Friday, November 30, 2007

Remembering Thailand

It’s been three weeks since I returned home from Thailand. I should have sat down when I first got home and wrote while I was still under the spell of exotic Thailand. Thailand rapts one away with its intoxicating charms. It is a land of many sights, sounds, smells and tastes. Whether I was walking down a small town street or in a tiny village, there is a never ending array of sights. The people are simple, busy about making a living in any way they can. They are industrious and are free to go into any kind of business they can without government interference. Matt and I were sitting in a street side café when a man in his eighties walked by with a handful of baskets in his hand. The kind you might find bread sticks in when dining; When he passed by again I motioned him over to us and Matt asked him if he was selling them and how much. He was thrilled at our interest and told Matt he bought them for seven Baht and sells them for ten Baht. Seven Baht is about twenty two cents. I asked if I might buy a couple, which he promptly laid down and I paid him. He continued to talk with Matt for a minute or two, with much enthusiasm and many smiles. He was tall and thin with a rugged appearance. He then went on his way with a few baskets left. Not long after he walked by with all his baskets sold, he looked over at us and gave us a thumbs up signifying his successful marketing.
We also met another woman, very old, in the farmers market area with two large baskets, each one hanging from a 4’ stick, they were filled with herbs she was selling. Matt’s wife Thanita went over to her and bought a variety from her. Thanita told me later that she offered the woman more than she asked but the woman politely declined. I admired her dignity.

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