Colorful Jars

An Unrelated Photo

By mere happenstance, I spotted this tall wall of jars, all filled with some kind of color, at a department store earlier today. We were heading to the famously intense Chatuchak Market (aka Weekend Market) to see if things there had changed much since our last visit some 3 years ago.

The simple answer? Not really. Sure, it’s a market, so obviously some of what’s sold there goes out of favor and is no longer available. That’s how it’s been since my very first visit in 1988 when finely woven t-shirts with Keith Haring’s artwork silkscreened on them were all the rave.

I knew of Haring from his design of the logo for 1983’s Montreux Jazz Festival, as I was there for a few crazy nights with a couple of American friends that I’d met in either Rome, Brindisi, or Corfu. Anyhow, I bought a Haring t-shirt during the Swiss festival and I want to remember paying about $20 for it. Then, five years later, I got a dozen different motifs by the same New York artist at Chatuchak for less than $2 a tee. That’s kinda how the market works. Right now it’s the bucket hat that’s selling like hotcakes.

The most striking difference and something I would argue is going on at a lot of places in Bangkok is a kind of upgrade. And when it comes to Chatuchak, if not the world’s largest open-air markets, at least one of the top three, the upgrade is more than welcome.

Yes, it can still get ridiculously hot, humid, and, above all claustrophobically crowded. But now there’s more physical space, more cafés, more places to rest, more public toilets, and as far as I could tell, generally speaking, a higher quality of wares on sale. It just feels like Chatuchak offers an overall better visiting/shopping experience.

But hey! What about them color jars? Well, since I didn’t have a great image from our visit to Chatuchak, I figured the jars would just have to suffice to illustrate today’s rant.