A STREET MARKET IN THAILAND

The Market under canvas.

A memorable facet of our trip to sample the culture of Thailand were our visits to the outdoor night markets. One particular small market we visited was an eye-opening experience to say the least. 

The market took place on a piece of waste ground where some large marquees were erected. The market was crowded with people, both visitors to the island and many local people.

Many stalls were selling electronic goods, souvenirs, and jewellery. 

A large variety of goods for sale at negotiable prices

Colourful clothes on sale prices subject to the bartering process.

There were the usual preponderance of clothing stalls, many selling clothes with designer names and labels.
Interesting cauldrons of exotic soup.

At the far end of this busy thriving market was an area with food stalls, where cooked chicken, soup and pastries were being prepared while you wait.
The open flame griddle in action.

Instant street food!

Stalls selling exotic fruits and vegetables were doing a roaring trade, obviously popular with the local people and the visitors.

Red meat on sale.

However the most shocking sight to confront our delicate, educated systems were the stalls preparing and selling raw meat and fish. 

Cuts of meat exposed to the open air.

Raw red meat and raw poultry were, cut, chopped and displayed on the stalls in the open air. The blood dripping from the cuts of meat attracted zillions of flies and apart from the occasional whisk with a swatter, there was absolutely nothing that could be done about it.
Street food cooked on the stalls.

Fresh fish was piled up on one stall and was selling briskly.

Street food cooked and rapidly sold.
Food for thought.
The atmosphere of this colourful market was wonderful to experience and we happily wandered around bartering for our purchases.
One reaction to our visit was my resolution never to be tempted to buy street food abroad ever again.

AGGREGATION OF AGGRESSION

Image courtesy of pixabay.com

~~~~~~

FLASH FICTION 

AGGREGATION OF AGGRESSION

by John Yeo

  I had received some highly desirable tickets for a high level Science show at the college theatre. A well known expert in Entomology, Professor Deacon, was to expound his theories of a newly discovered strain of highly intelligent insects.

I was seated at home reading up on the background of extra-terrestrial insect life and I almost forgot the show completely.

I dressed in a hurry and quickly called a taxi to take me to the college theatre. I arranged for the driver to collect me in a couple of hours.

The performance was in full swing and I was soon waiting outside in the foyer during the first half.

At the interval, I made my way to the box office to explain my situation.

Suddenly an overweight man dressed in an evening suit with a large red polka dot tie, pushed his way forward. He had a black moustache, and thick black sideburns, on his moon-shaped face, topped by a shiny hairless head. 

With an extremely loud, aggressive manner, he said.

   ‘She’s next if I come back and anyone’s inside, there will be trouble.’

  He then pointed towards a young lady standing at the back of the queue. The young lady was a teenager, roughly 19 years old, wearing a loud pink blouse and blue torn jeans. She had long blonde, shoulder-length hair, and her face was conspicuous by some bright red lipstick that she had thickly plastered on her mouth.

 I stepped back from the ticket window and glared at him, risking his open, high, alcohol-fueled, aggression.

At this point, the young lady stepped forward and said,

Leave it alone, Dad! You’re upsetting me, please take me home.’

 With that, they both made to leave the theatre which seemed to be full to bursting point. I had almost given up hope of ever getting to the front of the queue when another intimidating aggressive man yelled from behind me in the queue. 

 ‘Are you coming back?’

     There was a scuffle as the man with the polka dot tie turned back and grabbed the questioner by the throat and said, ‘Mind your own bloody business.’

Then he quickly left the theatre with his daughter.

With an embarrassed shrug of his broad shoulders the second man, who had a shaved head and an earring in his left ear. just glared and took his place back in the queue.

Frustratingly there was no movement for ages and by the time the interval was nearly over an usherette appeared.

 l explained the situation to her quoting the Science department and I was instantly shown to a seat for the rest of the performance.

During the second half musing on this frustrating, unnecessary aggression, I wondered if there were mirrors of unnecessary aggressive behaviour such as this in the insect world. Perhaps the difference between a thoughtless, robotic, zombie-like creature and man is accentuated by an unfortunate side effect of egotistic aggression.

Phuket island in Thailand

A MULTI- PHASETED SEASIDE EXPERIENCE
by JOHN YEO

A memorable photograph from our Thailand holiday photographs. This was randomly snapped from the window of the taxi we hired for our tour of Phuket. There are a half dozen scooters parked by the side of the highway, with a man seated at a table behind a small notice advertising bikes for hire. The young man wearing a pair of sunglasses, stares intently at his mobile phone, probably surfing the net, seemingly oblivious of the beauty around him.

 Another interesting thing shown in this photo is a notice offering bottles of gasoline for sale at 40 baht a bottle. I’m sure this unlicensed sale of gasoline would never be allowed here in the UK, for health and safety reasons. I imagine there would be a definite fire risk attached. These small roadside type businesses are situated alongside most of the main roads in Thailand, showing a nation with a great entrepreneurial culture. Moving along this interesting picture there is a boat pulled up alongside the motorcycles, it’s not apparent whether this is for hire, but I suspect anything is possible. 

Looking at the trees that are providing much needed shelter from the sun, they are mainly coconut palm trees that grow widely all over the island. We were visiting in February, when the coconuts were just ready to harvest and eat, or ready to drink the tasty milk juice inside. Thai cooking uses a lot of coconut milk in the preparation of their food.

The sparkling clear blue sea in the background, covered in small boats, both fishing and pleasure boats is typical of Thailand’s coastline. The hidden sandy beach, is just visible in this photograph, and there are clearly some bathers visible in the sea. A young lady in three quarter length jeans wearing a bright yellow jumper, gazes out to the sea. She has her thick black hair, typical of Thai women, held in place by an American style baseball cap. A wonderful reflection of life on the beachside in the island of Phuket in Thailand.

Collateral Peace

What Pegman Saw – 

Riga Cathedral, Riga, Latvia | Woongyoung Park, Google Maps

Collateral Peace

by John Yeo

‘Thou shalt not kill:’ Intoned the priest.

‘Father!’
A small clear voice interjected from the congregation. ‘What about the weapons of killing stored in the cloisters?’
There was a sudden stunned silence as the venerable priest continued preaching, regardless of this uncalled for interruption.
‘Father do these cannon not signify a breach of the sacred teaching constituting a manifest hypocrisy?’
There was a loud ripple of voices drowning the flow of the sermon.
Then another voice loudly exclaimed. ‘Indeed Father: Cannon are indiscriminately fired at anyone, threatening, killing and maiming.’
The priest raised his hands to silence this diversion from his teaching, after a brief period of quiet, he replied.
‘The cannon are used to emphasise our strength and are a simple deterrent. Should they ever be fired any collateral killing would be the work of the cannon balls. There would be no blood on our hands or our conscience.’

Cannon balls at Riga Cathedral ~ Image © John and Margaret
Cloisters at Riga Cathedral ~ Image © John and Margaret

150 Words, on Riga Cathedral in Latvia, written for whatpegmansaw.com . A weekly photo prompt on WordPress based on images from the chosen location.

Sent from my iPad

LUCKY NUMBER

LUCKY NUMBER ~ A little revision with a slight deviation from the usual subjective vision. Take a four-leafed clover and break off a leaf then subject yourself to much derision. Such is the usual consequence of breaking the mold.

LUCKY NUMBER
by John Yeo

There were three witches stirring the broth
Of the cauldron of fabulous fortune.
Three wise men stared into crystal balls.
A trio of wizards studied the runes.
Three answers to my question gave birth
To my tri-universal problematic equation.

~

The significant number with firm proof
You will need to follow wherever you roam,
A number that will always be with you;
The key to your future in a third dimension
Wherever you roam in Sea, Sky or Earth.
Look to the cycle of a mystical threesome.

~

Your lucky number will be with you forever
Engendering three branches of fortune
Three spins; Good, Bad or Indifferent.
Look to the leaves of a four leafed Clover
Then break of a leaf and feel the power.
Of this harsh sometimes brutal world
Where luck lies with the accident of birth.

~

© Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.

REALITY STRIKES HARD

,

Emergency overcome! ❤️

by John Yeo

Life goes by like lightning as the happy years unfurl and seem to drift by at the speed of light. The cruising holiday went well, we toured around some popular ports around the Mediterranean Sea. The food was plentiful and available in many forms.
The carefree consumption of many high fat, high risk food didn’t concern me. I have always been an extremely fit man, indulging in some healthy exercise on my allotment, in our garden and on the club bowling green. With an always optimistic outlook on life I was sure I would contentedly go on forever.

We were at our Bowls Club when the first signs of something untoward occurred, although I suspect the signs and warnings were already there, silent and unrecognised.
I stood at the edge of the bowling green where I suddenly became aware of a strange pain in my chest. I immediately sat down and began to take some deep breaths, I suspected I was suffering from a bout of indigestion. My wife Margaret, asked if I was alright and I nodded and said,

“Don’t worry, I have a funny pain, probably just a touch of indigestion.”
I took a drink of water and after a few minutes the pain seemed to disappear.

We played a great game of bowls together, we were drawn to play on the same side and we gave each other the support we needed to win the match.

We returned home and enjoyed a super-tasty chicken meal, prepared by Margaret. After an evening spent watching television we went to bed.

At 01.30, I woke with a pain in my chest and neck, about ten times worse than the pain I had suffered at the Bowls Club. Margaret woke and became concerned,
“Do you have pain radiating down your arm?”

“No!” I replied. “just a funny pain in my chest and my neck.”

Margaret then decided to immediately telephone 111; NHS Choices.
Margaret spoke to an efficient operator, who advised I take 4 Aspirin, chewing them as opposed to swallowing them for a faster effect. The operator then telephoned for an ambulance.
A paramedic arrived within 10 minutes closely followed by an emergency ambulance. My pulse was taken, my blood pressure was measured and an ECG was done which proved to be slightly abnormal.
The ambulance personnel then informed me I would have to go to the Norfolk and Norwich hospital for further tests. Margaret decided to drive herself to the hospital to give me some support.
On the way to hospital, I had a further four ECG readings which were still showing an abnormal reading, with many other tests. The young lady paramedic was polite and caring and extremely efficient, as she filled in her forms collating the readings and information.

The ambulance arrived at the A&E department, where I was subjected to a barrage of further tests and several blood samples were taken for analysis in the lab. I waited on a trolley for around half an hour before Margaret arrived, bringing several things for me in case I was admitted to hospital. I was really happy to see her.
After about another half an hour doctor arrived and said,

“You have had a heart attack, we are waiting for some results of blood tests from the lab. I am afraid you will have to stay in hospital for a few days.”

The doctor then turned to Margaret and said she should go home and sleep as things may take a while from here.

An hour later, after a further chat with the Doctor,
I found myself in bed, in the male admissions assessment ward. This was an experience that I will remember for a long time to come. I was shown to a bed next to a window, with a pleasant view of the greenery in the hospital grounds.

Copyright © written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.

VOLUNTEERS

VOLUNTEERS


by John Yeo

It’s a sunny day in the popular seaside resort. Michael is constructing a garden shed for a customer of his DIY store, when his pager goes off. He scans the device briefly then turns and starts running. His colleagues are not surprised. They’re used to it. Within minutes he arrives at the local lifeboat station on the southeast coast. Soon he and the rest of the crew are at sea, powering towards the rocky cliffs, where two swimmers are trapped against the rocks by a heavy swell.
It’s a tricky operation to steer the rigid inflatable boat close enough without it being smashed against the rocks. The team have to bring it in quickly then hover, balancing carefully at 90 degrees to the swell. The crew hoist one man out and manoeuvre the boat round for the other man before turning for home. With both men delivered safely to the emergency services, the lifeboat is rehoused, washed and prepared for the next incident. Within hours Michael is back at the store.
This is just a solitary incident in the life of an unpaid ordinary member of the public who devote their time and efforts to saving lives at sea.
Imagine for a moment that you’re part of the crew on a lifeboat. It’s 2.30am on a freezing January morning and the pager’s just woken you from a deep sleep in a snug warm bed. You then head out to sea in complete darkness and 10m waves rise and fall around you, ready to swamp you at any moment. Strong gale force winds throw the lifeboat around like a toy.
Most lifeboat crew members are volunteers, ordinary people who simply and selflessly want to save lives at sea. When the pagers go off, they drop everything and are regularly called away from their families, their beds and their work, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
A donation to to the RNLI, is always money well-spent, to enable this important rescue work to continue.

© Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved

I wrote this post for ‘The Quintet’ our church magazine in response to the theme of…VOLUNTEERS