I woke up just before sunrise today and set off to Damnoen Saduak – a 100 year old floating market situated about 100 kilometres southwest of Bangkok – to have a glimpse of the lives of some Thai people who still live along the canals and waterways.
My visit, though very short, was a fascinating insight into the Thai culture and a Buddhist perspective on fasting; as the sun rises, monks from nearby temples make their way to the residential canals to receive alms in exchange for blessings and/or amulets. Buddhist monks lead an ascetic life of prayer, fasting, and manual labor, and thus only consume only foods received at the first seven house – I’d been so blessed to have witnessed this moment of grace. The villagers, on the other hand, sell and trade handicrafts, food, fresh fruits and vegetables harvested from their own orchards.
“Travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.” – Miriam Beard
Life at 100 year old market tells so much incredible tales of resilience and the Buddhist principles of moderation. In our food-abundant, diet-obsessed culture, eating is often a mindless, consuming, and guilt-inducing habit… I mean, how the hell did that second, third helping of pad thai end up on my plate?! It’s my third week in Thailand, and god knows what else I ate in all my , but it was way. too. much. So my way back to the city centre that afternoon, I’d made a promised to myself to always eat mindfully and to be thankful for every meal and everything I have experienced thus far. Life is so temporary… be kind and give more than you could ever take from anyone.