Saturday, October 20, 2007

Curious finds at a Bangkok antique market.

Bangkok certainly has no shortage of markets. There is the Khlong Toei market, selling fresh fish, meat and produce; the Suan Lum night bazaar, offering hip t-shirts and generic souvenirs; the Chatuchak weekend market, selling practically every dry good imaginable; and countless smaller markets, selling cut flowers, sewing supplies, illegal DVDs, and knockoff Levi jeans. Last weekend, Bordeaux and I visited one of the strangest markets yet. We were headed out to Chatuchack, but rather than getting off at the station closest to the entrance, we disembarked early at Saphan Kwai. Along the sidewalks of Paholyothin Road between Saphan Kwai and Chatuchak are a string of vendor's stands. Antiques and Buddhist amulets were the main goods on offer, but there was also cheap clothing, vintage Thai movie posters, and funky retro furnishings.

There were a few very intriguing finds among the cluttered card tables and blankets. We very nearly bought a set of 6 retro blue mugs, but couldn't justify having to buy the entire set. Bordeaux tried on bizarre sunglasses, which were both to funky and too expensive. And while I was browsing among a table of antiques, Bordeaux picked up and began playing with a strange toy camera. I was shocked when I saw it- I had the same Fisher-Price camera when I was a kid! In fact, I had the exact tape that was in the camera- Disney's 'Lonely Ghosts'. By closing one eye and winding the red dial on the side, you can watch cartoons in choppy animation.

But the best find (and the only one I took home) was this rather unusual vintage postcard. I found it among a pile of antique photos and postcards. It is undated, but states that it was 'Made in Japan', and features the English caption: "Alligator Hunting." At best I can surmise that the image depicts an event that took place in Africa, and that they are actually hunting crocodiles. I loved the faded hues of the image, the romanticized African setting, and the strangely monstrous depiction of the crocodiles (I have a fondness for river monsters). I imagine it will look rather handsome framed, on a bookcase or in a study.

1 comment:

Tim said...

That is the most Alexandery postcard I've ever seen. Good find!