I had already begged a woman to write down the name of her ground—what, pork?—dish that first melted my brain. She scratched a couple Thai words on my notepad. Later, I learned she’d written “lunch.”
Bangkok’s street food astounded, but I’d known it would. To visit is to know that the city’s tastiest dishes are served in the gutter. This wisdom I carried one sticky evening into an Internet café that smelled like Windex and lime. I pointed at some words on a menu and grabbed a plastic chair. One minute you’re refreshing your browser, the next you’re rethinking your values, your world, because of this soft-shell crab that’s appeared. Crispy, light, hot, tangy, weird—I don’t know what was happening in my mouth, but suddenly I saw the next level of street food, and it was bathed in fluorescent lights and tapping of keys. I’ve had good food since. Not as good.
This appeared in the August/September 2013 issue. Image courtesy of Rigmarole/Flickr