Monday, January 24, 2011

Lantern Kits - Suriwong Road

While going to catch up with an old friend later last evening - actually an interviewee who's story I've been following for the past six years - I passed a foreign national and his Thai friend selling these lanterns on the steps of one of the office buildings close to Soi Pratuchai. I've noticed a lot of them this trip; primarily in commercial establishments, but I'm sure they're appearing in some people's homes, too.

They come disassembled in a flat pack an inch to two inches thick, with a folded sheet of instructions in phone book-sized print that assure the buyer the kit assembles easily in about 30 minutes. Maybe it does on some planets, but I suspect it'd take this crafts-challenged farang a little longer than that.

Nevertheless, they're colorful and decorative and I wrestled with buying one or two to take home and fool with some afternoon when I needed a little frustration, but I haven't. So far. They were priced between 200 baht and 600 baht, but naturally the price would be negotiable. The largest one below (second from the right, and nearly 12" across) was 600 Baht.

I hope the foreigner selling them doesn't run afoul of the Boys in Brown who are always about and who probably wouldn't be too pleased that he's undoubtedly working without a permit - or maybe they would be, for 200 baht. After all, this IS Thailand.

[To follow up: I went back again this evening and bought a few of these kits, per a request from the folks at home. I see now that they're actually called "Jigsaw Lamps," and that doesn't make me any more confident about assembling them - but we shall see.]

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