Everyone waiting for the opening
Every Wednesday is market day in Chup Crocky. It is definitely the most exciting day of the week. The market is pretty much the only opportunity to buy anything without a lot of traveling so everybody stocks up. Everyone in the village goes to the market right when it opens. The market is right on the border between Cambodia and Thailand, which apparently is very close to Chup Crocky. It was only a 15-20 minute walk to the market so we found out that the village isn't really in the middle of nowhere as it seemed on the way there. The border crossing is only open on Wednesdays for the markets. There is a market on both the Cambodia and Thailand sides of the border.
We got there right at 8am when the gates go up and you can cross to the other country.
Everybody was massed there ready to cross. On the Thailand side, there were a whole lot of trucks, cars, and motorcycles so it seems like everybody drove there. On the Cambodia side, there were just some motorcycles and most people probably walked. The Thailand market had clothes, fruit, food/beverage/ice cream stands, basic items like shampoo, etc. The Cambodia market had a whole lot of primitive goods from the villages: catfish, frogs, cigarettes, ants, turtles, grasshoppers and scorpions. I found those items a lot more exciting. Most of the animals were sold out of big bags or buckets. In the Thai market, we bought some baked pastry with coconut, donut sticks, red Fanta, and had some fried bananas.
Breakfast treat with some coconut inside
The guy in charge of the service project took us up an observation tower so we could look down on the markets and we could see some of Chup Crocky from up there but you couldn't really tell. The Thai market was much bigger but partly because the rows were lined with trucks and the Cambodia market was just a bunch of people. We spent a good amount of time at the Thai market since there wasn't really much to do back in town. Slowly the market died down as everyone had made their purchases in the first hour.
We could see a number of stacks of roof sections made from dried grass and some trucks filled with them on the Thailand side of the border. We learned that all of the roof patches were made by the village of Chup Crocky and that is the main source of income for the village. The men cut the grass and all the women and children manufacture the roof parts. Apparently in a week's worth of time they make enough to fill maybe 5 trucks all the way to overflowing.