It would be hard to find someone who would say no to a good bowl of bami, the wheat-flour noodles served in restaurants on almost every street and soi in Bangkok. The two kinds that people know best are packaged instant noodles, familiar under brand names such as Mama and Wai Wai, and the fresh bami sold in noodle restaurants.
Bami mu daeng.
Instant bami are special in that they act as an index of the state of the country's economy. If things get bad, people rely on them as a way to economise because they are cheap and filling. The packaged noodles can also be seen as an indicator of extraordinary circumstances. If they disappear from the shelves, it can mean that difficult times are anticipated. They have vanished from local supermarkets and convenience stores during the periods of flooding and rioting that have affected Bangkok in recent years.
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