Mai Mi Thang.

Perched as the perfect doppelgänger to a cardboard cutout, I was almost tempted to splash water on them to see if they crumble into a soggy clump of cardboard, as the small Thai vendors sat folded on the edges of their boats.

With an assortment of clutter from engraved candelabras to rhinestone adhesive nails, all for the small price of first impressions.

Or namely, how much green they think you’ve got lining your pockets. 

Ratchaburi’s floating market at  Damnoen Saduak packs one tightly, knee to jaw into a slim wooden boat.

The boat proceeds  to row down the narrow aisles of vendors fastened at the sides of the canal, bobbing amidst the water.

Each vendor totes a menacing hook used to clamp onto the edge of the oncoming boats and draw them towards their merchandise.

Holding them prey until the tourists either see the precise monogrammed  doilies they’d been searching for, or they’re guilt tripped into purchasing the nearest hand towel in hopes that the vendor will unattach their hook and release them back into the chaos of the open water. 

I could feel my wallet gradually begin to decrease in weight as my trinkets grew larger, an eclectic stash of obligation as each vendor stared me down.

That is until I learned the perfect simple sentence of all time, guaranteed to slide you cleanly from any possible entanglement. 

“Mai Mi Thang!”

As the Thai girl sitting nearby enlightened me, “I don’t have any money!” 


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