Monday, May 28, 2007
Noodles in the street
Don't shoot me
Shanghai, China, May 2007 [Click to enlarge]
The scene: As we walked down a narrow alley on our way back from the market, I noticed a woman preparing a bowl of noodles on the none-too-clean sidewalk. On-the-street food preparation and sale was pretty common throughout the city, but this particular scene seemed to take the practice to a somewhat more bohemian extreme.
I'm no culinary whiz, but I'll admit that seeing this made my tummy turn a little. Now that I'm safely home and have the time to scan the details of the image, my queasiness only gets worse. I suspect this wouldn't pass any kind of government-sanctioned hygiene standard from back home.
But here's the rub: I wasn't home. When you travel, you eventually need to accept that standards and baselines of behavior and conduct aren't the same from place to place. And just because it seems "dirtier" here doesn't mean that it's wrong. That's the way things go, and you either learn to adjust your own baseline, or you risk going hungry.
The only problem with this image lies in the fact that she saw me pull the camera out of its bag, and covered her face. I finally got this image after we had passed her. I wonder if she thought I was going to bust her.
Your turn: Food from the sidewalk. Please discuss.