Saturday, August 14, 2010
Rough, middle of the road, but relaxing
Here is a short video I got today of some kids playing their instruments along the side of the walkway at Chatuchak Market today. We call it JJ market because the pronunciation also sounds like Jatujak Market. JJ is a weekend only market here in Bangkok, popular with tourists as a place to buy cheap clothes, eat cheap food and buy all other kinds of souvenir things...pretty much anything you can think of you can buy there. I mean...ANYTHING...although a lot of it is hidden.
The cops make sweeps hourly of the walkway making sure that nobody is pedaling their wares illegally, without a permit, etc. Before the cops come though, there is usually someone about 50 meters ahead of them warning everyone. The illegal merchants grab the blanket that their merchandise is on and in like three seconds they are blending in with the rest of the tourists and shoppers. Cops pass, they set up shop again. I saw an ice cream man get busted today...poor dude...bringing people scoops and scoops of happiness and he gets his ice cream stand confiscated! But, the law is the law...too bad the cops don't enforce the no smoking rule...it's mostly the foreigners who are either unaware of the no smoking policy and the cops are not likely to piss off the folks who are spending the most money there.
Anyways, this is just a quick video blog...not really about JJ market or the corrupt cops there busting people selling toothbrushes illegally for show...It's about the kids playing their instruments! I really liked the tune, the folky music and actually watching them and their drumlike wrist movement while striking the strings with the mallets or whatever those little sticks are! The instrument is the Thai Kim instrument. It is similar in "function" to a piano really. Tight drawn strings, bridges etc. But the strings are struck by the little wood and bamboo striky thingies! Pretty cool to listen to. I could have stayed for a lot longer especially when they got to the faster portions, but I was on a mission to buy work shoes!