Monday, March 14, 2011

Thai Smiles, Part 29: Street Vendors In Bangkok

Smiling streetside sundries seller's sidewalk selling set-up

On walks around Bangkok I've observed quite a few street vendors. Not that I've been especially observant or just lucky enough to catch them while I'm walking around - they seem to be almost everywhere: like the woman selling socks, hair pins, nail clippers, tweezers, scissors, combs, brushes, AA batteries, lighters and padlocks up top. Her whole outfit was contained on a folding table, so she was more than portable.

The food stalls are often on movable carts, too, but can also be set up under a more stable tent top - like the guy in the blue shirt (above left) who would have a lot more to pack up if his family's spot was made unavailable. He was friendly and we exchanged pleasantries one morning while he cooked. I guess I tend to be pleasant with anyone who has a wok full of hot oil, to tell the truth.

Vendors who carry their wares in baskets at either end of a pole they balance on their shoulder tend to be pretty mobile, too - like this man who had a full stock of lunch boxes ready one morning. I was walking along behind him when he stopped to wait for customers.

I've seen this last guy today in several locations, so there's no question that he moves to where he can sell the tickets that I thought at the time were perhaps lottery tickets, although he didn't have them in the folding carrying case I'm used to seeing them sold from. In retrospect he may have been some sort of fortune teller or just selling "lucky" numbers - or he could simply be a panhandler, I honestly don't know, but each time I've run across him he's been smiling, so I hope he's as happy as he appears to be.

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