Street meat & shit

Top 4 reasons I love buying street food.
1. The vendors are total characters.
At a fruit stand in Crown Heights, I only have a $20 to buy a single banana so the guy says, “Just pay me later.” When I return 2 weeks later with my $1 bill, he asks how my trip to the Dominican Republic was. Phenomenal memory on that man. Wonder what he did for work in his home country.

2. You don’t always know what you’re buying.
Driving to Lagoon Dudú in the DR, I get an urge to buy rum (what.). I pull up to a stand where a toothless woman guards rows of these bottles:

The price she quotes sounds too good to be true, so I inspect the bottle and ask why it’s so thick, “¿Por qué es tan espeso?” She raises an unkempt little eyebrow at me and says, “Porque es miel.” Aaaaaah, it’s hooooney, riiight. Sold! My Spanish skills aren’t as impressive, considering these idiotic Jessica Simpson moments. (In my defense, it’s hard to tell rum from honey when they’re in the same Brugal bottles). That honey freckled with ants was better than any rum I’ve ever had!

3. What you’re buying is always good.
With zero communication skills in Thailand, I would point at something that looked good and eat it. All of it. No matter what. Like this:

I point at 2 sticks: livers and hearts. But they’re all oh-so-close-together! So I accidentally get chicken butts. Ate them! All four fatty chicken butts. My travel companion was a little weary of some mysterious meat I’d bought us that looked a lot like this photo depicting rat on a stick:

Unable to identify the bones, she trashed hers but I kept eating. When I found a familiar claw, I exclaimed, “Yeey! At least we know it’s a bird!” It was likely duck and definitely delicious. For the record, I can’t think of a grilled meat that I wouldn’t eat. Not one.

4. Street food is cheaper than a travel-sized bottle of hand sanitizer!

Pad thai gai: $0.82. I don’t wanna know what chicken parts they’re using, but can’t be more offensive than the butt.


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