Peddling Food In Old Hanoi Streets
The streets of Old Hanoi have everything for the commodity browser, and, for shopping ease, many products are mobile. At least the edible ones are. For your convenience, these goods can come to you or float past you for the taking. All you need to do is connect with the ladies. Holding a glance works best.
Lithe women, who would make most workout fiends jealous, balance limber poles and march around this old town flogging perishable goods in low open baskets. Everything from fruit to fried mysteries can be bargained for, once eye contact is made with one of these street mistresses. With shoulder muscles primed, the vendors are always keeping an eye out for a possible sale, chatting with their competitors, ever watchful for a stray motorcycle and, less likely these days, a manual cycle that could cause havoc to their schedule. These capable peddlers ferry their goods around the streets of Old Hanoi most waking hours. Unable to walk the cluttered sidewalks where spare space is usually taken up by parked motorbikes, a few suspect dark sedans and the patchwork that is left for local people to carry on important daily tasks like eating noodles anytime and all day long, the food convoys manipulate what is left of the street after cars and a myriad of motor bipeds take their share.
They are a variety of food trucking unto their own.
Glenbow Ranch, A Kaleidoscope of Summer Colour, Part II
Kodacolor, come hither, to big sky country west of Calgary with its unfailing blue by day, wispy cloud cover by afternoon and lingering sweet hour sunsets. Emerald green meadows aren’t the typical western Canadian prairie fare but this summer they are on the menu sprinkled with wild flora faces. There is no doubt, pounding spring rains can leave destruction in their wake, but, by contrast, a summer trickle settles the dust on a warm prairie evening refreshing the land with welcome reassurance that all is well with the grand old dame, Mother Nature.
Calgary Stampede Goes Big
There is big and then there is really big. That is the way things are done when the Calgary Rotary are in charge of feeding the thousands. Loaves and fishes, no way!
This is big beef time at the Calgary Stampede and there is nothing lean about this local machine, just slightly younger than the 101 year old fete that the Rotary big spectacular has become so much a part of. Fifty year old recipes wear sauces and fingerprints from the years of testing and perfecting, a peck of this and a handful of that; there is no place for pinch and smidgen when thousands are craving the time tested western chow. Succulent loins, patiently braised to goodness that even false teeth could gnaw with ease, marbled butchery slathered down with brew, all in an outdoor atmosphere that even the floods of the century couldn’t quench.
From the massive ovens, to the colossal twenty-two pound roasts requiring a football team to hoist to the rows of meat slicers, giant sized salad bowls, voluminous vats for dish washing, and, well, there are always large scale lineups for delicious Stampede fare. Those who know relish the lines as a time to commune with fellow western-decked carousers. You can meet the nicest people waiting for festival food or access to a pink potty. It is a time to park the flood memories for the moment and enjoy the time tested camaraderie of western life. Decorum is out; Yeehaw is in, if only for a few days.
For more on the floods of southern Alberta, see:
Cordoba, Spain – A Catholic Cathedral Inside A Mosque
There are few places in the world where one can go to mass within a mosque, but Cordoba (or Cordova) is one of them, probably the only one. Not only is it the second largest Old Town in Europe (and Europe has a few old towns!) but its religious site is beyond ordinary in expanse and denomination.
Take a major Christian religious meeting place and set it on top of an ancient Islamic mosque, add a few hundred years and the stew is a unique Renaissance and Moorish blend. Adjacent is a thousand year old courtyard with orange groves, blooming and spewing out their effervescent fragrance. There is enough sensual mix to keep any visitor off the streets of Cordoba for a day. The Mezquita, a former medieval Islamic mosque with a Christian cathedral predating the mosque in 700 AD and then reassembling on the site for the past 900 years, is a worthy respite from the heat of Andalucia, southern Spain. Upon entrance to the site, the brilliance of the subtropical light softens and a coolness bathes making ” just another religious worship centre” bearable. If you don’t like these kinds of places it is still worth breaking away from the midday sun and taking in this unique and extensive architectural UNESCO site. After all, Cordoba was, at its height in the 11 C, a world educational (how about the Guinness record for the largest library in the world?), cultural, political and medical centre, complete with 300 Roman baths, 3000 mosques, palaces and everything else required for a pre medieval world haven. After the seventh century Arabian conquest, Christians and Muslims worshipped on the same site for a few hundred years while Cordoba thrived.
Now there is a model for modern times!