things because I was either too lazy or I had to wake up too early (I am NOT a morning person) and I would always come back home wishing I pushed myself to just go for it and so when I was chosen for this trip, my mind was already made up.
Fast forward to day 5 of our trip in Sabah and I was very happy with my decision. Granted, nothing we had done so far was that intimidating anyway. We did go river rafting but thankfully were only given a grade 1&2 route which meant that this was something I could handle. What followed was a long list of other exciting and new experiences. From paragliding to kayaking to zip lining, I did it all! We were nearing the end of our trip and I hadn’t yet really been challenged.
On the very last day of our trip, we were taken to the restaurant D’Place and as I entered, I noticed a gathering of people at a table at the entrance of the restaurant. As I walked closer, I noticed people covering their mouths and shaking their heads, I couldn’t wait to find out what they were looking at. The table that was the center of attraction held a glass box with what looked like mud-like wood shavings and a log of wood. As I looked more carefully, I saw several fat and cream coloured creatures that I was told were a delicacy in Sabah. So this is what all the fuss was about!
As I entered the restaurant I learned that so far, no one had agreed to take part in the Butod(the name of the worm) challenge from our group so I said that I would do it. The worms looked harmless and I was hungry! People around me seemed to be flabbergasted that I would voluntarily CHOOSE to ingest a live worm and I myself was not sure why I was completely unfazed by the idea of eating a live, wriggly and disgusting looking creature but I tried not to think about it too much. After I agreed to the challenge, there was a flurry of activity and I was whisked away into a changing room where I was given a beautiful black and gold traditional Malaysian outfit and was told that my challenge would be recorded by the travel.earth team. I was excited. I definitely wanted a recording on my phone as well so that I could prove to my friends and family that I had actually gone ahead with my decision to only say yes and so I handed my phone to my aunt who was cowering in the corner from sheer disgust from what I was about to do. After handing her the phone, I was ushered onto an elevated seating area, I was mic’d and the plate of worms was placed before me. The worms seemed to know what was going on because they went from being stationary to wriggling all over the plate (I’ll admit that I did feel a tinge of pity but I was too far into the challenge to back down). They yelled ‘rolling’ and I nodded at Aunty Mavis to begin recording on my phone as well and I started my challenge. After introducing myself, I picked up the tiniest worm I could find and I tried to take a bite but the worm tried the same and I let out a little scream and placed it back down. I took a deep breath and prepared for attempt #2. I picked up the worm, placed it in my mouth and took a bite. I closed my eyes, expecting the worst and I was pleasantly surprised! The worm tasted like a flavourless grape (it had hints of cucumber from the slices of cucumber that the worms were placed on) and just like that, I completed the challenge! They yelled ‘cut’ and I ran to my aunt to see what the whole challenge looked like to the audience that had gathered and when I pressed play, a 3-second video of me drinking water AFTER I ate the worm played. Turns out, she was so disgusted even watching me eat the worm that she pressed record only after the deed was done! I couldn’t help but laugh. Thankfully, the others had recorded the challenge and I had my proof! After seeing me complete the challenge and survive, the other bloggers followed and we managed to get recordings of everyone completing the infamous ‘Butod Challenge’. If you’re interested in watching my challenge, click here!
When the trip came to an end, I left with some of the best memories I’ve ever had while travelling and that’s all thanks to my decision to say yes to everything so if you want to live life to the fullest, you know what to do!