Hawker Stalls: The Nightly Egalitarian Ball

During the day most streets are for cars, it’s their day job. But at night, some streets in Asia shed their Cinderella-type day job and get to go to the Ball, or at least turn into a ballroom.

And what is the Ball? A giant party filled with people (some regular attendees and some tourists who have managed to score an invite but are a bit lost when it comes to the etiquette) and food. 

Cheap food. Okay, it’s not a fancy ball, but on the bright side – there is no dress code and everyone is invited.

I suppose this ball would be called The Hawker Ball, put on by all the vendors who miraculously transform the streets into places that have food carts, plastic chairs and tables.

This is not a languid affair, no slow dances at this Ball, everything moves fast – everyone must get home before they turn into a pumpkin …but you can dance with as many partners as you like – it’s an equal opportunity affair – the hosts are both eager to please and hoping that you don’t dawdle.

So, go, you don’t need a formal invite – just a willingness to try a bunch of food and leave with a pregnant belly. 

I leave you with some pictures of the area around Petaling St, Kuala Lumpur – the beginning of the set-up, a cart that grilled meats (my appetizer) and then a stall that did quick Thai food (dinner).

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