Oh just a couple of things about that market. On certain Saturdays the people of Laos and Thailand are allowed to cross the river Mekong and visit or trade. Laos is ever poorer than this part of Thailand so that lowers some prices in the market. The most interesting things from the mountains and semi antiques. All kinds of cures for any part of the body are on sale and mostly consist of bundles of wood or plants, though there are lots of amulets also.
|Cures and nostrums and dare I say Rhino horns.|
|"I want that one the green one."|
We went to Jack's grandfather's house on the 10 year old Yamaha with bolts for footrests. The house is about 45 years old and a raised wooden building. Grandfather was watching Thai Boxing on the TV with his sons,while his daughters prepared the meal. Grandfather is a sprightly man of 92 years, swathed in old time cotton longi and scarf or Ma khow pa, the universal garment, hat, seat and towel. He has ten children, six sons and four daughters. The daughters are cast in the Isan mold said to be the most beautiful in Thailand. They laid the mat on the floor for the meal. Dishes were arranged on the green plastic mat like a picnic tablecloth. There were a few kinds of sticky rice, fried with egg, plain fried and one black rice job with a kind of sliced custard on the top. There were main dishes of duck, fish and sweet sour spicy cucumber and boiled rice. Water and the dishes I had brought from the market were placed behind me in a way which could have been interpreted, "You brought this we will put it near you". People checked that I had enough food from time to time and enjoyed their dishes, chatting the while.
People helped themselves to various bits and pieces and chatted. Later Jack told me that they asked lots of questions about the Ferang, where did I come from, was I a world traveler, did I have a wife, children, what did I work at and what was I doing in Phonphisai? All of which I was quite oblivious.
I was struck by the floor of polished wood. It was dark brown towards black without any tongue and grooving, the boards were about 300mm and about 25mm thick and you could see between them. A sensible floor for a very hot country. But the "finish" on the wood was as smooth as any finish I have ever seen. Jack explained that it is never sealed, never polished and cleaned only with a damp cloth. How I would love to have a few of those recycled boards to play with.
|Brothers and sisters|
|Youngest sister touching 50.|
|Grandfather, Jack and 2 proud aunts.|