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2011-11-04

After last evening's excursion, my new motto is: I fed the 99%. :) #OccupyBoston #Anonymous #OccupyWallStreet

Man, I never know how these excursions will end up. Lately, I seem to have had these urges to head into Boston and wander around, to see what happens. My adventures are incredibly tame compared to those who have more of a life than me, but it still gives me something to write about. Yesterday, after finishing my work shift, I wanted to head into town to look for a decent-looking sweater and a couple of things to wear as the weather gets colder this weekend. On Facebook, I stumbled across an announcement of a legalize-pot rally to take place at about 4:00 PM yesterday; I thought that sounded interesting, so I got a couple of posterboards and markers, and headed there to see what was going on. Except that nothing happened – apparently the rally had fizzled out. So, what to do with some posterboards and markers? I realized the Occupy Boston tent city was nearby, so I headed over there and dropped the stuff of with them. And, for the second time, I saw these people shivering in the cold…and I had the urge to get them some hot food. The Occupy Boston community is well-organized in their tent city; they're not a bunch of aimless people hanging out there with nothing to do. They have a social structure, tents for generating power, tents for first aid, tents for meditation, and a food area where they are constantly receiving donations and serving food. Except that they have no cooking facilities at all. Even in this weather, they don't even have a bucket of hot coals. I went up to the folks at the food tent and asked about this, and they replied that first of all, they're not allowed to have any fires at all. Not even hot coals. Some of them blame it on police brutality, of course – it's one way for The Man to discourage them and eventually get them to go home. On the other hand, there are also a lot of thieves in their midst: every time they get some decent quality cooking apparatus, it disappears. So they have to make do with piles and piles of cheap utensils, pots, and dishes of all sorts. And so, just as last month when I was caught up in their street protest, I had the urge to help them out and get some them some hot food, at least for the evening. I went into nearby Chinatown and found a restaurant that agreed to cook up an order of hot soup; I found a couple of volunteers; and we carried two big pots of beef soup and chicken soup back to the tent city, where a lot of people got to eat some warm food that evening. What's more, a number of them had never had Thai pho before; this was their first time eating Oriental food. This crowd is living right next to Chinatown Boston, and they've never eaten Chinese?!? They talk about freeing their minds from media control and they don't even want to try new food? Oh well, at least I got them to eat something warm and hot. And it was good soup, too – a little later I went back to the same restaurant and had a meal there myself. And this pho was delicious! I don't know how they make it, but the noodles had a sweetness to them that I've never tasted before…it's not a sugar or honey sweetness, but I think something that comes from ginger. If this is the result of cooking noodles with Oriental five-spices, then I am definitely going to have to try to make this myself! I loved it! (For those who don't know, pho is a Thai noodle soup that's served with scallions in the bowl of soup, and big chunks of thinly sliced rare-cooked meat on top. I'd recently seen a site somewhere, maybe Time magazine or something, that rated the so-called "50 tastiest foods in the world." Pho was #3 on the list. After last night, I think I agree with that!)