When I thought of Tiny Tim and his ukulele singing “Tiptoe Through the Tulips with Me” I immediately thought of my cousin, Denise. We’re the same age (sorry Denise, those few months don’t seem to matter very much now that we’re over 50 now do they?), and we would squeal with laughter everytime we thought of that falsetto voice. I mean we’re talking the era Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In. Maybe this is all in my head, but that’s what I thought of as I stumbled upon the Bangkok Flower Market this morning.
I had the most pleasant walk today before it got too hot. I even followed my own advice and looked at the map before I left home and then left it in my “man purse” for the rest of the day until I decided it was nearly nap time and needed to figure out how to get home. I got pleasantly lost and stumbled on three really fun and interesting things: the Amulet Market, the Herbal Medicine Market, and finally the Flower/Vegetable Market. It was great fun. I didn’t even let the crowded sidewalks (I’m generous with the term “sidewalks” when I use that word in the same sentence as Bangkok) get to me like I did the first time I visited there soon after my arrival.
First the “Amulet” market. Who knew there was such a thing? Thailand is a Bhuddist country and there are temples all over the city of various sizes. Most people have their own little temples at home so with 14 million people living here, it seems there is quite a market for Bhudda images. They came in all shapes, colors, sizes, poses, and materials. It was serious business. On a much smaller scale was the herbal medicine vendors. While smaller in scale than either of the other markets, it was very interesting to see traditional Thai “medicine men” hawking their wares. They are obviously quite proud of their products because a lot of them would put their own pictures one the labels.
But the grand daddy was the flower market. It went on and on and had every kind of exotic flower and vegetable that you can imagine. Most of it was unrecognizable to me. But I do understand roses and I must have seen thousands of them. They are wrapped in bundles of five dozen. The cost you wonder? Forty baht for five dozen, that’s just over one US dollar! My newly found friend, Bruce, said he received some yesterday as a gift from a friend just as he was walking out the door. He said he didn’t know what to do with them since he didn’t own a vase in Thailand so he just put them in the toilet bowl. He said he wasn’t sure what he was going to do with them “when the time come.”