Tuesday, March 3, 2009

More On Street Vendors

I mentioned before that I never eat any food from the street vendors here. Sometimes, people tell me that I should toughen up my stomach by eating more of these questionable food and introducing some bacteria in there. Their rationale is that if I did that, I won't have any problems in the future.

I'm not going to do that. It won't kill me if I don't try these foods. I can have the same things in a cleaner (hopefully) restaurant where it is probably of better quality anyway. So I miss out on the novelty of eating by the roadside but at least I'm not boosting my chances of contracting something like Hepatitis A.

Here is an example of why I just can't bring myself to buy food from the street vendors. Bilbo might have had enough of cold white stuff but the kids here can't get enough of it. Obviously, it doesn't snow here in Palembang but they do have shaved ice. And this man is very popular once the school children are let out.

Here he is manually shaving the ice:



Pressing it into a round ball with his bare hands:



Pouring the food colouring on it:



After all that, he'll accept money with those same hands, fiddle around for change, maybe wipe the sweat from his brow or adjust his cap. You get the picture.

I really love watching the people here enjoy something like shaved ice from a man who rides around on a bicycle selling it but I just can't eat it. I think the people around me sometimes think I'm being hoity-toity about it but.....

12 comments:

johnorford said...

with me i normally eat wherever my pals eat. would kinda feel snobbish if i refused to eat wherever they do. probably dumb, but that's my thinking anyways...

Amanda said...

Hi John,
I totally understand what you're saying. I also feel that they may find my snobbish but I just can't bring myself to do it. I'm not lying when I say I have a REALLY sensitive stomach. And, that kinda helps them understand.....

Nap Warden said...

I think I'm gonna pass on the shaved ice as well;)

Bilbo said...

I'm with you, Amanda. In my travels, I've seen some things offered by street vendors that look good by themselves, but turn out to be pretty unappetizing when you see how they're made. Of course, that's how laws are made in Washington, too, ha, ha.

vw: uncemen - the guys you call when you need an unce.

Mike said...

Depending on how hungry you are somethings are worth a chance, most not. I'm sure that guy washed his hands after he peed, right?

Wv - bilato - What you make from shaved Bilbo.

Jean-Luc Picard said...

I don't mind hot dog stands, but that is a little much.

fiona said...

I won't be rushing to buy one, that's for sure!

Jen Jen in Jakarta, Indonesia said...

I'm with you Amanda, I don't eat from vendors, ever, even at home!
-Formaldehyde to improve colour, plastic melted into oil to improve the crispness of fried food, typhoid, hepatitis etc all stop me. GJ tries it all though and has no problems. I just have to look at it and I get a tummy bug.

fiona said...

from what i know, big chunks of ice were n prob. still are transported by sliding them around (on the floor!), covered with (wood?) shavings!
I usually check to see if the ice served in glasses are machine made before i take that drink in eating places.

egan said...

I'm not so much of a germ freak, but that would bug me a tad. I don't think I could eat from a street vendor handling money and prepping the food with his bare hands.

Niam said...

they have this is malaysia probably 50-60 years ago. my mum told me.

Kaylen said...

Seriously---he uses his grubby hands to make a ball with the ice?? And this is okay to people?? No No No No No!!!
I am not a germaphobe typically, but this made me cringe!! Ick!!!