I walk down a side street looking for some street food for lunch. I find a section lined with food stalls - people selling everything from fried noodles to fruit on a stick to stinky tofu. I notice one stall selling crunchy waffles rolled up tight & cut into pieces big enough to eat with your hands.
A man is sitting in front of a make-shift grill - a metal box filled with burning hot coals. He's working three waffle irons. They look heavy. He has a rhythm going. He dips a ladel into a large bucket at his feet & pours some waffle batter into the first iron. He moves the iron down one spot, flips the second iron over & shifts it down too. He takes the third iron off the fire, opens it & removes the piping hot waffle with his bare hands. He tosses it onto the table next to him, moves the third iron back to the first position & ladels more waffle batter on. Repeat.
Meanwhile, a woman is sitting at the table. She takes the finished waffle & rolls it up before it can cool. She puts it into a cutter & lowers the lever - three hand-sized waffle rolls come out & she tosses them into a bin. Customers reach into the bin & select their waffles. They throw coins into a tin resting on the table. The woman has no time to count out change - fresh waffles keep coming down the production line.
I stand & watch the process for about five minutes, then walk on down the street to a noodle vendor. I sit & eat my noodles surrounded by chattering people on their lunch break. A half hour later, I return the way I came. The waffle man is still moving waffle irons back & forth. The woman is still rolling & cutting, trying to keep up with demand.