I love the street stall eateries in Asian cities.
I love the easy pace, the small bit of calm and sense of time standing still amid the bustle of the streets just an arm’s reach away.
I love the dripping water, the oily cooking surfaces, the small bits of cleanliness amid the dirty street and abundant trash.
I love the printed “menus” taped to the oily glass panes partitioning the “kitchen” from the street.
I love the prices, cheap enough to let me try things I may not like without any regret.
I love the hardened chefs, the women and men that labor day and night with bored looks and swift hands.
I love the heaps of food that I don’t recognize, or know the names for, but will order nonetheless, with a bit of pointing and butchered pronunciation.
I love the plastic garden chairs, the cheap plates, flimsy forks and plastic chopsticks.
I love the big plastic bottles of sauces, one of them which will surely upset my mouth, stomach and head.
I love the little trays of assorted spices that I have to taste to figure out what they are.
I love the chatting, bored, animated fellow diners scattered in small groups around me.
I love sitting down to eat, not knowing what everything is or tastes like, if it will be sweet, sour or salty.
I love the looks from locals at the obviously lost foreigner.
I love the food.
But that’s just me.