Thursday, August 28, 2008

You know that scene in the first Harry Potter book...

...where Harry goes to the train station, and he's all "It's just a normal train station. I don't see what the big deal is," but actually, it's a magic train station? (I'm paraphrasing here. I hope that Phil Nel isn't reading this.) That scene from Harry Potter is sort of what the alley branching off the left of our little street is like. Yesterday morning I had to get up before Erin and catch a taxi down to my doctor's appointment, and when I left our apartment I smelled this amazing food, peered down the alley and saw several street vendor carts had magically appeared there. I've been bugging Erin all of yesterday and today about getting up and going out there in search of breakfast. Today she relented, and we ate the most amazing food. We also explored more of the magic alley. Forget Carre Foure. I'm never going there again. Our magic alley has everything in it--a traditional open-air market, a building with a bunch of different food shops, produce salesmen, a meat vendor, and a place to get ice cream. The magical alley has old men on stools playing Chinese chess, little twisting branching streets full of people with blankets selling things from Converse knock-offs to Pokemon toys, tea shops, you name it. It was such an unassuming alley. It might be my favorite magic alley that I have ever encountered, including the strange one in Port Townsend, WA that leads to the hidden bar with the half-door, hobbit-sized entrance, and the alley in Seattle that leads to the youth hostel and the Alibi Lounge. This alley blows those magical alleys out of the water. I feel like I'm a character in Pan's Labyrinth, only less terrified of everything. At the top of this post is a picture of the most amazing 0.439149 USD breakfast (that's right...43 cents) that I have ever had the pleasure of eating. I bought this at the mouth of the magical alley. Erin is trying to find out what the name of this thing is. Basically, the little cart has a flat griddle surface on it. The first part of the process is kind of like the process my French friends use for making crepes. You start with some batter, and smooth it into a circle with a tool just like the one used with crepes. Next, you crack two eggs onto the batter before it solidifies, and mix them in. Then, some sort of salty plumb sauce is applied. While this is cooking, fresh green onion and cilantro gets chopped up and tossed onto it. Next, this fried, dough thing is put on top and crumbled. Red pepper sauce is added, and then the whole thing is folded twice onto itself and placed into a little bag. I'm going to try and make a movie of the very nice lady who runs the cart making one some time soon. It was fascinating to watch.


Rho Ell Ste said...

I look at this blog every
Sometimes three
times a day. This is my everyday
When will the next post come?
The kitties are doing
The other day,
Jovi kneeded my armpit for
over ten minutes. The other morning,
I woke and felt a great weight on my lower back. It was Athena, turns out.
What have you been teaching lately?
How is the novel coming along?
You must be just
about already done.
Or you are done--
since you're in the future in China.

Benjamin Dean-Cartwright said...

Elliott, that was such a nice comment! It has also put a fire under me to make a new post. I'll take my camera with me today when I go teach and take some pictures. I'm glad that Jovi and TINA are doing well. I miss those guys. I hope they're keeping you and Rob out of trouble.

Leda said...

Thanks for writing this.