The magic of eating on the street.

by Gareth

July 30, 2020

Hands down one of the most exciting parts of travel for me is experiencing a country through its food. I love to try new restaurants and taste new food. When in a new city I'll usually try the following Google searches:

"Best breakfast place in San Jose Costa Rica"

"Best places that locals eat in Panama City"

"Best Tom Yum Soup in Chang Mai, Thailand"

"Best rooftop bars in Kuala Lumpur" 

Despite the consistency and reliability that comes from using technology and apps to find the best-rated eateries, the most authentic experience comes from eating on the street. From the barbeques on the side of the road in the Philippines, green papaya salad in Thailand, or flaming woks on the sidewalks in Bali - it's hard to beat the experience of eating cheap delicious and fresh food on street. 

My two exceptions to idyllic street food eating experiences.

1. If you're ever in Istanbul I don't suggest the mussels sold fresh that have just come out of the Bosphorus. The Bosphorus is super dirty and I was man-down for two days. My friend Kath was down for a week.

Looking at this photo I took I guess I should have known not to eat anything from this river. - Istanbul Turkey.

Looking at this photo I took I guess I should have known not to eat anything from this river. - Istanbul Turkey.

2. Gili Trawangan, a tiny island in Indonesia has huge open-air street food market selling fish and other produce. I always check the freshness of the fish before ordering it from the street. But when we were told to sit and wait for our food to be prepared I'm certain I saw a different fish go onto the grill. It went down ok but a few hours later I was in colours of trouble. Stomach grumbles and constant trots to the restroom much to the concern of the German girl I'd met earlier that day on the beach.

A street food market in Chang Mai at Night

Over the last few months to stay centred I've been very conscious of the media that I consume. Wanting to stay positive and centred anything that is too violent, over-dramatic or too much conspiracy theory doesn't get much air time. Minta and I are always looking for light-hearted, feel-good flicks or series. So this week when we found Street Food Latin America and Street Food Asia we were ecstatic. Each thirty-minute episode explores the street food culture in a particular city. The video production is next level and each episode tells the empowering story of a street food vendor. Behind each street food stall is a human story.

Trailer for Street Food Latin America click here

Street Food Latin America on Netflix here

Street Food Asia on Netflix here

If you watch the Latin America series you'll see and experience why I love this part of the world so much. Episode 3 is about Oaxaca City Mexico where I lived for a few months. Here is my Perfect Day Oaxaca City video I made from my time there.

Happy armchair travelling. 

One last thing on this series. Each episode (in the Latin American series) has original audio in Spanish. By default, Netflix added some English voice-over that accompanied each episode. About halfway through the first episode, I realised that the English voice was generated by an AI audio generator. The AI listens to the original audio, translates it to English and then tries to match the accent. It does a pretty good job (about 98% perfect) - but when you listen carefully you can hear words, clipping and slightly weird non-human speech. The machines are starting to take over but there are still some glitches! 

Let me know if you notice it. We ended up watching with the original audio and English subtitles to improve my Spanish. When I realised it was a machine speaking to me it felt a bit weird!

In case you missed it.

5 "must discuss" topics with your new romantic connection

I revisited the 5 most important topics to cover when getting into a new relationship. This communication model would have simplified all of my previous relationships. Take a look here.

A powerful reframe of a time that someone cheated me out of a deal.

Yesterday in my meditation had an amazing realisation of a story that I think I'd been holding onto and found a place of gratitude to let it go. A few years ago I was working on a property deal hoping to get some equity in a new development for bringing some investors to the negotiating table. Despite putting a lot of life force into the deal I was cut out at the last minute. I was pissed off.

When I reflect back now I'm so grateful for what happened. It forced me into a new life path! 

If you want to watch the video "The best thing about not getting what you ask for" click here

A perspective on the craziness of 2020 so far.

Since the George Floyd incident, I've been aware of the theme "I can't breathe" and it's relevance to the respiratory disease that is Corona and all of us covering our mouths and noses. The act of breathing seems to be becoming more difficult. 

"As within, so without." 

This article takes this analogy and unpacks it to include the global context of our planet battling to breathe.

A quote I’m pondering:

“The artist understands that destruction is part of expansion and is willing to do what’s best for the masterpiece.” - Danielle LaPorte author of The Desire Map.

Some music

A little dirty RnB album I got really into a few years ago and I'm enjoying going back and listening to again. 

Kiss Land - The Weeknd - listen on Spotify here


About the author

Gareth is a Lifestyle Designer, a Perfect Day chaser and a minimalist. Based in Guatemala his highest joy is creating content that helps and inspires people to Live More Perfect Days.

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