I eat from street stalls at least once a day because the food is ridiculously cheap ($1-2), fresh, and amazingly delicious. Before I started Thai classes, a mere 8 days ago, I was reduced to grunting and pointing at the food I wanted, much like a middle schooler in the school cafeteria.
Sometimes I miss those little heathens.
Anyway, yesterday I was honestly able to order some food at a street stall and have a sort-of conversation.
The Noodle Lady is super nice and says hi to me every time I walk past, and as a bonus, her noodle soup is amazing. This is a transcript of our conversation as recorded by my brain. Keep in mind this is all actually in Thai, people.
Me: Can I please have noodle soup? Please don’t add meat.
Noodle Lady: Muttermuttermutter don’t add meat. *Points at some thin noodles with a questioning look.*
Me: *Shake my head.*
Noodle Lady: Big noodles?
Me: *Nod my head vigorously!*
After I eat the soup, which had some meat in it, Noodle Lady comes over to me.
Noodle Lady: Blahblahblah?
Me: *Deer in headlights. What would be appropriate to say here?* Delicious!
Noodle Lady: *Notices I have left the meatballs and other pieces of meat she added.* Blahblahblah?
Me: Ummmm…I….umm….no like! *Realize all of a sudden this could be an insult, then frantically try to gesture that it’s MY stupid farang (white person) fault, not hers.* Ummm…I am….I am person…
Noodle Lady: *Takes pity on me.* You’re a vegetarian?
Me: *Relieved!* Yes! A little! *This makes no sense! But I don’t care!*
I then paid and walked away from the conversation feeling as though my grasp on Thai was such that I should pretty much be able to run the country.
Today I went back and she made the noodles perfectly, with no meat, and I didn’t even have to say anything. However, I totally ruined my street cred by choking on some chili that got stuck in my throat and I was like, No! I like spicy! Crap! I look like a stupid farang again! Insert sad face here.
I provide hours of amusement for the street stall people. When I walked back by later this afternoon, the guy who also works there said, You’re not hungry?! But I don’t care–at least I’m starting to understand when they make jokes about me, and at least I can eat their delicious food with much more minimal effort, and that’s all that matters.
Ordering Noodles at a Street Stall: 0 Megan: 1
I came, I saw, I ate the noodles I ordered. And I’m going back again because now I don’t have to say anything.