Selling Snacks in the middle of no where – A trip to Mae Sot (1)

31 Mar

I always believe that if you want to know the local, you should see what they eat. Maybe I’m too obsessed about this, but if I travel overseas and it’s in Asia I would just ask ” How much is a bowl of noodles”  then I’ll know the standard of living there. If it’s somewhere else, well…I have other ways to find out.  Go raid the supermarket!

Last week I went up to the Thai-Burmese border with a film crew for an assignment, it was quite interesting to see lots of Burmese people living there and many of the shops in town have Burmese language signs as well. I also managed to spend a little time at the local market checking out what they have, and it was indeed quite interesting…

Burmese Snack Sellers by the river over looking Myanmar's border town

We were trying to find a location and decided to drive to a border area by the river. While we were walking along the river bank, I saw a Burmese guy with his snack baskets and all the utensils crossing over from Myanmar before settling down right in the middle of ….nowhere really….

I walked towards him and asked what they were,  he said.. ” Samosa” in a perfect Thai accent. I started to wonder if Burmese people eat Samosa as snacks as I know very little about Burmese food despite the fact that I’ve been there more than three times. The next day, I saw another Burmese snack seller selling Samosas again in a local market. so I guess Samosa, the Indian Snacks also a Burmese snacks as well.  Maybe it is what’s left from the British colonization period…where they brought the Indians into Burma for labor work. But that’s based on my guess alone.

I'm very curious about who will be his first customer of the day

His props are basket carrying all the utensils including condiments such as sauces as well as plastic bags for the customers, a  small pan to fried the Samosa with charcoal stove and a wooden tray to put the cooked Samosas on. He was quite content in what he was doing, which was frying his Samosas. From time to time he would stop and starred at the river.  I wondered what he was thinking of. Perhaps his family?, or ..his country which had been in chaos for a long time. or maybe…the Parade on Tatmadaw Day (Army Day) that happened to be on that weekend in a capital city of Nay Pyi Taw.

Or maybe it was something totally different which I would never find out…

As I walked towards our van, I couldn’t help but looked back at him, he was still there, frying his Samosas…I still saw no customers.  I just only hope that he would go back to where ever he came from with lots of money in his pocket.


One Response to “Selling Snacks in the middle of no where – A trip to Mae Sot (1)”

  1. Bakery April 2, 2010 at 8:53 am #

    I enjoy reading this one. You give me a different perspective about a Burmese guy who just try to make his living. Very touching how you wish a guy you barely know the best as he’s selling samosa. I do love samosa. I would want to be one of his customer. To me as I am reading your writing, the man is an inspiration. The local is always the best to help make a strong community.

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