I made it to Chattachuk market yesterday, a weekend market famous for having over three miles of wall-to-wall vendor stalls – not to mention the overflow stalls along the sidewalk, outside Chattachuk.

It’s just two BTS stations down from us, and away from any protests. I left Christian at home (he’s become very attached to Sue, Joss, and Noi naa – they took him for a quick bike ride, played “surfing” in the pool, and fed him lunch) and ventured out with a friend of Sue’s, who happens to go to Chattuchuk nearly every weekend. That would be me if I lived here. Despite the heat and crowds, I LOVE THIS PLACE.

The sheer massiveness and density of local commerce makes for a fascinating reflection of current Western trends and fashions. This time I noticed that flannel shirts (with the sleeves rolled up to the bicep) are a hot item, along with blue jean shorts.

I really appreciated experiencing Chattachuk from a local perspective. First, we went directly to her favorite fried chicken joint, Jeed-Jeer, to beat the lunch crowd. Fried chicken is misleading though, because most of the meal is raw! There is a about the amount of one fried chicken breast, chopped, and served on top of a grated green mango salad, with greens, all drenched in a tangy tart vinigrette. We had that with som tum, another grated salad, but papaya not mango, plus sticky rice, and a coke for each of us.

From there we wandered the stalls, while I did enough shopping of teak wood items to last me the month.

My loot from the day.

Which brought us to her favorite coconut ice cream vendor: each scoop of homemade coconut sorbet was served on grated coconut meat in the coconut shell half. You got two toppings (choice of a variety of sliced fruits or red bean and peanuts), all for 25B (about 75 cents). The sweetest thing about this vendor was that they’d created a jungle oasis for themselves, by planting orchids and other hanging bromeliads in an arch around the shop front. Everything was continuously misted, green and lush.

That gave us more energy for shopping.

We brought us finally to her favorite fresh orange juice vendor. We got three large bottles (50B each) each to bring home, and a little juice (15B) to drink on the spot. She likes this place, not only because the juice is always supersweet, but because they give you money back for returning the glass bottles.

Boy, it was hot. Besides the orange juice, I had had a coffee, a coke, and my 16-oz water, and still hadn’t needed to pee!

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