My partner is Vietnamese and loves chili. In fact, she once said to me "I like chili so hot that I can't hear". OK then.
Me on the other hand, my favourite chili is capsicum & my yard stick is KFC Hot n Spicy, so it's easy to see I'm not much of a spice fan.
When I first visited her family in Vietnam I cooked dinner for everyone. Who doesn't like spag bol? No one apparently. For 6 hours I slaved over the pot, making sure it was perfect. Adding some herbs here, fresh tomatoes there. I thought I should add some chili, you know, to impress the future in-laws. I grabbed what they had in the kitchen, little red ones. I cut them up fine so as to make sure they spread around, seeds and all.
Dinner time came and we all grabbed a bowl. There was 14 of us, so I was more worried that we didn't have enough than anything else. I started to eat mine and right away I could tell, I added too much chili. I could tell because I was sweating like a banshee in heat and drinking a sip of beer with every mouthful. I looked around at everyone else expecting to see others suffering but no, they were casually adding more chili. ADDING MORE!
I couldn't believe it. Here I was with a pedestal fan pointed right at my beetroot red face with them thinking I was choking it was that hot. If I didn't add the chili to impress them, I wouldn't have been the ball of sweat, snot and blubber that I was turning into.
I was reminded a day later that I can't handle chili. Oh yes, I was reminded well.