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So You Don't Want MY Flowers??

By AlanBW
When visiting Thailand, Tricia and I always spend quite a bit of time in Bangkok. One of our regular days out is when we take the Express Boat along the Chao Praya river all the way to Nonthaburi, some 30 stops along. We always board at pier 1 and the boat is very full. Locals disembark all along the route, but the main points for visitors to get off are the stops for Wat Po, The Grand Palace and the backpacker haven of Khao San Road. By the time we reach Nonthaburi after about 50 minutes, only a handful of people get off and we are often the only occidentals.

Nonthaburi is a typical Thai working town and unlike Bangkok is not used to seeing many tourists, so we are often seen as figures of curiosity, although we are always treated in a very friendly and welcoming manner. We always head for the busy and fascinating daily market, where the locals shop for food, clothing, etc. The sights, sounds and smells of the bustling market hold a great appeal for us and we join in as far as our still limited knowledge of the Thai language will allow. Although we don’t buy a huge number of items there, we have never returned empty-handed and have always come away richer for the experience of Nonthaburi and its people.

In a side street at the edge of the market is an open air rustic café / bar, where we usually take a break. On our last visit we ordered local beer, sat on low stools at a table on the edge of the road and soaked in the atmosphere. The other customers included a Buddhist monk and several other interesting characters. We could see plenty of activity at nearby stalls and lots of people going to and fro. The lady pictured above caught my eye as she sold her flowers. As is customary at Thai markets, haggling was going on at a furious pace at all sorts of stalls. The lady above sold some flowers to a few people, then sat and waited for her next customer. I watched spellbound as a Thai family stopped at her stall, engaged in some heavy haggling but declined to buy as they could obviously not reach an agreement. They walked on, then stopped at another nearby flower stall and began to haggle once again. The lady turned and glared at them with a thin-lipped expression that could curdle milk! However, her countenance was totally different a couple of minutes later when she made a substantial sale to another local group; at this point she beamed from ear to ear! I had hoped to catch that expression as well in order to illustrate the contrast, but a motor cyclist passed in front of me at the crucial time and the opportunity was lost forever.

Well, perhaps not lost forever – we will be back in Thailand at the end of the year and will almost certainly be taking a trip or two to Nonthaburi. Who knows, we might see her again and with any luck this time I’ll catch her beautiful smile.

Tags: Woman Travel Market General Candid Thailand Nonthaburi Portraits and people

Voters: Badgerfred, Nettles, Barbaraj and 113 more

Readers' Choice Awards are given to photos that get over 30 votes

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9 Jul 2007 8:08AM
Excellent Alan, a face full of character,
Nettles 13 England
9 Jul 2007 8:18AM
Wow, now that is a face full of character.
Another brilliant capture Alan.
Love the story as well, Great candid Shot.
firzhugh 16 13 New Zealand
9 Jul 2007 8:20AM
beautiful portrait, nice detail and expression
Barbaraj 14 450 England
9 Jul 2007 8:21AM
As always your story sums up the portrait. A great thin lipped grimace. Thankyou.
Chant57 Plus
15 395 3 United Kingdom
9 Jul 2007 8:27AM
As always Alan, a cracking narrative, and good candid to accompany it. That face is full of character, the thin lipped expression speaks volumes.
Aurora 16 3 England
9 Jul 2007 8:39AM
The picture means so much more Alan, after reading your very descriptive narrative. Thank you. Look forward to seeing her smily face later in the year.
franken Plus
18 5.2k 4 United Kingdom
9 Jul 2007 8:51AM
Excellent candid Alan, I love the expression!

imagio 14 12 1 England
9 Jul 2007 8:59AM
You got it Alan great image and spellbinding story..

Expression says it all, wonderful
A Booth 18 11 4 United Kingdom
9 Jul 2007 11:08AM
what a character - what a splendid portrait - you must be the best international marketing man for the S9500 Fuji have.
ChristineL 16 39 United Kingdom
9 Jul 2007 11:22AM
a great character shot, Alan, she really does look a bit miffed,
Rende 14 38 4 Netherlands
9 Jul 2007 11:33AM
What an expression; well caught!
jaspernina 14 1.0k Wales
9 Jul 2007 11:35AM
Lovely candid portrait, well done.
GrahamBaines 13 39 United Kingdom
9 Jul 2007 12:02PM
As you say it would curdle milk, wonderful candid. Well captured.

woolybill1 Plus
14 37 77 United Kingdom
9 Jul 2007 12:46PM
A fabulous capture - that face has many stories to tell, I'm sure. Thanks for the excellent narrative too.
jkennedy 15 4 1 Indonesia
9 Jul 2007 1:00PM
Another great candid shot Alan. The ladys face tells it all and I am sure she has many stories to relate. Super description as always. CLIK,
Rogerex 14 32 12 Australia
9 Jul 2007 1:38PM
You captured that expression nicely - I can almost imagine what she is thinking!.
tuhin 14
9 Jul 2007 2:06PM
Hi frend, Beautiful shot. I like it.
mrswoolybill Plus
14 2.7k 2396 United Kingdom
9 Jul 2007 2:16PM
'An expression that would curdle milk...' Oh, beautifully expressed!
I'm thinking Burns, 'Gathering her brows like gathering storm/Nursing her wrath to keep it warm'.
I love the story, and it's a pity not to have the beaming smile too for comparison.
Not a happy bunny but what a candid shot! JNC
KingBee Plus
14 548 2 Scotland
9 Jul 2007 3:15PM
If I were a child playing in the street, and this were my mother, and she said, "Get in the house, your dinner's ready", I wouldn't be saying "just another couple of minutes, Ma". Great image of a fearsome visage.

iajacks 15 24 England
9 Jul 2007 3:42PM
just love thedifferant areas of colour and texture in this one.

a great expression.

well done ian
Glynn Plus
15 1.2k 1 United Kingdom
9 Jul 2007 4:27PM
Very, very gooad Alam. You have caught the expression on her face superbly. Excellent image.

LesleyJ 14 247 England
9 Jul 2007 4:59PM
Ohh not too happy about losing that sale then. Another excellent character shot and story Alan
Glostopcat 15 255 2 England
9 Jul 2007 5:44PM
An excellent image of this colourful local character Alan, what a great expression you've captured, if looks could kill! She reminds me a bit of the character Mrs Wainwright in "Last of the Summer Wine" who ran an antiques shop and didn't let people leave the establishment unless they had purchased something!
glyndwr 13 87 10 Wales
9 Jul 2007 6:31PM
Great expression and skin detail.
Fabulous to see someone take time to add a story.
Thank you.
SandraKay Plus
13 233 4 United Kingdom
9 Jul 2007 7:10PM
An amazing, colourful character study. Love the hat.
bliba Plus
15 2 Austria
9 Jul 2007 7:25PM
full of character..well done Alan
cantona43 15 928 4 United Kingdom
9 Jul 2007 7:28PM
excellent shot Alan brilliant expression I wonder what her thoughts are
9 Jul 2007 7:39PM
Love the expression, I can almost read her thoughts.

John Smile
brownsilent 14 7 2 United Kingdom
9 Jul 2007 8:09PM
Excellent portrait, and a fantastic story to it.
cats_123 Plus
17 5.0k 30 Northern Ireland
9 Jul 2007 8:16PM
thinking of that lost sale!

great candid

AlanC1 14 1 England
9 Jul 2007 8:45PM
Excellent you have a very unique style. Lots of skin detail
summ3r 14 26 1 United Kingdom
9 Jul 2007 8:59PM
Wonderful expressive image
patsy88 14 United Kingdom
9 Jul 2007 9:26PM
Great expression and hat..
Hop-A-Long 14 52 1 England
9 Jul 2007 9:34PM
Great candid shot. She looks deep in thought.
John_Humphreys 15 69 2 Ireland
9 Jul 2007 9:50PM
Priceless expression Alan. I love it. John
Joline Plus
14 34 59 United States
9 Jul 2007 11:57PM
Fantastic! You certainly capture the people in their most amazing expressions. They couldn't pose as well! (glad you don't see me in the morning)
Brilane 14 5 12 Wales
10 Jul 2007 1:50AM
Well if you do see her again you'd better buy a big bunch of flowers and then you may get your smiling portrait.
Nice picture though as it is.
JimV 14 6 3 Canada
10 Jul 2007 3:18AM
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and this one certainly is that Alan, but I still thank you for adding the flesh with your wonderful narrative.
Rgds., Jim
chrissd 15 304 United Kingdom
10 Jul 2007 5:26AM
superb expression here Alan, what a great story
LisaRose 14 172 4 United States
10 Jul 2007 7:00AM
Great candid, what an expression!

Lorraine 16 8
10 Jul 2007 8:09AM
Fab face full of character. Lu
norton 17 2 6 Jersey
10 Jul 2007 8:12AM
Great character image the detail and colour are spot-on,well captured.........

wyatturp 15 2 England
10 Jul 2007 8:14AM

trissie 14 United Kingdom
10 Jul 2007 8:49AM
A face full of character Alan, well spotted.

Trish x
TelStar 16 116 United Kingdom
10 Jul 2007 9:45AM
Priceless, Alan; a gem of a shot!

Rock 18 10 2 England
10 Jul 2007 10:10AM
This lady is some poor fellows Mother-In-Law.

Fine capture.

KKmoments 14 12 1 United Kingdom
10 Jul 2007 1:18PM
Cracking facial expression, caught to perfection... description explains it all... Karen Smile
Libby_M 14 United Kingdom
10 Jul 2007 2:38PM
this is fab
what great textures you have caught on her face
colours and detail just great
well taken
AlanBW 15 20 England
10 Jul 2007 2:57PM
Thanks everybody, much appreciated - Alan
cat_mc 14 17 Australia
10 Jul 2007 3:10PM
great capture alan
somebody buy her flowers
she is ready to crack
g_parry 15 332 United Kingdom
10 Jul 2007 3:54PM
Excellent story - excellent image Wink

glazzaro 16 70 23 United States
10 Jul 2007 3:59PM
She looks as though she has had a hard life, but had the strength to fight it all the way, nice shot! Spot on! Click!!!

phototime 14 8 United Kingdom
10 Jul 2007 4:42PM
Wonderful story and great image,well taken.

dianah 14 24.5k 4 United Kingdom
10 Jul 2007 5:25PM
What a colourful story Alan..she looks so careworn ..her face is quite a map of life! A wonderful shot yet again.
Richard707 14 14 United States
10 Jul 2007 5:47PM
Nice catch. It'll be even nicer if you get to catch her smiling next time. Market life must be tough if you have to haggle with customers all the time.
mickp 15 9 7 United Kingdom
10 Jul 2007 6:35PM
Such a lived in face and expression.
myrab 14 United Kingdom
10 Jul 2007 8:17PM
What an expression Alan , another great portrait.
beriah 15 1 Canada
10 Jul 2007 8:38PM
Oooooh, such a sour face!! Wonderfully captured and perhaps you can catch her smile next time.
bricurtis Plus
15 2.4k 51 England
10 Jul 2007 8:51PM
You have captured a well worn face in this one Alan.
She does look mean.
Caledonia 14 2 Scotland
10 Jul 2007 10:18PM
Wow! Ain't that a picture !!! Love it all.
Pegon 15 78 1 England
10 Jul 2007 10:30PM
A superb capture Alan.
RockArea 14 18 3 United Kingdom
10 Jul 2007 10:52PM
Wonderful characterful shot and such excellent colours too. Really enjoy your descriptions of the situation.

trissie 14 United Kingdom
10 Jul 2007 11:40PM
A brilliant capture Alan, a face full of character.

Trish x
newy17 15 273 United Kingdom
11 Jul 2007 5:09AM
her expression says it all great capture alan.
Carl40 15 18 United Kingdom
11 Jul 2007 8:42AM
great capture.

RobinF 14 83 1 England
11 Jul 2007 9:47AM
Brilliant Alan, just brilliant.
kind regards,
AlanBW 15 20 England
11 Jul 2007 11:44AM
Thanks Carl and Robin, thanks All - much appreciated - Alan
danbrann 16 640 17
11 Jul 2007 1:55PM
Who's a pretty lady then? A wonderful candid.
gingerdelight 14 298 11 United Kingdom
11 Jul 2007 4:40PM
I'm surprised the flowers didn't wilt with that expression!! Great shot!
x Carol x
daringdaphne 17 82 United Kingdom
11 Jul 2007 9:37PM
Yes, and good luck next time.Like the hat, and the expression. The smile would have been great.

Herge88 Plus
14 40 6 England
11 Jul 2007 11:07PM
Hi Alan voted a while back but forgot to comment, a wonderful expression superbly captured as always.

Best Matt
DP_Imagery 16 24 6 Wales
11 Jul 2007 11:51PM
Terrific capture - she looks like she's sucking a lemon, what an expression Wink Bruce
Buffalo_Tom Plus
14 2.3k 16 Wales
12 Jul 2007 6:55AM
Is she having a go at you Alan.Another great candid.
panda 16 5 1 England
12 Jul 2007 10:54AM
Face full of expression and character, nic shot.

AlanBW 15 20 England
12 Jul 2007 12:06PM
Thanks Tom and Phil, thanks everyone - Alan
12 Jul 2007 12:32PM
Alan, I'm a bit (?) late on the scene to comment, but feel I must add my support for this wonderfully expressive image and the superb detailed description - this was not a quick post and I for one am very grateful for the time you have taken to engage us all.

Thank you, Mike
PatriciaWilson 17 617 58 Greece
12 Jul 2007 2:30PM
works very well, the hat is brilliant! Looks like an aged Mona Lisa smile to me.
Very entertaining!
Mavis 19 143 2 England
13 Jul 2007 10:03AM
Every picture tells a story Alan . I wouldn't leave my milk by her that's for sure LOL .
A really great capture . xx
AlanBW 15 20 England
13 Jul 2007 10:37AM
Thanks Mavis, thanks everyone - Alan
oppo 15 6 2 Scotland
13 Jul 2007 11:37AM
What a cracking image Alan. Love the hat and her expression.

13 Jul 2007 2:37PM
Great candid shot. Love the woman's expression too.
jakcie 14 8 Ireland
13 Jul 2007 3:50PM
The expression of the face is captured very well, I wish you to capture her during smilling. Nice work Alan
MikeEG 14 10 United Kingdom
13 Jul 2007 5:43PM
Well Alan, what can I say that hasn`t been said, a fantastice candid once more. Your work is encouraging me go out and try harder, so anybody in Aylesbury tomorrow be afraid very afraid, I will be there.

AlanBW 15 20 England
13 Jul 2007 8:31PM
Thanks Phil, Mac, Kuba and Mike; thanks everyone - Alan
gajewski 16 10 9 United States
14 Jul 2007 5:18AM
Great expressive face. Very nice portrait. I love your detailed explanation (as usual).
Alan, my only small suggestion is that I would like to see a tighter crop. -=\Walter
AlanBW 15 20 England
14 Jul 2007 7:53AM
Thanks Walter
Portknockie 16 48 Scotland
14 Jul 2007 12:56PM
Hi Brian a face full of character but has she got any

Superb shot great expression

kinfatric 16 550 9 Scotland
14 Jul 2007 3:51PM
a fantastic expression
14 Jul 2007 5:10PM
Great capture and good story. Den Smile
14 Jul 2007 6:14PM
Great expression & colour
ginz04 17 281 20 United Kingdom
14 Jul 2007 8:52PM
alan another fabulous character portrait.
AlanBW 15 20 England
15 Jul 2007 10:31AM
Thanks Don, Kin, Dennis, SugarPlum and Ian, much appreciated as always - Alan
15 Jul 2007 3:14PM
A great candid Alan, and what an expression.

AnthonyR 15 5 Wales
15 Jul 2007 7:04PM
A lovely candid shot, literally full of character.

GlenD 14 United States
16 Jul 2007 2:11AM
I recon she's about to swear Alan lol. lovely story too
17 Jul 2007 8:33AM
Fiesty looking woman, she does look as if she's about to swear at you. And that hat !!! Fab. helen x
AlanBW 15 20 England
17 Jul 2007 12:40PM
Thanks Helen, thanks everyone - Alan
thorn 16 124 2 Scotland
17 Jul 2007 1:05PM
It must be hard for her to make a living and that's the change in smile or grimace i assume.I like this candid you have captured of this lady as it shows how hard she has worked and came away with no sale so she is annoyed.Superb work Alan.Take care.AnnSmile
AlanBW 15 20 England
17 Jul 2007 3:50PM
Thanks Ann
GeorgeRusky 15 1 4
17 Jul 2007 8:57PM
Alan, great portrait!
Sharp and well developed.
AlanBW 15 20 England
18 Jul 2007 7:29AM
Thanks George, thanks everyone - Alan
SueTurner 16 81 3 England
18 Jul 2007 2:16PM
what an expression that is - brill description as well
AlanBW 15 20 England
18 Jul 2007 3:39PM
Thanks Sue, much appreciated - Alan
21 Jul 2007 3:10PM
realy powerfull expreion whitch i think you are realy good at catching! CLIK

sandrish 17 36 United Kingdom
23 Jul 2007 6:41PM
Wonderful narrative and superb shot with excellent detail and colour.

riprap007 16 1.6k 37 England
24 Jul 2007 8:24AM
very fine candid capture and great narrative
annefromleo 15 11 1 United Kingdom
26 Jul 2007 6:43AM
great expression, well seen Alan
Possum 14 148 England
26 Jul 2007 10:48AM
One look that speaks volumes! She obviously hasn't been told about the positive effect of smiling on wrinkles... Smile Wonderful narrative, too.
AlanBW 15 20 England
26 Jul 2007 11:29AM
Thanks Rune, Sandra, Nicholas, Anne and Allie, very much appreciated - Alan
sputnki 16 10 Canada
5 Aug 2007 1:55PM
Stories of people in faraway places! We can always count on you for expanding our horizons!

AlanBW 15 20 England
5 Aug 2007 5:02PM
Cheers Doug, thanks for your kind comment - Alan
Paul_cats 15 61 22 Scotland
13 Aug 2007 8:05AM
Another very expressive capture. I feel like I'm touring the world with you.
AlanBW 15 20 England
13 Aug 2007 10:37AM
Cheers Paul, much appreciated - Alan
jarendell 14 95 2 Spain
13 Aug 2007 10:24PM
This reminds me of a film that I watched a long time ago, when an American ship arrived in the same sort of waters where your shot was taken, but all that I can remember from the the film was that the girl said "You Want Suck Johnny"...possibly starred John Wayne in his heyday!
AlanBW 15 20 England
14 Aug 2007 9:13AM
Thanks James, much appreciated - Alan
photophantom 13 108 3 Philippines
19 Mar 2008 8:14PM
Expressive face, excellent story. Nice shot.
AlanBW 15 20 England
19 Mar 2008 8:55PM
Many thanks Dennis - Alan

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