As I predicted last month, there was indeed squabbling and eye-rolling over our purchases while vacationing in Thailand. After we returned, my husband read my column about the conversation that I conjured between us and was surprised by its accuracy.
What I failed to foresee was that he would drop a sack of breakables after coming through security in Los Angeles. He claims he wasn’t thinking clearly because we’d been flying for 22 hours. Right. Fortunately, nothing broke.
I put off most of our shopping until we reached Chiang Mai, the last of three cities on our trip, because it’s known for street markets and handmade goods. Also, it meant we — OK, he — wouldn’t have to schlep stuff for a week around the country. So everything pictured here is from there.
▪ The Pud Tan flower casserole is from the Baan Celadon factory. Celadon is a ceramic that comes in shades of soft green and blue and has a crackled glaze. It originated in China and spread to Japan, Korea and Thailand. You can watch artisans making pieces in the factory. The casserole is sitting on our living room coffee table next to a brown rustic stoneware casserole that we bought in Mostar, Bosnia, several years ago. But you don’t have to go to Thailand to purchase celadon. Novica.com carries it.
▪ I bought a vintage ceramic Chinese opium pipe from an elderly woman on Wua Lai Road during Chiang Mai’s weekly “Saturday Night Market Walking Street.” I negotiated the price down from 650 baht to 600 baht, which is $20. I realized afterward that I’d saved about $1.50, which would have been way more meaningful to the elderly woman than to me. I stopped haggling after that.
▪ The hand-embroidered pillow covers came from a street vendor in Chiang Mai’s city center. The woman who sold them to me didn’t speak English so I don’t know anything about them. They, along with the green silk elephant pillow from Thai Silk Village, a factory where you can see silk being produced from worm to weaving, will add a much needed splash of color to my muted living room.
You can also see a daily travelogue and photographs of Vahe and Cindy Gregorian’s trip to Thailand, which included getting “took” by a tuk tuk driver and insulted by a street vendor selling clothing at Facebook.com/kcstar.house.home .
Show us your garden
Thinking about spring planting? To whet your appetite, we’re giving away a book. The reader who posts a picture of his or her garden to Facebook.com/kcstar.house.home and gets the most likes from fellow readers will win a copy of “Epic Tomatoes: How to Select & Grow the Best Varieties of All Time.”