Bopping with Niall JP O'Leary

Niall O'Leary insists on sharing his hare-brained notions and hysterical emotions. Personal obsessions with cinema, literature, food and alcohol feature regularly.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Chatuchak Weekend Market

It is amazing how much some company changes your perspective on things. I decided to go to the famous Chatuchak Weekend Market and after some deliberation I decided to risk the bus. Waiting at the bus stop I initially met an Austrian en route to the same destination, but then along came a Scottish couple, Alastair and Lynn, from Glasgow. I ended up talking to them for most of the bus ride, learning as much as I could about their trips to the islands. Once at the market we hung around for the afternoon. Alastair works for the council, while Lynn is a university researcher, and they strike me as a really nice couple. Anyhow a lot of the daunting aspects of travelling and living in Bangkok seemed to disappear with a helping hand.

The market itself puts all similar markets (such as the Melbourne Victoria Market) in the shade. Stall after stall after stall sold everything from army surplus sleeping bags to flying squirrels. The food too is a wonderful draw (I really liked the look of those cuttlefish on a stick, though I didn't risk them this time). At one point I bought a green fruit drink imagining some sort of lime flavour. Unfortunately it was 'gauvo' (guava?) and tasted more like sweet soap. I waited a while before trying it again in the hope it had changed its flavour. Nope, still as bad. I dumped it and got a strawberry slushy instead.

Our bus to the market had been on an air-conditioned, spacious vehicle (few people wanted to pay the extra baht, I guess; certainly the passengers were mostly Caucasian); our ride back was more traditional, packed, hot, bumpy, with standing room only. We talked a little bit about music, Alastair knowing a member of Mogwai, and a lot more besides. Getting off the bus we bumped into the Austrian again. Khao San and the surrounding area is just full of us farang (foreigners). Anyhow I am meeting up with them later for a drink.

Checking up on my Chinese trip, I noticed something worrying in the email detailing my booking; it seems I am down for the wrong direction. Instead of Hong Kong to Beijing, I seem to be booked on the Beijing to Hong Kong trip. This won't suit my Beijing home flight, so I hope I am wrong, but I've mailed my helpful friend in the travel agency back home. Tomorrow though I must get the visa, so I hope things are easily sorted and soon.


At 9:54 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chin Up Niallo!!!!! It won't be long before the next adverture and your new accomplices' present themselves. Nig


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