Gypsy's Travels

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Thailand - A Day Along the River

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DS and I got an early start so we could see as much as possible on my first day in Thailand. He had had already been there for a week, which was mostly spent in Phuket...on the beach and shopping. We bought a tourist ticket for the boat that runs up and down the canal. We could get on and off at any stop, all day long. A great way to see the sights along the waterway and stay out of the town traffic.

In town, it really seemed that everyone was a small business owner. Mini-restaurants and tiny shops lined every street and alley way, spilling over onto the sidewalks and stopping just short of the curbs. Pedestrians are obliged to step into the street at frequent intervals and just take it in stride.The sights along the canal were a curious mix of new, old, and ancient. Modern buildings vied with apparent dwellings that would ordinarily be condemned in many other places. The people all seem happy, energetic, and ready to work.

The canal water is a murky, green color which appears to double as a giant trash receptacle. It could have been worse so there must be people designated to clean it at intervals. They certainly retrieved anything of value, including aluminum cans and plastic bottles, which could be turned into cash. People took every opportunity to drop a line in the water and must have been successful, although we never saw anyone carrying fresh fish. I sincerely doubt it was "catch and release", but I would have a hard time eating anything caught there.

We saw one group of three men and one woman, working on refurbishing a portion of wall near the edge of the river and pier. The woman was bent over, diligently spreading the concrete with a trowel, while the men were roaming around the area. One man was fishing, one was having a bite to eat, another was sitting listening to music. They jumped up every once in a while - one to sprinkle sand over the newly place concrete, and the others to oversee the project. We did not hear any complaining.

The river functions well in its roles as provider and transportation.

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