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

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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.