Talat Noi in Bangkok

Cooler in Talat Noi
These are from yesterday’s visit to the Talat Noi area. Might have been my 40th or 50th time there. I’m now finally on the finish line with the book about this remarkable area that I’ve documented since first discovering it back in 2011.

It’s in Talat Noi where they sell used (almost antiquated) engines, gearboxes, rear axles, cooling fans, etc. The area is Heavy Metal for real and came into existence sometime during World War II when there were hardly any spare parts available for cars and trucks.

Each visit to Talat Noi has almost always provided something new and so it was yesterday when I serendipitously came across Tattoo-Chen and a little later discovered a new, hysterically colorful tea shop. A visit to the old Fiat has become mandatory.

It’s usually extremely sweaty in Talat Noi. From April until the monsoon rains in September and October, especially in the middle of the day, it’s almost unbearably hot. Now in December, the temperature in Bangkok is very tolerable and it’s even cooler in areas bordering the Chao Phraya River like Talat Noi.

The difference in temperature is most noticeable in the afternoon when people in Talat Noi take a break from welding, milling, and filing to and socialize again with neighbors and colleagues. That’s when I usually show up and finagle my way to a couple of new street portraits.

In order to get locals I meet to agree to a spontaneous portrait shoot, I first give off a huge smile and then great them with a really polite phrase. Most people are so surprised to hear me say “Hello, good afternoon! Sure is nice with this cool weather we have right now?”, in decent Thai, that they usually let me photograph them.

I’ll have to try this in Malmö and see how it goes there. Keeping my expectations low, though. I have time for a couple more turns to Talat Noi before we return home to Sweden.