This evening I had dinner with two friends. One of them wanted to go to a ramen place downtown. I was fine with that since I quite fond of noodles and soup of all forms. I did warn him though that the last five or six times I’ve had ramen, I’ve had to poop with varying levels of urgency within two hours of eating it.
I’m not sure what’s with ramen that causes such a reaction. I’ve definitely had ramen without any ill effects but that was a long time ago and I can’t remember the last time it went down without an incident.
My most recent encounters with ramen have been quite an adventure. More than a year ago, I had ramen at this new place and I didn’t even make it to the end of the meal. Things started rumbling and crashing inside me about ten minutes after I finished my bowl. Luckily, this place had really nice single occupant washrooms. I won’t go into the details of what transpired in there, except to say it was explosive.
That was probably the worst experience and my other ones have been less severe. Sometimes it’ll be anywhere between half an hour to an hour before I feel anything and once that happens the urgency will be anything from mild to great concern. At any rate though, it’s serious enough that it has to be dealt with before I can do anything else. Like I wouldn’t even think about having ramen and then going to a movie. That’s just asking for trouble.
So for dinner tonight, I decided to see if I could change things up. Usually when I have ramen, I get it with a tonkotsu broth, which is a very rich, fatty, and flavourful pork-based broth. It’s my theory that the richness and fat of the pork in the broth is more than my digestive system can handle. To test this, I ordered a ramen with a chicken-based broth. It was much more clear, clean and less rich compared to tonkotsu.
Our whole meal went without incident. I was thinking maybe I was onto something by avoiding the fatty broth. My friends and I left the restaurant and then went somewhere else to hang out and talk. I felt fine the entire time. About an hour and half after we finished dinner, we all headed home. As usual, I took the train home, quite content that I didn’t have to deal with ramen poops for once. Then approximately ten minutes from my stop, I felt that very familiar rumbling in my intestines that signaled that something was up.
Luckily, the build up of the intensity was relatively slow so it wasn’t a full-on emergency while I was on public transportation. While that was certainly true, make no mistake, this was definitely something had to be dealt with fairly soon. I made it back home without incident but by this time there was a level of discomfort there. I dropped by keys and wallet on the kitchen counter and made it a bee-line to the bathroom where I sought the release of what was ailing me.
So, while it was delayed this time by about two hours, I did not actually escape the ramen poops. What is it about ramen that causes me to have this reaction? I’m not sure. When it comes to other noodle soups, I’m fine. I’ve never had problems after eating a bowl of won-ton noodle soup. I eat pho on a very regular basis. I had it last week actually. I feel totally fine after a bowl of pho.
My situation with ramen has come to the point where I really question if I should have it if I won’t have easy access to a bathroom within 10 to 30 minutes after I eat it. Perhaps I should avoid it for the near future? I would really like to know what in the bowl of ramen causes this problem.