The Thai Market, Outdoor, Wilmersdorf

Nose to tail eating Thai styleBerlin is a city of extremes. On the one hand, you’ve got bureaucrats, trying to out best each other at making you squirm.

Even postal workers are in on it, you should have seen the maniacal happiness in the eyes of the postal worker while I ruffled around in my wallet to find my driver’s license.

“You’re not getting that parcel without your passport. No point looking in there – I need your passport – that’s the only way.”IMG_4128

I don’t take the bait (any more). I calmly (kind of) step out of line and take my time, without the heckling. Find it and line up again. Nor do I take (visible) offense when the same postal worker peers at the license – then me – repeatedly as if I am buying a gun, rather than picking up my Amazon book.IMG_4124

So in this context, I am dumbfounded – no other word will do – to find a place like the Thai Market. Where women (I didn’t see a single man cooking) sit cross-legged and cook. Where everything is either €5 or  €2.50.  Where dishes are washed in pails of water.  Fried chicken languishes in the sun.  Hands don’t get washed for the 5 hour duration that the women are cooking.IMG_4123

Of course if the horse meat scandal in Europe and the rat meat scare in China have taught us anything, it’s that we are  not as in control as we would like to believe, no matter all those inspectors going around swabbing door handles.  (Did I ever mention that fending off said health and safety inspectors and bribing her with brownies and granola was one of my jobs in my other life?).

All those times when I ate street food in Vietnam or Thailand I was fine – same can’t be said for Mexico I’m afraid.IMG_4131Still, it’s not going to last, even if it has been going on since the 1990’s.  I was talking to a friend who helps me with all things bureaucratic and he told me that it’s just a matter of time before the whole operation is shut down.  The neighbors have complained about the smell and the influx of people populating their piece of green.

Until then, papaya salad, fried fish, hand-roll and for dessert jelly and jackfruit with shaved ice and coconut.  Oh and ladies with dentures offering to give you a massage.IMG_4129

Weekends from 1, weather permitting.


  1. says

    I have been dying to try this…hope I make it before it is shut down!

    PS. You can order books (also non-food related) through us too…same price as Amazon, and we wont ask for your passport :)

  2. says

    Firstly, it looks a whole lot warmer in Berlin now than when we were there at the end of March! It’s a pity this festival wasn’t on when we were there, although it might not have been quite so successful in the snow. It looks great but such a pity people with too little else going on in their lives want to see such a great community event shut down.

  3. R H says

    The soup is Nam Ngiao, northern thai, actually myanmar, I think… but I have had that in a vietnamese restaurant too, in Thailand.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>