In my past life I went out for a living – as in out. Every night. All night. While it was fun and all, the mornings were not. Thus, about ten years ago, I started the quest to find the ultimate hangover cure. I worked at a company with many Australians who naturally suggested Berocca. Which, frankly, sucked. As in – didn’t work. Here’s a list of what else I’ve tried over the years which didn’t work:
- A variety of “organic” hangover cure pills which vitamin companies tried to shill every year.
- Alka Seltzer before going to bed and in the morning (okay, fine… it made me feel marginally better).
- The hair of the dog (not to be done if you have to be at work the next day).
- Greasy ham and egg sandwich followed by a V-8 and half a bottle of Visine (in the eyes, not the mouth).
- Drinking a gallon of water before going to bed (which results in five trips to the bathroom that night, thus ensuring a fully interrupted sleep).
While, some of the above made me feel marginally better, nothing was the perfect cure. After years I’d given up and resigned myself to banging headaches if I went out hard. [Don’t judge – we all gotta do it sometimes. And not just on Christmas!]. Until I went to Hanoi, Vietnam, and went to lunch “local style” with my pal Lan. Local style is a euphemism for drinking. A lot. We sat cross legged on tatami mats in an open air café overlooking the lake John McCain once crashed landed in with Lan’s friends – some other tour directors and a high ranking Communist official named Thang. Beer was in place of water and everyone immediately started munching on frog leg stew, spring rolls and taking shots of vodka and rice wine – which tastes a lot like sake mixed with moonshine and kerosene.
It was a bit of an epic five hour lunch which ended with me belting out a mean karaoke version of Lionel Richie’s “Hello” in what I later found out was a brothel. Fun fact. [Another fun fact: karaoke joints in Vietnam are brothels – for Asian clientele. The “pool hall” bars are brothels for Western customers].
The next day I wanted to die… until Lan introduced me to the miracle cure: the Vietnamese alka seltzer: which is half ephedrine (to wake you up) and half codeine (to kill the pain). And voila! within five minutes I was up and ready to hang at the Hanoi Hilton.
And so, if you all decide to tie on one, make sure you have one of these little babies (pictured, top) handy. You will thank me for it.
I am sharing this with you, my duckies because:
1. I care. And sharing is caring.
2. More importantly, my stash is running out and I’m desperado for more – so if anyone is going to Vietnam and wants to be my new best friend forever, please pick me up a box or five.