Southeast Asia can sometimes seem like an endless flow of markets. Every city has it’s own variation and assortment of goods, but the motion of browsing, bartering, buying is the same everywhere. “Same, same but different,” is a token phrase so widespread amongst backpackers that we bought t-shirts with the slogans (a souvenir trap even savvy shoppers like us could not resist). Lucky for Asia, we love the culture, amusement and constant stimulation that each market, no matter how “same same but different,” brings to light.The timing of our stay in Bangkok fell over the weekend, so we got to visit the Chatuchak Market Weekend Market—the market of all markets. A track-like walkway ushers tourists around a giant mass of tented shops like a lazy river, and the vendors manning the stalls are anxious and ready to sell you anything and everything. It is a place you can wander and loose yourself for hours at a time, people watching and bargaining for things you never knew you needed until you saw them—for Kaela and me, this included a light-up, singing bubble machine, purple hair paint and a teacup Pomeranian puppy (Sadly, only the first two were purchased).
Upon entering the market, we were immediately accosted by a Korean film crew, doing a segment on God knows what, who asked if they could film us. We happily acquiesced, and an extremely sweaty, overly enthusiastic “host” proceeded to shout out questions in Korean, while another man translated them into English. Despite his apparent excitement, his questions were as boring and generic as you could get—“Where are you from,” “What do you think of this market?” I asked him if this was for a school project and the host replied, “For Korean national television.” [sidenote: We’ll pay good money to anyone who is able to track this video down] The highlight must have been when he asked me to try the strange looking ‘fish ball’ I had just bought off one of the street vendors. I prefer to try strange and possibly disgusting food without a potential audience of a million Korean viewers but what could I do. I took a bite and nodded that it was good before flashing my token peace sign at the cameras. They finally stopped rolling and I threw the rest of my fish ball away. It was disgusting.
Oddly enough, that was not even close to the most interesting thing we saw because then this happened. See below.
There are no words.