Thursday, December 20, 2007

Everyday stuff

Both Kara and Cindy tell me to write more. I tell them I haven't had much interesting happen. They say write about your day to day details. Here is my trip to the night market for dinner. I have been travelling without staying in a room for three days. (That story will come.)I finally got a room tonight, got a shower,washed my clothes and then headed to the night market for dinner. I didn't feel like cooking. (The night market is this phenomenon that happens in empty parking lots every night in most towns. About five o'clock people appear with their carts, portable booths and tables and set up to feed the town. Apparently not to many people eat at home. There are groceries and cooked food, drinks and every food thing you can imagine. Kind of like carnie food but really good carnie food, Thai style.) I asked the guest house owner where the night market was but she could only point. Thai's generally don't have the english vocab and I can't understand the Thai vocab to give or get directions. So I headed out in the direction she pointed. I noticed as I walked that this town in particular has dogs in bad condition. Most dogs in Thailand have sarcopic mange presented by feverish itching and loss of hair with angry inflammed skin developing into "elephant skin" in later stages. I saw several dogs that made me cringe. They had absolutely no hair and were scratching themsleves silly; they found it hard to take several uninterrupted steps. I found it hard to watch them. I passed a older couple out in the street feeding their local stray dogs. The old man was smiling and talking to the dogs while his wife watched. He caught my eye and we smiled at each other. I "asked" them for the direction of the night market and they just stared at me. We laughed and I walked on in the same direction. Next? Eventually I got to the market area. Along the way there were several carts "outside" the night market area trying to catch the hungry "I can't wait " people of which I am one. I bought two chicken kabobs for 30 cents. As I got to the official night market area I noticed this one was different than most others. The food and clothing and other junk are all mixed in together in a chaotic mess which is not typical of most night markets. Most night markets are clearly oraganized into what is being sold. I had to search but I located some of my favorite sweet potatoes, bought them and continued walking through the booths and such. I saw one of the many dogs and cats that I see with terrible wounds. This particular dog had a gangrenous leg. Who knows what has happened to him but he was doing the best he could do with the wound. I can't look very long. I have had to work hard at not trying to save every dog and cat I see in distress, I am just unable ( though I have "saved" a few). I walked over to the fruit shake place that every night market has and got a shake for 30 cents. I have had a fever for a few days that some damn american expat gave me and I am hoping the vitamin c will help. There I see another dog this one with an eye infection so bad that his face is swollen beyond recognizing it as a dog. His head is heavy for him to carry it is so full. I walked over to him and told him I was sorry, he could not look up. I continued walking and found my favorite sausage things, grabbed a couple of those and took another lap around. I was starved. I hadn't eaten since 6 am and it was 6 pm. I had either been on a train, tuk tuk, motobike taxi or in a bus all day. It is kind of hard to eat when I see these dogs, my stomach flips over, but there are so many of them I cannot begin to change their lot. I have had to work hard on this issue. I volunteered for a vet while I was here on the island of Khoa Tao and she said mange is an epidemic they don't even have hopes of slowing. So I have had to let it go. After my last lap and before I see any other dogs I headed home because I am exhausted after travelling for three days straight. On my way home I passed an old woman sitting up, asleep at her food booth. I wished I had had my camera. Someone could have taken off with her cooked sausages on a stick or her kabobs. I thought about it, they looked awfully good. On my way home I saw this town's version of the songatheiw go down the road. It is a motorcycle, cattle truck thing with a narrow rounded front end that makes them look like a piece of pie going down the road. Then I saw a volkswagon bug go down the street. I checked myself. Did I really see that? It reminded me of Mamaw, she always drove a bug in her early years. I also passed an old woman feeding cats so I stopped and "asked" to pet them. One by one I picked them up and kissed them watching their faces squinch up as I did. I kissed and petted on each for awhile talking my cattie talk to them. It seemed to be a universal language. The older woman and I smiled at each other, but didn't even try to talk. I continued down the street amidst the traffic, trash and more terrible looking dogs. I looked down an alley way that was littered with people and trash, dogs and cats, motobikes, bicycles and other random discarded things. I had to remind myself that this is SE Asia and this is what it is, and I have to appreciate it as such. And I do, mostly. I passed an internet cafe and went in and began writing this blog. Now I will head home to my guest house. It is an old style Thai teak house. I have a very simple room. One bed, one fan, one pillow, one sheet; the bottom one. That's it, and that's all I need right now.


Anonymous said...

Hi Trace...Kara and Cindy were right. Thanks for taking time to write this "vivid" account of your evening out. It's just so difficult to imagine life outside of the US (and sometimes within the US now that I think about it).

elaine said...

Hi Tracy. Don't listen to those hungry readers about blogging more! This is your once-in-a-lifetime chance to totally disconnect from life back here and immerse yourself in life over there instead of spending time searching for an internet cafe. Growth and Learning opportunities galore! (okay, I'm stepping off my box, and do agree with Sandy about the detail : ).

Anonymous said...

Tracy - I check your blog a few times a week and I get so excited when I see a new entry. I soak up your stories like a sponge. I'm learning about the world vicariously through you - even when it is "everyday stuff". It is all interesting & entertaining to me. Take Care & continue to enjoy your adventure.
Deb Baker

Anonymous said...

Happy Holidays, Tracy! Best wishes for a great new year of travel, fun, and peaceful rest. - Bev

Lainie said...

Yoyo, Yo my he-ro.