...because you thought Sweden was Switzerland!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Watch out for the Asian bus!

I'm still not done with the second part of my pizza entry, but I'm calling for an intermission. I just couldn't resist, and I might as well write about this before it becomes old news: Last Thursday, I was at Ivy and Junjun's place at Ryd when I had my first encounter with the famous "Asian Bus"!

Yep. That, folks, is not a grocery store aisle but a bus aisle, transformed into a grocery!

The Asian bus looked very anonymous from the outside, as it had no signs (I actually thought it was a tour bus until I noticed it had tinted windows). As we came nearer though, the strong smell of durian just gave it away. And what's all this they're unloading from the baggage hold? Boxes and boxes of bananas!

Even without all those bananas, it must have been one very heavy bus. It was packed to the smallest nooks and crannnies with bottles and jars of condiments and sauces (in Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese, and Filipino brands), hopia, junk food, lychee jellies, peanuts, preserved fruit, and even fresh vegetables and rootcrops. I even saw sayote (apparently translated as chayote), ampalaya (bitter gourd) and some gabi (yam), not to mention the durian I've smelled from outside (For a while there, I was afraid I'd smell like durian myself after leaving the bus).

What I found most amazing about this Asian bus though, wasn't that it had ampalaya, but that it had it's very own cold section! At the backmost part of the bus were four freezer chests containing, among other things, shrimps, crabs and fishballs! I got an "aha!" feeling each time I recognized something, and I must have looked like a dork there taking pictures of everything, haha!

Even the ambience there was so Asian, if you could call it that. The cramped aisle gave me that Chinatown feeling (I think it was in Eng Bee Tin in Binondo Chinatown that I was last in such a cramped grocery space), and there was a Chinese woman haggling with the bus driver-slash-cashier in Mandarin to give her an extra bag of chips (I wouldn't have understood this without the gesticulations). This Asian bus was really like Frisco market, Hi-Top and Binondo rolled into one...

...Rolled into one! Haha! What a joke!


Anonymous pj said...

joyg! how cool, a travelling grocery! of asian food! :D
just dropped by. like i said in the email, i stopped reading blogs for about 3 months :p am finally done with my comps so i actually have free time now. heehee.
and the "rolled into one," well, that was a... erm... clever pun right there. :P

5:22 PM

Blogger Ahoy! said...

Wow, congrats!! I actually had some gooosebumps there, when I read the word "comps". For a moment, I forgot if I ever did mine... I've apparently forgotten about the whole experience, and I even had to check my transcript just to make sure... Scatterbrained Joy

5:34 PM


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