Monday, September 14, 2009

Slurping Soup All Day Long

When I'm sick back home, I go out and buy a can of Campbell's Chicken Noodle Soup. Usually, I feel worse after eating it.

Here, when I am sick (did I mention I am sick? not Swine Flu Sick, though), I walk about 100 paces from the castle and sit down on a mini-plastic chair at one of the ubiquitous soup carts in our market for the most delicious, nutritious soup on the planet. And when I eat this soup, I feel like Superwoman. Superwoman with a runny nose, however; it's hot and spicy to get a good, healthy sweat going in the humidity. You kind of feel like you are sweating out the Sick.

For some reason, last year I was a bit shy about sitting down at these stands. It's a pretty intimate situation, ovbiously, and often you have to shift your seat when the motorbikes make their way through the crowded alley. But I am seeking the best soups for when my family comes in December. My dad, especially, loves soup, so I just endure the soup makers' and patrons' staring and snickering as they watch me fumble with using the spoon and chopsticks at the same time.

I'm trying to imagine all eight of us sitting down on these tiny chairs in the alley. Maybe I will have to send everyone out in twos and make a schedule to shift them through all of the best carts or something.

Anyway, this woman's soup is my current favorite. Look at all the goodies she puts into it: pork, pork rind fat, huge prawns, thick round rice noodles (you can barely see them peeking through the bottom) and lots of tasty, crunchy greens and lime.

And- I know I have mentioned this before- but most of the really great soups are served for breakfast. Yep, this culture slurps noodles all day long.

Katherine and I are hooked on the pho stand right around the corner at night...I kind of alternate between that one and my Chinese wonton soup cart and end up eating soup about four nights a week. Now I'm eating it in the mornings, too (more to add for my new definition of "normal").

Since I had my camera out, I decided to take pictures of the two women who have a daily morning contest to say "Hell-O" to me first as I walk by. They are set up right across from one another - one sells onions,
whole garlic, minced garlic, shallots and minced shallots, limes
, whole peppers and crushed peppers (so muc
h of the work is done for you here), the other sells men's gym shorts and towels. So when I asked Garlic Lady if I could take her picture, in the same competitive passion that she displays each day, Towel Lady says, "Me, me!" That is why she is laughing so hard in the picture.

Since I had soup so early this morning, I will try for round two at 11, before the market closes for the day. But for now, Superwoman is going to take a nap during her Swine Flu Time, Day II.


Mungo said...

Makes more sense to eat soup with pork rather than chicken to fight off the swine flu...

Brian Bowker said...


Cecilie said...

Get well soon! :0)

marjie said...

Mungo, I had not thought of that. You are right - it will provide natural immunity!