Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Morning At The Takha Floating Market

The Ban Kung Maenam Resort at "low tide" - my bungalow is on the far right
Waking to the gentle splash of an oar in the river just outside and below the head of my bed I turned and pushed the window further open and could see a woman slowly paddling her empty boat along with a stroke on one side, then the other, then back again, all the while looking straight ahead.  I could have walked faster than she was moving downstream, but it wasn't a morning for hurrying so I rolled over again to listen to the sounds of morning on the river and slip back into blissful slumber for another few minutes.

My friend was more used to being on a schedule.  He'd been up, showered, dressed and was soon waking me with a knock at my door, reminding me that we'd planned to visit the local's morning market along a nearby canal.  Wanting to be there before what I imagined might be a crowd (based on the floating night market throngs) I got up, quickly prepared myself for the day and went to meet him at the dining area where we again had healthy portions of prawn and rice soup.

The distinctive scent of lime as I squeezed it into my bowl was a refreshing reminder that I wasn't "in Kansas any more", and after finishing my soup I carried my mug of coffee down to the boat landing, took some slow, deep breaths and stood for a moment - grateful to be there and for the relative cool of this tranquil morning.

We walked over the footbridge to the parking area and my friend drove us off to the Takha morning market. I wasn't paying any attention to where he was heading so I'm no help with where it actually is, but it was only a very few minutes before he pulled off into a small parking lot and stopped the car. We walked down towards the canal along the road below, where people were either already doing business or setting up for the morning.

Bottles of honey in one stand, woven items in the next, sliced and bagged pineapple and mango and the next; the warm, yeasty smell of youtiao floating overhead, pulling us towards them.

These delicious donuts were shaped differently than the "X" shaped ones I'd seen in Bangkok, but the delicious aroma was unmistakable.

They reminded me more of the charity benefit ribbons you might see as promotional bumper stickers promoting awareness for one cause or another. I watched them bob in the bubbling fat, and although I wanted, oh, say, a dozen or so of them I decided to pass them up this morning. Who knows how much gunk I already have lining my heart arteries, and life's too short already.  As you can see by the photo to the left we did weaken and buy a half dozen to take with us on the way out, though.

The boats were jockeying for position along the steps leading down to the water at the side of the canal when we got to it, and what a variety of items they had for sale: sprouted coconuts, bagged to take home and plant, griddled rice and egg snacks, cut water lily blooms, house and yard plants, and bite-sized custards that had been steamed in small ceramic bowls before being scooped out of the dimpled cooking pan with a spoon and put into your take-away container.

There were several varieties of chilis and garlic, chompu (rose apples) and other fruits - and enough banana boats at one point to warrant Harry Belafonte showing up to sing "Day-O", but I suspected he was elsewhere so I sang it myself - to the mild chagrin of my friend who doesn't always appreciate my singing.

One young girl sat patiently tending her mother's boat full of house plants, idly playing her own version of "mind the gap" with her finger as their boat drifted against and away from the boat next to theirs, pulling her finger out of harm's way in a way only a seasoned veteran of the game could do it.

A girl playing "chicken" with the drifting boats
Day-O... Da-a-a-y-O... Daylight come and me wanna go home
There are far too many photos to dump on you unsuspecting folks in one day, so I'll hold off on some until tomorrow... but you've been warned.

1 comment:

krobbie said...

As ever more beautiful photos and a good lighthearted editorial. Just what I need to start my day.