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Isaan Village Markets

First published 23 December 2020

We accompanied Yuan and Lud (Gaun's younger sister and husband) to the local daytime markets this morning in Si Bun Ruang, as Yuan delivered some orders of vegetables from the farm and then did some shopping herself.

The photos show scenes that will be very familiar to those of you who know Thailand, but as many of you are stuck in other countries, maybe they will give you a reminder as to why this place is where you want to call home at some stage.

Lud and Yuan getting ready to delver some orders. This is a fraction of the stock that has gone out from the farm today. Most is collected very early morning so that stallholders have product ready to sell from first thing.

Off to deliver.

There's nothing pretty about Thai 'architecture'. These are the central all day markets for our town. People new to Thailand remark on the confusion of lines they see on poles (or ground!) These are mostly broadband cables not power lines.

Ugly but vibrant. I come from a beautiful planned city (Canberra) but I wouldn't swap the constant activity, movement and interest here for my ex-home town.

This is one of the scenes that captivated me in the early days of living here. There's something so 'real' about a good Thai market, when compared to the blandness of modern supermarkets or a 7/11.

I love the fact that you can't walk down an aisle with all the same sort of products. It's a voyage of discovery. Cosmetics sold next to vegetables or a bubbling pot of freshly cooked something.

The meat and fish stalls are mostly in the one area, clothes at the other end and just about everything you can think of in-between.

I so enjoy the vibrant colours.

Yuan delivering celery. 50 baht a kilo.

There's that vibrancy of colours again.

Broccoli and cauliflowers from the farm were destined for Bear's market stall (Gaun's older sister), who spends the day here selling. The space is rented on a monthly basis. It used to be 1,500 baht a metre.

Different types of chilli paste. People will often mix the varieties. It's all just hot or super hot to me!

For anyone who reads my Rural Farming in Isaan group page, this is the outcome of the huge amount of brown mustard seed leaves that Yuan sells. It's made into a sour dish with salt and sticky rice and then packaged for sale.

Central to some Isaan food - fermented fish, what Gaun calls 'fish dead long time'. Not one for my dinner plate, I have to say.

Yuan buying some bottled (liquid only) FDLT...........

.........and some combined liquid and fish. 80 baht a kilo.

Yuan helping Bear set up her stall. Yuan is fastidious about presentation. Lud is wearing a leather jacket I brought out from Australia. It's never sold enough for me to use!

It's noisy here with chat. If it's quiet, a stallholder will lie down for a snooze. Wake to buy! In summer, it is really hot in here and how they cope sitting all day is beyond me.

Lud does most of the farm deliveries these days so this was a good opportunity for Yuan to wander around and chat to some of her customers.

Some of Yuan's products on display.

Freshness and choice.

A reflection of the cool season

And one of my favourite photos of the day. Mum and daughter. That's what is missing in Tesco Lotus or Makro isn't it. The personal aspect and the relaxed involvement in the workplace. Beautiful. I am going to get this one printed and give it to the lady. BTW it's another example about how shy Thai people are about having their photo taken.

Thanks for reading.



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