Thursday, June 11, 2009

Packs of them in the Wet Market

In the wee hours of the morning they come by genetic instincts to the wet markets. Never alone but in pairs or in packs some will arrive. There will always be that alpha male of a different breed leading and seeking food for the pack. They wonder the narrow lanes of the market, or they stand guard on corners accepting whatever people will feed to them. These are territorial creatures and warrant a fierce brawl should one pack accidentally step onto the other’s ground. No, they are not dogs nor wolves. They are monks from the so many nearby temples.

The alpha male, usually not a monk, leads and collects the alms into bags when a person gives. He is more like the manager and seeks out territory and resolve disputes should one occur. The yellow robed monks, walks along quietly and performs rituals when people come forth and kneel. These are everyday scene one could experience when visiting the markets in the mornings – aka legalized begging. If this would to have happen in Singapore, the lockup cell in your neighborhood police post would be overflowing with yellow robed monks filled up like sardines, with the occasional one or two drunk drivers from earlier.

Ad so I snapped away on my phone curiously. That is until the alpha male gave me the stare. I walked away and stood having my Nestle coffee in my hand waiting for my friend to arrive. Alpha male came forth and “bark! grrrrrrrrrrr… woof woof… rrrrrr (growling… )”.


Alpha Male: “Why take picture you many many? 7 am it is not. I have rights and permission to stand at corner!”
Blogger: (silence and blur)…..
Alpha Male: “I have card from police I show you now!”

He took out a card with the police logo hung around his neck hidden by his shirt.

Alpha Male: “Why take picture? Nothing wrong I do, I follow my permission given, this my card permit from police, see logo police.”
Blogger: “Big brother, I take picture many many because in Singapore land home of I, market no have monk. I see monk interesting, want to take picture show friend friend. Holiday I am in Bangkok, I not Thai person big brother.”

The after that it was all smiles and pat on my back and welcome to Bangkok very warm feelings. He even bid me goodbye when I was carrying bags of veggie along with my friend walking to the car.

I am Thai now.

No comments: