Thursday, October 25, 2007

Noodles Noodles Noodles

I have long bragged to friends and family the ease at which I find varied and delicious food in this here kingdom. I rarely run into trouble finding something I want to eat. I ran into a few problems in the north of Thailand.

After leaving Samoeng, we headed further into the mountains, and further from any large population centers. We we would eventually head toward Pai, Mae Hong Son, and Mae Sariang, but we chose some long and very sparsely populated detours. It wasn't about the cities and destinations. It was all about getting out into the countryside. It was somewhere between Bo Kaew and Ban Wat Chan I realized my attempt to do some posts about food in the north was failing.

I learned a very simple lesson about the acquisition of food on this particular leg of the journey: the food is where the people are. Genius. Luckily, there are almost always noodles.

Noodles for breakfast, lunch, and if you're lucky, dinner. Don't let me fool you. We did manage to find rice meals in real towns, but many places out in the sticks could only be relied upon for noodles and water. It became amusing trying to convince a noodle seller to do something else with their noodles besides straight in the broth. We got desperate for a little variety. Here's an example conversation with a noodle seller:
"What is there?"
"I have noodles."
"Do you have any rice?"
"No. I have noodles."
"Can you fry the noodles?"
"Ok, never mind. Make me your finest!"
And on it went. On occasion we saw a wok present, but it was no good.

Communication became difficult at times as often many people's Thai wasn't much better than ours. On the bright side, there was always something to fill our stomachs. For that I was grateful. Also, I always do appreciate how at the less generic noodle stands (often outside of Bangkok) there are often a lot of veggies added to the bowl or you are given a bowl of veggies to add at your discretion. It makes it more of meal that way.

More to come.

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