Sunday, February 01, 2009

The Sunday Walking Street Market

Well, it's every bit as wonderful as they all say. I just had three or four hours of wonderment. In some ways it was like last night's market. In fact, I saw some of the same folks selling, and certainly some of the same blind musicians (I'm glad there's a finite number). I even recognized some of the same farang!
But this market is even bigger. Much bigger and many of the wats (temples) are involved. They turn their compounds into food centers. One of the biggest had a program of chanting going on in the temple proper--it was broadcast over loud speakers into the huge courtyard where gazillions of food booths were set up and tables were full of happy people eating.
I ended up having a dish of pad thai and a bit of this Canadian guy's squid. It was New Zealand squid and came in huge steaks that were being grilled. I have to say it was very good. So were the fish cakes, the bean buns and the passion fruit juice I had.
I sat at a table with an old fellow from South Carolina and his Thai 'girlfriend' (I guess) and a young German couple, who ended up being pretty chatty (for Germans). You just couldn't help feeling social with all the happy hubbub and the chanting.
After I stuffed myself I checked out the temple and there were people inside bowing and chanting along with the recording. There was also a Thai woman doing a tarot reading right to the front of the entrance with a card table and the Rider deck! What a trip.
I found a few things that I just had to buy. Some for presents and (I hate to admit it) a few things for me! For years I've read about the Thai fisherman's pants that the backpacker hipsters wear. I wore some last night for my massage and liked them. So there they were in abundance. 80Baht.
I also bought a little tuk tuk made out of a Coke can. Made by the lady who sold it to me, as she made of point of pointing out. 80Baht.
There were much more expensive things that caught my eye--mainly gorgeous fabric items by the Hmong or Karen folks. Really gorgeous wide belts with pockets and purses and bags and such. 600 to 1200Baht.
I talked to a guy from Seattle who was buying ten purses for his sister's store. They were really beautiful and I would've scored one but they were buying almost all of them. Again, 650Baht. That's about $19.00. Is that alot? I have no idea what it would sell for in a US store. Surely more than $100 at least. But how the hell do I know?
I've been missing Krista terribly at these things. She'd know what to buy and buy it.
Anyway, I've decided not to buy stuff just to sell it, unless it really calls to me. And the people selling it have to be really nice too.
I'll be in town next week for this same market. And I'll have a big new suitcase to put all these treasures in.
On the way out of the market I discovered that people were climbing up on the Taepae Gate! I never noticed there were steps. Very steep ones. I clambered right up and was rewarded with an awesome spectacle and photo op. It was crowded up there and I got a touch of vertigo, but I noticed that some of the other farang were displaying signs of the same wonderment I was feeling.
I'm going back to my room to offload the stuff I bought. It's only 8:15! Feels like 2am. I should really go back out, but I could so easily fall asleep. I think it's about 5:15 am back home and my poor body is still a bit confused!
It's also weird being solo. I keep longing to have a conversation with someone who speaks english. I remember this happened when I was in Bali too.
Well, at least I have you to tell my stories to.
Hope you are all sound asleep back home.

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