สาม

Cutting down on the intake of hotel-buffet-breakfast on purpose to leave space for outside food. While grandmother sticks to her usual daily routine, a cup of black coffee with a slice of bread or croissant. Both Dad and grandmother were satisfied with the buffet. Most probably due to small appetites. Uncle K was still in dreamland then.

P.S. It makes one feel at home, I suppose, to sit cross-legged.

Wonton mee (Soup)

Noodles! The soup base was tasty and does not make me thirsty! But Mom was the one who ordered the soup version. How fortunate. The dry version wasn’t that bad though. Ordering all available options allows one to try each and every flavor. From there, comparison could be made.

Just the three of us. The Three Musketeers? 😛

Never underestimate the quality of cuppa from 7-11. And it’s cheap!

Books and magazines

T paying for the cuppa and his cigarettes.

Stall by the roadside selling packed chicken rice for takeaway. T got one for Uncle K.

Street view

While walking back, we saw a pushcart with a “wok” of boiling hot oil, selling fried pork belly (cut into slices). It tastes heavenly though oily. Plan of the day: To visit the famous floating market and to catch the MAMBO show which was put on hold last night. A SPECIAL day for grandmother.

T with his broken (spoken) Thai managed to stay in a cross-cultural-exchange conversation with the taxi driver who speaks understandable-basic-English throughout the journey which lasted for hours. Despite knowing the name and place of a particular floating market which he intends to go, he could not beat the two taxi-drivers (given that we hired two cabs) who insisted that the one T referred to was non-existent. They insisted on driving us to Lao Tuk Luk Floating Market. Google search reveals the truth, however, we didn’t sign up for any data plan then. Simply down on our luck.

“… situated on Khlong (canal) Lud Plee that intersects with the popular Khlong Damnoensaduak where Damnoensasuak Floating Market can be found. The name of the market, Lao Tuk Luk, is from the Chinese language that translates to ‘old market’. The name is especially relevant now since it is over 150 years old! The origin of the market comes from the Chinese migrants that settled here. They used the canal for transportation as well as trading and commerce. Over time, the community grew to become a floating market.” (Taken from http://www.thetrippacker.com/en/destination/place/attraction/ratchaburi-lao-tuk-luck-floating-market)

Toilet break. Carrying bags for the ladies. I do not have one.

Mode of transport. Could I call it a sampan? Just kidding.

The path ahead.

Uncle K is sunbathing. (Although I promised him not to snap a shot, I did. :P)

One of the shops

The shop, shop-owner and sampan.

Snack time

I did not notice how long was the ride. All I noted was that the place itself is quiet with a few tourists, which was of stark contrast to those floating markets portrayed in travel programs/documentaries. Dad and Uncle K insisted on flagging cabs when we reached the end rather than enjoying a loop back to the starting point to save money/avoid kanna fleeced by the operators.

Going back on land proved to be a demanding task for grandmother, whose mobility is not as good as compared to the past after falling into the drain and undergoing surgery. The stairs were too high. Guess what. Standing tall at 1.8-1.9+metre, he carried grandmother by placing his hands on her armpits and here we go, up-and-down followed by a pause for each step.

However, no cabs were sighted. Thus, we sat down in this small “coffee shop”; bought drinks, cups of ice-cream and cup noodles; and begin to chat. All these helped to alleviate our dread of an hour’s wait for the van which will bring us back to the starting point. The funniest part of the conversation we had was when Mom asked grandmother who does she think is younger from the look of their appearances, T or Uncle K. Grandmother’s answer “angered” T, who begrudged the fact and told Uncle K straight in the face that he would not longer carry grandmother and it’s now Uncle K’s duty. The reply? No longer taking the boat ride, hehehe. 😛

The view

Did I mention this? Snake slithered into a grocery store nearby. Dad and I went to have a look but the van was there waiting for us. Went back to the hotel to wash up and change into clean outfit before going out. The males hired a posh-looking  11-seater vehicle (what should I call it as?) to chauffeur us to and fro.

Ticketing counter at Level 1

Every ticket entitles the holder to a free beverage (Coke or Sprite).

Level 2: Snacks stall on both sides with the theatre entrance in the middle.

There are two showtimes. We opted for the second session and witnessed those ladyboys making their way to the ground level once the show ends. To take a photo with the ladyboy of your choice, simply buy a coupon beforehand or pay them on the spot. Be warned that a few ladyboys may crowd and squeeze in for a particular shot, making you pay (no. of ladyboys x price), which was what T experienced at a high price. To make it worse, majority were not the ones he favored and were rather “man”.

Before the show starts…

Seated in Row A, or the first row, which was the nearest to the stage. I daresay the ladyboys are constantly on the lookout for enthusiastic guys among the audiences and 放电. Personally feel that some of them are more feminine than authentic women. Also, they would get off the stage to shake the hands of those seated in the first row. I had the honor of having a handshake with one of them. 🙂

Creepy version of 小时侯

Starting act

The background changes once the show progresses into the next chapter. Audiences would get to see background of different countries’ landmarks/culture and the performers donning the costumes of various cultures. Countries include Japan, HK (China), USA [Hollywood] and so on. Here comes the climax. Asking for a _ _ _ _!

Ladyboy: Could you …? T: (Hesitating but pose for cam first)

T: Here I come!

Gotcha!

Apologies for the blurred image but I was shaking with laughter then.

Once the show ended, we boarded the hired vehicle and went to Chinatown to buy takeaways back to hotel for supper. Who cares about fats?

TADA! Small suckling pig and three packets of fried rice to share!

The most astonishing issue about grandmother is that her mind is too mindful about traditional values. Not wanting to waste the remainder of the suckling pig, she actually unlocked the door and stood there to see if any staff or person pass by so that she could give it away. What about safety? Thankful that nothing happened.

This has been an awfully long post. If you could read all the way to here at a go, here’s a salute. But most probably, you’re here after busily scrolling down. 🙂

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