Saturday, January 25, 2014

Thai Railroad Market

We drove in a luxurious mini van today from Bangkok out to the western provinces of Thailand. It is odd to be a small party of 4 "aunties" with our dear Lada, who is now sick with the same cold as Camille had, poor thing.

The first place we went through is famous for harvesting salt from the sea. We saw these beautiful pyramids of salt drying in the sun as we drove along the shore.

The next province is famous for coconut plantations and we saw lots of them, along with other luscious tropical plants and flowers (plumeria, pineapple, are we in Hawaii?). Thailand is thriving, clean and prosperous, modern, lively. It feels like we are in a new world.

But then we stopped at two very old-world markets, which I'll write about separately. The first one is a HUGE food market that is hundreds of years old in this location. What makes it unique is that an active train track now runs right through the middle of it. Six trains a day come through here and when they do, everyone pulls their produce off the tracks, retracts their overhead canopy, and moves fingers and toes to a safe distance of a few centimeters until the train passes. Then everything and everybody spills back onto the tracks. This market had everything, all beautifully displayed. The specialty was dis and seafood, much of it alive and flopping around, but there was meat and every imaginable (and unimaginable) fruit and vegetable. A total feast for the eyes. Packed with people.

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