If you stick a pin in the center of town and draw a circle with a 2500-mile radius there is more of the world’s population inside that circle than outside. It is a true circle of life.
A few miles from that pin is where you’ll find us. Ensconced in a random high-rise among random high-rises. On the night of our arrival I felt thrust into a scene from Blade Runner. Thousands of windows. Aviation lights winking in the dark. Bigscreen animated billboards setting expectations. The sounds of reality rising up from the streets.
The smells of Bangkok’s street food waft up as well. Seemingly every curb is occupied by someone frying, grilling or hustling something edible. Noodles, rice, soup, meat on a stick, fruit juice.
My walk to work passes through one such impromptu food court. Fully cooking by 7 AM, it’s vanished by 4 PM. The smells on my morning stroll are drool-inducing. I slow my pace as much for the smells as I do to avoid the red hot braziers and people blocking my way. I worried that I couldn’t possibly decide or know what was safe or desireable to eat.
Then in walked Huit. (Pronounced Who-it, really quickly) She solved my culinary dilemma.
As near as I can tell after one full day in the office, Huit is a woman I work with who has taken on lunch responsibility for the office. Through a handful of nouns, some smiles and interpretive dance, she will determine your food preferences. Pay her 30 dollars and she will procure your lunch for you from the food stalls down the street. Perusing what looks good, fresh and clean.
My prayers have been answered. For a buck and half a day, I would do this forever. And forever may be what it takes to try every item down there.