The cook rants at us in French. I speak a little and understand the speech to mean 'sit down and I will bring your food'. My friends and I aren't looking forward to the meal but because we are in a hostel, we have no real choice but to comply. There is set menu: snails. With chips.
As we place ourselves in the far corner of the dining hall, a sickly smell emanates from the kitchens. It makes me feel sick and I watch my friend turn slowly green as the cook delivers our meal.
I laugh at the sight of two slimy looking things next to a pile of salted fries. I offer a small smile to my friend and mutter "When in Fance..."
I start with the snails, hoping to save the potatoey goodness as something to look forward to. There are no utensils, only a cocktail stick. Wanting my suffering to end as quickly as possible, I prick the snail and squirm when I hear a popping sound. Without delay, I pick it up and put the snail in my mouth.
I feel a moment of hesitation.
Should I chew, or should I swallow?