17 October, 2006

Thailand's traditions adapt as times change

Inset: Marie walks past a traditional watering hutch.

It is common along roads in Thailand to see small hutches with lidded terracotta water-pots (see inset). These were/are for weary travellers to drink: offering a drink is the hospitable and traditional thing to do. Terracotta, being porous, allows evaporation - and thus keeps the water cool.

This one outside a Chiangmai department store near us flaunts an updated water-cooler instead, but still retains the traditional hutch as a sign of intent that people will recognise. Our apartment block has a traditional hutch just outside its foyer, complete with plastic ladle hanging from a hook.

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