On Sunday evening after a busy weekend in Bangkok at an enormous book fair, I was glad to finally be home and to take a long walk along the beach. I love taking long walks on the beach and at least one of our weekend beach walks almost always ends up with us visiting Cicada. It's a market that has dozens of stalls that sell everything from hand-painted cushions to knitted dolls and it's one of my favourite weekend places.
Hand painted cushionsKnitted dolls
I haven't told you this before but I'm just like Charlie from the Countdown Mysteries when it comes to food. My mother always says that my life is ruled by my stomach and so Cicada wouldn’t be one of my favourite places to visit if it didn’t have an outdoor food court. It does, and it's spectactular!
When we arrived at the market I used my keen powers of observation (something all good detectives possess) and noticed that someone had moved the large letters that spell out the name of the market and replaced them with a water feature. The large white letters had previously been positioned so they appeared to float on the dark surface of a shallow rectangular pond and provided a great opportunity for a quick tourist photograph.
The letters in their new position The new waterfall... it's calossal!
The new water feature is a huge waterfall and must be at least four metres high and no less than eight metres wide. It’s like a huge curtain of water and I think it's Hua Hin’s answer to the Niagara Falls. It’s humungous, and would also be quite impossible to miss (with or without keen powers of observation). As my mother would no doubt say, “A blind man on a galloping horse wouldn’t miss that!”
After enjoying a moment to take in the new giant waterfall, we decided to have a stroll around the market. We set off along the path that meanders through the busy stalls. The market was already busy. Stallholders were busy selling their goodies to tourists and locals who were doing their bit and were handing over their money with equal excitement. Well, who doesn’t love a market?
We stopped to watch a young boy named Pae. He was sitting on a low stool in the middle of a patch of gravel and there was a small crowd standing in silence in front of him. We held our breath as Pae amazed us with his breathtaking bottle balancing brilliance (how’s that for a spot of alliteration?) Taking an empty beer bottle from a large pile behind him, he placed it very carefully on top of another. With great concentration and patience, and making miniscule adjustments to each bottle, he eventually managed to balance the bottles precariously in a kind of balancing beer bottle sculpture. When he finally moved his hands from the balancing bottles, they looked as if they had somehow been stuck together in their impossible balancing positions with superglue. A large white hat sat just in front of Pae on the path, slowly filling with donations from his passing audience.
Pae creating his balancing bottle sculpturesA hat full of money
We continued on our way along the path until my family were satisfied that we had strolled far enough and then it was finally food time. Yay! Being creatures of habit we ignored the dozens of other food sellers and instead zoomed over to our usual food stalls. With a fistful of food coupons we had exchanged for some Thai Baht we soon bought our food and found a free table in amongst the masses of other diners. With memories of Pae and his balancing bottles still fresh in my mind I sat down to enjoy my chicken biryani and the youngest member of our group decided to demonstrate her own balancing skills by knocking over her soup on the opposite side of the table. Because of the uneven ground of the food court area the table sloped slightly in my direction. I watched in horror as the soup ran quickly towards me like a hot river and poured off the table into my waiting lap like a soupy waterfall. With a rather large wet patch covering the front of my shorts when I stood to leave, I don't have to tell you what it looked like. Happy days!