Thursday, June 26, 2014

Breakfast in Bangkok

We cannot go to sleep.  We have to plow through. At 6:30am we leave our condo and start searching for food.  It doesn't take more than a block and we're in this very local alley behind our place where street vendors are already setting up their stalls for the day.  One cart has all the ingredients of Thai cooking carefully bagged in little plastic sacks hanging from a pole to sell to cooks or housewives: cilantro, ginger (peeled and sliced), scallions, dried shrimp, multiple kinds of greens, pandan leaves, kaffir leaves, limes, stalks of lemongrass, tomatoes.  Burners and grills with woks of hot oil are frying up whole fish, chicken, or steaming vats of broth to pour over noodles.  The kids have never been to place like Asia before, and this set up is wholly foreign to them, but they're enthusiastic and ready to sit down on the little plastic stools that front a couple of wooden tables at each of these stands.  We decide on a noodle place and just point to what other people are eating.  We end up with bowls of hot rice noodles with slices of fried pork, onions and some kind of spinach, probably bok choy, and are handed a caddy of four condiments.  There's sugar, dried chili, fish sauce and wet chili oil.  The man motions for us to put a little of each of these on the soup.  So we do.  Chopsticks and square spoons come out of a metal box.  Five plastic red mugs are put on the table filled with ice and a straw.  A pitcher of water appears on the table.  We dig in.  The food is so divine we eat there almost every morning, breaking our routine only a little to sample a whole fish (whose head is stuffed with sticks of lemongrass and bay leaves), meat on a stick covered with vinegar and chiles, deepfried drumsticks and dough balls dipped in honey, and tom yung goong for me (shrimp and red curry soup).   Breakfast is our favorite meal and we are up and on the streets every morning early, loving the routine.

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