Street food: Thailand

Have you ever had a boring job? I have held several, really boring jobs including some that were actually pretty good like making sandwiches and working the deli at Whole Foods Market in my hometown of Austin, Texas. Incidentally Austin is the birthplace of WFM, when I was just a tot my mom would take me downtown to their first store, a little hippie co-op not much bigger than a 7-11. Now they’re like the Microsoft of natural foods.

Yeah, so when you have a boring job but you’re not a boring person you find ways of making it interesting. Like this talented gentleman in Chiang Mai, Thailand, making banana pastries on the side of the road.

In cities all around the world busy people are in a hurry, many of them are hungry. For this captive audience there are armies of street vendors ready to take their cash. In Big City, USA, you’re likely to find a hot dog cart – easy to eat with one hand, somewhat filling, and cheap. But every culture has its own street food and frequently its not the kind of thing you’ll find in a sit down ethnic restaurant. You have to be there to experience it.

Big City, USA, has street vendors because there are pedestrians, but most anywhere else in our country people are driving in cars so there’s no money in keeping a walk up stall like this. Instead, since nobody is walking you need something that people can “drive through” in their cars. Hmm, what could that be?

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About Matt Thompson

Matt Thompson is a project cataloger at The Mariners' Museum library. He has a Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill and was formerly a professor at ODU. You can find him on Twitter @m4ttTh0mps0n.
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One Response to Street food: Thailand

  1. David says:

    The Thai guy has turned his cooking into an art form and has some serious skills with both food and cooking utensils. Sad to say though, that as a testament to the amount of time I have watching TV I’m similarly skilled with the remote control :p

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