May 31, 2011

Floating Market

In spite of being interesting, the floating market is a huge tourist trap. It's all so doubles There are many tourists and people need to make a living but yet we don't buy at these tourist traps. Algodones just over the border from Yuma has become something similar. Since the recession, the vendors have become a nuisance, and the result is that I simply don't buy anything. They are not a nice nuisance, because I know the difference between disrespect and desperation. The last trinket I bought in Algodones was from a newcomer. I had seen something interesting some time before and had to make quite an effort to find the small man from the south of Mexico, as he had moved his location on the side-walk from the popular main drag to a side street. I am assuming that they pay someone for their couple of square yards. When the purchase was made, I was about to walk off, but suddenly turned around to ask something, and saw the man was crossing himself and thanking god for the sale. I walked back to the border thinking how hard it must be to make a living with things no one really needs.

Be prepared at the floating markets in Thailand that the skiff you rent will take you to almost every vendor along the market, and that you have to put on your kind face and say 'no, thank you' many, many times. It was only when Jack said in Thai: 'We live here', that we were spared this. So glad Jack has gotten to lesson 6 already. You aren't out of the heat of it yet though, because there are so many boats milling around, that you have to remember to keep your fingers and anything else that may hang slightly overboard, inside the boat because if nott it will surely get crushed. The old lady handling the boat yells loudly at other handlers, but just as loudly at her human cargo and I tell you, Thai is a musical language, but not when it is shouted and yelled.

I am not known for my elegance when getting in and out of small boats. Getting in went well enough, although I eyed the green slush that was supposed to be water, with some trepidation. I then folded my legs into the lotus position because there wasn't more room for legs and the seat was perhaps 5 inches high. Come to that, I took a local bus in Holland in which I couldn't sit straight either and I am not all that tall in the land of giants, which Holland is.

Lotus position didn't last long as my legs started to sleep. With pins and needles, I moved my legs into other more intricate positions. If I could have put them in my neck, I would have, but I can't.

When we reached the jetty, I knew I may have to make a spectacle of myself and I was helped by two men, who each grabbed an arm and started pulling. The helpers were tiny, and I think I could have carried each under an arm and not be any the worse. It was a spectacular spectacle, mind you. Although,I may just give up using small vessels for a while.

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