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"JJ Market is an absolute treasure chest. You will find everything from plants to clothes to candles to oils to foods to pet iguanas (and other animals) to stuff made out of soft drink cans to little collector shops devoted entirely to Coca-Cola and McDonalds!"
- Rasee Govindani

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Thailand

A market, the beach, and a hospital siege
by Rasee Govindani, 19, Bangkok, Thailand
Jan 30, 2000

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Rasee

I spent the night of New Year's Eve at my parents' Indian restaurant with my family (from my grandparents to my cousins) and my friends from Finland and Egypt. We had a huge dinner, tasted some really bad wine, and decided to dig into my birthday cake with a couple of spoons. We didn't have a countdown exactly - just the band playing a popular Hindi birthday song for me and all of us dancing until we were out of breath.

We carried our little parade, elderly people excluded, to a very hot Latin club in town called Casa Salsa. My friend from Australia, Andrew, manages the club, and we stayed there until about three in the morning. The next couple of days after that are a real blur because I was nursing a rather intense hangover and too much was going on to really make sense out of everything.

I went back to school on the third of January and life has been hectic since then.

My friends at the university, Johanna (Finland) and Ni (Khon Kaen, Thailand), and I decided to hit Chatuchak Market (popularly known as Sunday Market or JJ Market) one weekend. I hadn't been there in over a decade and was enthused about exploring one of the hot shopping spots of Bangkok.

We took a taxi from the university and within thirty minutes arrived at the market. At first glance it seems like a modest number of stalls placed under a HUGE roof. What one soon realizes is that there are over a dozen of these HUGE roofs, strategically placed around a prominent white-marble clock tower.

The three of us have very different personalities and tastes so it's always difficult catering to all our little eccentricities, but each of us found something we liked. Ni picked up a bag and some plants for her dorm, while Johanna was in complete awe of all the army gear they had for sale. I was very happy with my aromatherapeutic oils, some Coca-Cola memorabilia, and a pair of shoes that were ridiculously cheap (which I later found out was because they were so badly made; I have scratches of my wrists and knees to prove it).

JJ Market is an absolute treasure chest. You will find everything from plants to clothes to candles to oils to foods to pet iguanas (and other animals) to stuff made out of soft drink cans to little collector shops devoted entirely to Coca-Cola and McDonalds!

We got lost many, many times and ended up circling the same spot over and over. A map of JJ Market can be bought for 25 baht (less than a dollar), but we opted to try our luck. We had lunch at one of the several noodle stalls and watched a man sporting a colorful mohawk cut away at a lady's hair while blaring Guns 'n Roses. It was a sight to see, whether you're a tourist or not.

A day at the beach at Pattaya

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