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20 Sep 2017 104 views
 
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photoblog image Yangon Circle Train #13

Yangon Circle Train #13

There is interesting stuff happening all along the trackside path.

 

Here the rail runs through a section of agrisuburbia where the main crop seems to be Morning Glory [aka water convolvulus]...in the main image, two cutters have made their load and are now carrying it the traditional way to the nearest railway station with intention to get it to market as soon as possible. The secondary image gives an idea of the extensive Morning Glory plantation.

Yangon Circle Train

 

The lady with the funny hat is a food retailer...she is carrying her entire stock on two large trays on her head, and has her portable retail outlet in her right hand. Her specialities are BBq'd pork, chicken and fish on bamboo skewers. This food is surprisingly tasty!

Yangon Circle Train #13

There is interesting stuff happening all along the trackside path.

 

Here the rail runs through a section of agrisuburbia where the main crop seems to be Morning Glory [aka water convolvulus]...in the main image, two cutters have made their load and are now carrying it the traditional way to the nearest railway station with intention to get it to market as soon as possible. The secondary image gives an idea of the extensive Morning Glory plantation.

Yangon Circle Train

 

The lady with the funny hat is a food retailer...she is carrying her entire stock on two large trays on her head, and has her portable retail outlet in her right hand. Her specialities are BBq'd pork, chicken and fish on bamboo skewers. This food is surprisingly tasty!

comments (14)

  • Martine
  • France
  • 20 Sep 2017, 00:10
Cela a l'air d'être très lourd.
Ray: C'est certainement une lourde charge, Martine!
Certainly a different way of life!
Ray: Oh yes...this is true. Many people in SE Asian countries live this way, Elizabeth.
Definitely a different way of life, Ray. I wonder what most Western kids would think of this, especially i someone told them THEY would be living such a life in a couple more years!
Ray: Many kids would think you were offering to cut their throats if you gave them this lifestyle offer, Ginnie.
  • Philine
  • Germany
  • 20 Sep 2017, 06:20
What a wonderful name for the plant the men are carrying: Morning Glory! Very interesting scenes you captured here!
Ray: Morning Glory is a common flowering climbing plant in English Gardens, Philine. It also grows very well in SE Asia's hot, wet climate. It makes a delicious meal.
  • Chris
  • Not Nowhere
  • 20 Sep 2017, 06:35
All very intriguing Ray
Ray: I hope that is a good thing, Chris.
  • Lisl
  • England
  • 20 Sep 2017, 07:41
Forgive my ignorance, but what do they do with morning glory, Ray?
Ray: These ends of the Morning Glory runners are used extensively as food for humans and for some lucky animals, Lisl.

Morning Glory might be my favourite stir-fried green vegetable...here is an extract from the book I wrote on Thai Cooking:

<<<.>>>

1. Morning Glory

When I first came to Thailand I had a chuckle while reading the menu every time I went to eat at a restaurant.

Like restaurants everywhere, Thai restaurants all carry the staple dishes; in Australia it is likely to be things like rack of lamb chops, porterhouse steak and tirimasu [Give me a break!]; in Thailand one can expect every restaurant will have chicken green curry, fried rice with crab meat...and pad puk boong fie daeng.

What's so funny about that? nothing really! It's the English name for the dish that makes me chuckle...morning glory. He he he! There I go again!

[Morning Glory, of course, is the name we give to that glorious involuntary stiffy that turns the bed sheet into a tent as we wake in the morning after a long, languid sleep.]

This has got to be one of the simplest, but most delicious, dishes.

Ingredients are:

Large handful [better make that a couple] of the vegetable called puk boong, rinsed and perhaps torn coarsely.

Several fresh, crushed red chillis.

Several crushed cloves of garlic.

Quarter cup of oyster sauce.

Tablespoon of cooking oil.

Cooking Instructions:

1. Bung a wok on a large roaring gas ring.

2. Tip in the cooking oil.

3. Fling in the chilli and garlic, and get it moving so it doesn't burn. Count to 20.

4. Splat in the oyster sauce.

5. Heave in the vegetable; move it around for a few seconds so it is all covered with the sauce. As soon as the tips of the leaves have gone limp...

6. ...tip it into a serving bowl; rush it to the table; step quickly back from the table to avoid being doused in uncontrolled gushes of salivary gland excretions from the diners.

pak boong basically means "vegetable known as boong". It is some kind of water weed. It has long straight hollow stems, each with about 2 to 4 long thin delicate leaves on it. It is dirt cheap; a fat bunch of fresh vegetable will cost about 4 or 5 baht in the local market. It is very versatile; can be eaten raw, served in soup, included as the green substance in vegetable curries, or stir fried, as described above.

Preparing chillis:

Method #1....drop a handful of small red chillis into a mortar, and pestle 'em till your eyes smart.

Method #2....tip a handful of the little buggers onto a preparation board and smack 'em once with the side of a meat cleaver.

Preparing garlic:

Place a handful of unpealed cloves onto a preparation board and smack 'em once with the side of a meat cleaver.

Every Thai kitchen has at least one mortar/pestle, made from wood, terra cotta or granite.

Likewise, every kitchen has a meat cleaver...it is actually the chef's knife of choice for everything. I once even saw a cook use the enormous tool to delicately clean the food gunk out from under his thumbnails.
We in the west do not seem to ever have mastered the art of carrying things on our head
Ray: I have tried carrying bags of stuff on my head, Thai style, Bill, and have to say it is painful for me.
  • gutteridge
  • Somewhere in deep space
  • 20 Sep 2017, 08:28
I can sense the weight of those runner beans by the bend in the pole.
Ray: Weight correct, Chad, but plant identification is a little astray. I gave a clue in my anecdote...it is called Morning Glory, or Water Convolvulus, and is the same creeper with that name found in English Country Gardens.
Certainly not our morning glory. I will look up this one. I like how the guys are dressed in the same colours.
Ray: These guys have harvested the ends of the runners of the plant, Mary. In some posh Thai restaurants these stems are cut longitudinally, so that the product resembles green spaghetti, and that is then cooked as I described in my response to Lisl.

Very young plants are harvested for their delicate leaves.
  • Louis
  • South Africa
  • 20 Sep 2017, 12:20
Ray: Thank you for this interesting comment, Louis.

I think you will find your Morning Glory is edible. Interesting, also, is that the bright orange fleshed sweet potato is not actually potato [from the deadly nightshade family] but swollen roots from a certain species of Morning Glory!

When you visit, it will be my pleasure to introduce you to the gourmet delights of stir-fried Morning Glory, as I described in my response to Lisl.

I liked your lovely description of the process of learning the techniques for carrying loads on the head. In Thailand many labourers will carry a full bag of cement [94 pounds or about 42 kilograms] on their head at a building site...as you describe, they have learned the technique from a young age, and starting with small loads.
Another two interesting pictures and notes to go with them. I wonder if the food lady ever has any mishaps with her wares, a days sales could be lost in a few seconds.
Ray: A drop would be devastating for her and her family, Brian...she might be the family's main bread-winner, and they would be living day-to-day.
  • Alan
  • San Rafael, California
  • 20 Sep 2017, 15:51
A way of life so very different to the west. The lady carrying everything on her head is very impressive.
Ray: I am hugely impressed with the diligence and inventiveness of these people, Alan.
  • Astrid
  • Netherlands
  • 20 Sep 2017, 19:11
Thank you for the education and I read the replies and I love the pictures. So much to learn from a different culture.
Ray: Thank you, Astrid. It has been a brilliant experience for me to move from Australia to Thailand and immerse myself in this very different way of life.
I assume the plant is edible and needs to be fresh - hence the urgency of getting it to market?
Ray: Morning Glory is best when eaten within a few hours of being harvested, Tom. It is quite delicious when prepared in the manner I described in my response to the comment from Lisl.

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