(sorry for the delay in the second half, got a little busy)
Thailand can be very intense on the senses. . .As we are walking away from the palace I get a strong smell of jasmine. A strong breeze comes by and petals start raining down. I can’t help but catch a few in my hand. At the same time there is the sounds of traffic, vendors, and lots of talking. I’m looking up and down the streets and where there had been just pedestrians, there is an entire shopping alley. Tarps (and other old plastic refuse) are strung up between the stalls and the buildings, creating tunnels all the way down the sidewalks. When we first entered the palace none of this was present and what is more amazing, every night it is taken down. The goods and the stalls that hold them will all be packed up and every morning they will return again. ( I wonder how it is decided where you get to set up shop and if there are any rules).
All of the blocks appear to broken up in to sections, the first street away from the palace was all Buddhist charms, amulets, statues and pictures. The next section is all clothing then fruit stands and on and on.
We decide to get some food and find a lady who has 5 large pots of food and big container of rice. When I ask her what is what, she points and says “ spicy, spicy, spicy, not spicy, not spicy”. I pick spicy pot number one, chicken I believe. She scoops me out a big mound of rice and then scoops in a few ladle fulls of “Chicken Spicy Pot” she also goes to the extra effort to scoop me out a large half-moon looking liver. Thank you. I love Thai food, and when I get the plate in front of me I can smell the strong sent of Lemongrass. I take a couple of bites, and it is so very tasty. I can hardly believe such delicious food is available on a street corner. However, as I’m eating, I start to feel a little queasy and I cannot eat anymore. I look at my plate and notice a large chicken foot in the middle of my plate. I push him up to the top of the plate next to the large hunk of liver, but it’s not these two things that are make me lose my appetite. It is actually the woman sitting on a stool next to me with a large box of partial dentures for sale. The more I think about denture sales, where she got them from and people trying them on to make sure they fit, I couldn’t eat any more. Curses!
We hail a tuk tuk for a ride back to the hotel. (He drives us all over the place, tells us to get out and our hotel is right there… but he’s wrong, our hotel is still 5 or 6 blocks away and it will take us another 30 minutes to figure that out.) Here are some photos from that ride.