We woke up early, eager for a way to try to repay a fraction of the kindness of our hosts. After making a pancake breakfast, we were off to Bangkok’s largest market – Chatuchak. It was rumored to have everything from exotic animals to handicrafts to flip flops by the thousand, and it didn’t disappoint. But the real find was my college friend and her son, who fortunately had gotten back early from a trip to facilitate our reunion. Playing auntie and uncle, we wanted to buy the little one ice cream and a puppy, but his mother wisely got him 5 toys for the price of one, a juice and mango sticky rice. We missed the cock fighting section of the market and I missed my friend immediately after her taxi pulled away.
The afternoon found us at a second market. This smaller floating market would have been outside of our realm of possibility had it not been for our hosts’ concise directions, ticket purchases and companionship. We were munching happily on new snacks like pork balls and desert tacos (which tasted as sweet as marshmallows) as our longtail boat navigated hairpin turns in the canals. Our only stop was to feed catfish who looked as well fed as we were!
We stopped on the way home at our hosts’ club to have a beer. It might have been our first disappointment to find the bar closed, except it was closed because there was horse racing at the club’s track (which looped around the club’s golf course, which was adjacent to the two outdoor pools – all in central Bangkok). So we got a program and picked horses we liked based on names, and I wished my uncle and aunt were with us to enjoy my first live horse race. Not having bet, we came out even and settled in after a yummy Ramen dinner in the college neighborhood.
My first market selling reptiles, rugs and rose apples, my first floating market and my first horse race. Giddy-up!