To view images of the food and people at the market described in this post, click here for a slide show.
In Bangkok, behind a busy gas station and beside a military base, there lies a parking lot. Most days it sits empty, as plastic bags dance across the cracked slab of concrete. They bounce between the ambitious plants that break it into smaller and smaller pieces.
But on Mondays and Wednesdays that barren lot comes alive. And for nearly a year I barely noticed, though it all happens at the end of my street.
This Thanksgiving will mark my first anniversary living in Thailand, I realized, as I was scouring this newly discovered spot. A year is a short time to live anywhere, but this year in Thailand has been different. Much has happened.
My wife and I were on one of the last planes to land at Suvarnabhumi Airport on November 26, 2008. We touched down just as waves of protestors, clad in yellow shirts and singing protest songs, seized it and squeezed a government out of office. Thailand has struggled to recover ever since.
A few months later, the opposite end of this whirlwind of discontent spun out on the streets during Songkran, the Buddhist New Year. The opposing Red Shirts clogged the streets surrounding Government House in Bangkok. Thais on both sides watched on television as the Prime Minister's motorcade was attacked and shattered, as tanks rolled through Victory Monument, as soldiers fired warning shots over a seething sea of red.