a close shot of mr.song-got

Portrait of a street vendor in Bangkok

Lat Phrao, Bangkok
May 2018

It has been very hot and humid here in Bangkok for the last couple of days and was particularly so last night. As it was a trial to stay indoors I took my camera and headed out to see what I could see. I walked down to Lat Phrao Rd and was standing there wondering whether to turn right or left when I struck up a conversation with a street vendor who was selling bugs and sweets.

His name was Song-got and he had a big flat tray attached to the side of his motorbike from which he was selling fried insects and sweet slices. It seems a strange combination, but one that you often see around the streets. He offered me some bugs to try, a grass hopper and something that looked like a grass hopper but wasn’t and a kind of pupa looking thing, all from Cambodia apparently. They had been deep fried, so were quite oily and all tasted the same, kind of like they had been liberally dusted with gravy powder.

Songot told me that he comes from Chiang Rai in the North and had been in Bangkok for many years, apart from the time he had spent working as a waiter in Japan. Usually he starts selling around 5:00pm and finishes at 12:00am, when he goes home and has more than one drink and reads his muay thai boxing magazines. After chatting with him for quite a while I asked if I could take his photo and he was quite happy to oblige. This a rather close shot which I took to give full attention to the expression in his eyes.

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