Sunday, December 30, 2007

The Floating Market, Etc

"Tomorrow we will go to the floating market . . . do you want to come?" Well, yes so off we went. A little easier to get found, since I was picked up at the same 7-11, the "do you know the 7-11" 7-11. I know enough not to guess what we'd actually be doing, but I was pretty sure we'd be going to the Bangkok floating market. I even mentioned it and was not contradicted. So we set off.

And we drove to another province, compass directions are so hard to follow here, the river twists and turns pell mell, the sun is always directly overhead, there are no mountains, or even hills. It was a nice market, lots of fun food, the little eggs, roti, different kinds of grilled this and that, Thai sausage, star fruit as big as Dallas. About eleven we were ready to go, I wondered idly if we were heading home, I could use a nap, I thought.

First we went to a museum, the Thai Cultural Museum, which was closed for New Year's, but located under the approaches of a really nice group of bridges, there's at least four, maybe five, giant beautiful new bridges with high, graceful approaches, that was fun.

Then we set off for the "orange farm." You can't imagine the incredible maze of turns that our driver made to find both the floating market and the "orange farm." I couldn't have pointed to downtown Bangkok if my life depended on it, oh, wait, there is no downtown Bangkok. The "orange farm" turned out to be the remote home of a poor couple who made a living making gift baskets out of palm fronds, very fancy, and they kept oranges on hand to fill them. My ajan bought a nice one.

Then we went a long, long way to the house of the ajan's sister. It was a palace in a gated community somewhere, I believe, to the east and/or south of Bangkok, not too far, a district of Bangkok, I'm pretty sure. The family was very nice, I especially enjoyed talking to the son, he'd just come back from thirteen years in Maryland and Washington, D.C., got a BA and an MA and some good work experience.

Then we all went to lunch. My driver knew a very good place, "close by." I sat in the big Mercedes next to the driving son, it was great. We drove over bridges and through moors and gradually left civilization well behind. Something like twenty bridges all together. Little ones, over canals. We got to where land was being reclaimed from the sea, it was like being in Holland, but with palm trees. We drove so far that I was glad I had my passport. As it turned out, we'd driven to another province. "Close by" my ass. But the place was very good, all seafood, all excellent.

I finally got back home at six p.m. Tra-la-la-la . . . line up for the Magical Mystery Tour!

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