our time in rural thailand was spent amid a string of dusty market towns. each village much like the next. largely untouched by westernisation. a labyrinth of narrow winding streets busy with small children and stray dogs. chickens scratching for food. babies being rocked to sleep in hammocks. monks on their daily alms rounds. men tending to their prized fighting cocks. lush vegetable plots in otherwise dry yards. busy bustling night markets, tables piled high with things of intrigue. ramshackle timber houses perched high on stilts. several generations living under one roof. weavers busy at their spinning wheels and wooden looms. routines rich in tradition. smiling faces in spite of the hardship. an unhurried pace. a simple life.