Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Local Market

Walking down the sidewalk past an apartment building, I noticed that people just leave their helmets on the fence when they park their motorcycles.  Imagine that kind of trust.

This appears to be a motorcycle adapted for a wheelchair.
Since I arrived in Chiang Mai it's been rainy and chilly.  That's fine with me since I'm in a large hotel room with huge windows and a deep soaking tub.  What an excellent excuse to hang out  and take care of some business on the internet.

I was disappointed with the availability of delicious, cheap Thai food, though.  In Bangkok, if you step out of a hotel you'll run into street food vendors.  I had seen none.  Shocking! 

Today, though, while still overcast and chilly, the rain held off most of the day so I went out to explore my neighborhood.

The neighborhood, between the new Maya Lifestyle Shopping Center and Chiang Mai University, is filled with apartments and hotels.  Surprisingly, given the number of people in the area, there seem to be few restaurants nearby.  There is a lot of traffic.

Happily, I found a small neighborhood market.  I found it with my nose, drawn by the smell of meat barbecuing.  The grill that drew me in had a variety of large pieces of meat.  I stuck with the leg/thigh quarter of chicken that looked perfectly done with a slightly sticky looking glaze.

I pointed at a cucumber and looked questioning.  The charming middle-aged woman who was manning the grill nodded enthusiastically.  I said "salad"?  She nodded harder.  She held up a small red chile, asking if one was ok.  I said two and held up two fingers.  Silly me, it's unlucky to use an even number of chilis, so she added three to the larger mortar where she was tossing in ingredients.  Peanuts, sugar, salt, cucumber, tomato, fresh herbs, lime juice and sprouts.  She added some fish sauce.  She tasted and added a bit more of this and that.  She tasted again.  Perfect balance.

A large chicken quarter and large salad was less than $3.

I strolled on down the street toward more food and produce vendors.  Half of a cut-up pineapple was about $.50.  A bag of dried banana chips was about a quarter.
A small market on a side street in suburban Chiang Mai.  

There were bright pink mushrooms and black mushrooms, the likes of which I've never seen.

And the small orange vegetable?  Looks like baby carrots but wasn't.  Hmmm.
Back in my room I discovered the food tasted as good as it looked and smelled.  I'm still surprised at the few dining options, given the density of housing in the area but at least I found a good spot.

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