Managed to drag myself out of bed at 9:30 this morning so that I could make a trip to the fresh market. If time, I also needed a haircut. I know. 9:30? It’s one of the perks.
The market is a nice walk before it gets too hot, and the green taxis are right there if I want a ride back. Plus, there are lots of food street vendors to choose from. I love the street vendors, but often I have no idea what they are selling. Sometimes you just have to experiment.
All I needed at the market was vegetables but I couldn’t resist walking around a little. I was tempted by the fresh prawns, all sizes, at the best prices around. I’ve found, though, that it is more convenient and less expensive to buy bags of small frozen, cleaned shrimp at Makro, as well as frozen fish fillets, than buying fresh. But there are lots of seafood choices at the fresh market. (Note: The fish market in Nagoya, Batam, Indonesia, was far larger with a larger selection of fish.)
The one area that really interests me is where all the dried seafood, herbs and stuff are sold (at right). It’s very colorful and pungent, but I have no idea what to do with whatever it is they’re selling. One day, maybe I will have a Thai explain it all to me. That should be an interesting conversation.
Again, all I needed today was to replenish vegetables, so I stopped at one stall where I was able to get white potatoes, small tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, leaf lettuce and onions. 230 baht, a little more than normal but the bell peppers are imported, as are the potatoes.
Then, I decided to have some fun. This was a day to pick out some street food to take back for breakfast/lunch. First, some fried chicken wings.
Chicken is ubiquitous is Asia. Eggs, too. The fried chicken on the street can vary in taste, depending on where the seller is from and what herbs and spices they use in their region. But you don’t know what it will taste like exactly until you try. And it’s always delicious. The wings are not necessarily cheap (20 baht each, 60 cents).
Next, I’ve been meaning to try the Thai sausage on a stick and saw a vendor near the taxi stand. So two sticks of a sausage I’ve never tried before. That will go well with french toast for my meal. These were only 15 baht each and came with a little raw cabbage.
Finally, I decided to walk back with my load. On the way, I stopped at a stall frying some sort of fruit. It looked like durian or jack fruit but the lady said it wasn’t. She offered me a sample of the deep-fried, coated food but I just said give me some and I’ll try. The coating was tasty and hid a large bean or seed of some kind inside. I ate one of those and then just ate around it with the others.
The unusual haircut
I have been getting my hair cut at Pet’s salon on Soi 55, and could have dovetailed that with my shopping, but I decided to try a shop around the corner from my house. I haven’t been able to connect with Pet yet, and after trying for four months I decided to just give it up. Wish I hadn’t
The neighborhood shop was somewhat strange, primarily because there were so many ladyboys around. Several young boys, too, watching TV. Thankfully, a woman cut my hair, but that was equally as strange. She is in her 50s, overweight, but wore an elastic, black two-piece, basically a sports bra and short-shorts. Belly hanging out.
I was pretty sweaty from my shopping journey and that caused a bit of a fuss, with towels applied and fans revved up. Then, she spent a great deal of time making sure my sidewalls were as short as possible. And while she did shorten the top, it still looks like a pompadour. Oh well, it will grow back.
However, when she told me how much – 200 baht – that sealed the deal that I won’t be back. I’ve been paying 80 baht for haircuts on Soi 55. Live and learn.
Pool: Good time, bad time
I thought Monday night might be a good time to go to the Hua Hin Bar right around the corner to have a beer and practice. I figured it would be quiet, that I would have the table to myself. It wasn’t, and I didn’t. There was an American playing pool with a Thai, and I signed up to play winner.
Mike is from San Francisco and has lived in Thailand for two years. Nice guy, and he and Lom, the Thai, and I had a good time in a round-robin, winner stays on the table. May, an attractive hostess at the bar and a good player I’ve played before, and a guy from Sydney joined in. Probably due to lots of good breaks, I kept winning. But everyone was having a good time. Ladies around watching. Applause and ooh-aahs for good shots.
Next to the table was a group of Aussies, very loud and aggressive with the hostesses. They were throwing around a lot of money for drinks and roses, and probably ended up with one or two of the girls. Did my best to ignore them but one, a big burly, young guy who remninded me of my son, signed up to play. He was serious.
I had finally been beaten, by Mike, who, unfortunately, didn’t know about some of the strictest league rules, which our Aussie did. Mike accidentally touched/moved a ball. The Aussie called a foul, which is correct, but unnecessaryin the situation. I usually forgive such a mistake, unless its serious, because it’s just for fun. Not for this guy.
The foul call irritated Mike, who did it again later. His frustration grew and I just watched, mouth shut. Mike was wrong but so was this Aussie.
Mike ended up losing on a foul and it was my turn. I like to introduce myself to new players and did so, getting sort of a reply. I mentioned that it looked like we were playing by league rules. I just wanted to be straight about the rules before starting.
To the Aussie, however, there was no difference. I tried to explain that we were just having fun and not taking incidental fouls seriously. My voice through all this was very calm; I didn’t want a confrontration, certainly not with a man 50 pounds of muscle bigger than me. He, on the other hand, lost it, going into a rage about the rules.
My response was to take my cue apart, put it away, and say: “Man, you just want to cause trouble.” And walked away. The Sydney guy, who had watched this unfold with others on the sideline, came up to say he enjoyed playing and hoped to see me again. Mike had already left with his Thai wife, not a happy camper.
Life is too short to be arguing about inconsequential pool games, or any games. I play to make friends and have a good time, not to argue. So when it happens, I leave. No mess, no stress. And I did make at least three new friends, despite the idiot.