Another day, another early start. We had to jump out of bed at 5:15, so that we were in a taxi at 6:15, racing across town to get to the BBC’s hotel. Then we all piled into the minibus to go to the floating market at Damnoen Saduak. There are a number of ‘floating markets’ around Bangkok, but the one at Damnoen Saduak is a ‘real’ one – there for the locals – so it is certainly the best place to see the real floating market action. Basically, the market is a pile of vendors, paddling their own boats, selling everything from fruit and veg, to meals, to Chinese-style hats. The trip started at 9 with an exciting speedboat ride through the backwater canals, whizzing past people’s front doors. Normally the trip is high-speed all the way, but it was a bit stop-start for us, as we leap-frogged with the camera crew in the boat, alternately being filmed from alongside, in front, behind, whizzing past them, them whizzing past us, etc etc. We didn’t get any photo’s, but I’m sure you’ll see some of it in the programme, because it would make interesting TV.
Then it was a more sedate pace, as a lady paddled us around the market itself, past all of the women trying to sell us pineapples and banana fritters (successful) and fish balls and wooden frogs (unsuccessful).
And all the time we were being directed from the shore – “Yes, buy that pineapple on a stick – No, not yet – Okay, now – Do it again, but this time pick it up more quickly – Okay, now eat the pineapple“- at which point we all had to give up, because it is impossible to eat a huge chunk of pineapple in a way that won’t put people off when they’re sitting down to their tea on a Monday night! And as you can see, we all got in the boat, crew and all, and paddled around the market some more. Highly entertaining, if not a little cramped and unstable!
Finally, it was all back in the minibus for the two hour drive back to Bangkok, and on to our guest house, where the crew filmed our accommodation, the girls swimming and an interview about the highs and lows of our last 9 months. And then we went round the corner to our local eating place, and had dinner for the camera. I’m sure that when it’s all edited together we’ll look like total tourists as we were staying in a decent (12-pounds-a-night) guest house, and we didn’t have a stitch of tie-dye on all week. We’ve stayed in some pretty grungy accommodation, and done some awful bus trips, but for a hard week filming in Bangkok, we thought we ought to have somewhere decent to get home too. Still, all the ‘rucksack’ stuff got edited out last time, and none of it has been filmed this time, so we know what to expect.
After getting up at 5:15, we got an early finish, and we were wrapped up by 7:30 again, ready for the girls to go straight to bed.