Watery Coke & Shopping Truths

Yesterday was a national holiday which marks Visakha Bucha Day a Thai Buddhist celebration. Some people went to visit Buddhist ‘images’ to touch the middle finger in the belief they will be blessed with good luck.
Another reason for celebration yesterday was the first day of the ‘walking street’ market. An initiative set up by the government to give those street hawkers most affected by the Red Shirt demonstrations, an opportunity to sell their wares in a weekend-long sale to the public. A number of roads were closed to vehicles allowing for the set-up of the stalls to take place and thousands of locals and foreigners to stream in a get a bargain deal. Many street sellers said they had lost all income over the past two months due to the UDD taking over the roads where they used to sell their wares. Many sellers depended on tourists for their income (mostly fake branded goods)
Of course, we had to go and visit. I have never seen such a crazy mix of items for sale. In Bangkok you will see porn DVD’s being sold next to pineapples, but this was an ever more exciting blend of offerings. I saw Halloween masks, cupcakes, origami greeting cards, pink head phones, floral print hand bags, sequin jackets, fake purple Crocs piled up on blankets, colourful hair clips with puffy bows attached swinging from string tied to umbrellas, artists sitting cross-legged on the floor sketching incredible portraits, dog jewelry, used Thai fashion magazines, frilly knickers on hangers, sparkling belly rings, Sponge Bob Square Pants shirts, Hello Kitty dressing gowns, pearl cufflinks, fried chicken, dim sum, peanuts and popcorn. The colours and smells are almost over-bearing.
I watched as a young Thai lady picked up a blue top which had plastic fake pearls sewn around the neck line and a large white flower sticking out the front. She was clearly delighted at her find and spun around to shove it in her boyfriends face for his thoughts. He stood there in a shirt which read ‘Cheap Date’ and yawned. It seems the shopping experience for girls and their boyfriends is the same world over whether you are in Prada on Oxford Street or a market stall in Silom Road.

A particularly classic moment – a policeman on his motorbike zoomed past with a heap of take-away bowls tied to the back of the seat….clearly doing his bit to help out a friend with a market stand 🙂
We then inhaled an over-priced watery Coke (no booze served on Buddhist holidays)and leapt into the nearest air-conditioned taxi to get home for some tranquility and so I could try on my new top……..promise there are no fake pearls or bows on it 😉

Photo Bangkok Post by Patipat Janthong

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2 comments so far

  1. Lisa on

    Hello Kitty dressing gowns? I wear a size “medium”….

    • bkkgirl on

      haha I know right? unfortunately they are only little kiddie sizes, but who says the ‘Armani’ Tailor on the corner can’t fashion something….


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