When a Water Jar Isn’t a Water Jar

large water jars on the family farm in Nakhon Phanom, Thailand

Throughout rural Thailand you’ll see them resting in places of shade next to houses and sometimes next to businesses. Large jars made of clay or concrete that at one time held the water for the family drinking and bathing and sometimes still do.

Broken water jars in MukdahanA lot of the houses I’ve been to or have seen in rural Thailand have wells now with electric pumps to bring the water into their homes but even still the large water jars are still in use and in some cases the pumps bring the water only to the large jars. The family home in Nakhon Phanom still uses their large water jars even though they have a well and pump water directly into the house. Uncle fills up his large thermos from them before he heads out to work in the field. And whenever the family is relaxing in the shade outside they fill their water buckets and bottles from the jars which collect fresh rain water.

gold fish in the second water jarThe family home in Mukdahan is a different story. The jars that sit behind the house are old and broken but still hold water but they serve a new purpose, one which I misunderstood at first. One jar is filled with black feeder fish while the other is filled with brilliantly colored gold fish. At first I thought they might be to eat at some point, but being rather small I thought better of that idea. Then I imagined that they would be used as bait to catch something else.

Pretty gold fish and water plants in water jarWhen I finally asked Pookie just laughed at me and said ” No teelac, just pretty…just to look at”. I amaze myself sometimes at just how wrong I can be and how my imagination really takes hold in rural Thailand. Sometimes things are no more than they seem, something pretty to enjoy.

sig1 When a Water Jar Isnt a Water Jar

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Comment by MikeNo Gravatar
2009-07-28 00:15:28

Many homes here use the jars to collect rain water using an attachment from the gutter. The small fish I use in all water containers also eat mosquito larvae. They are also colourful as well.

A more unusual use for a jar happened near here recently when a murder victims body was discovered in one!!
Mike´s last blog ..Jim Thompson-The Thai Silk Company. My ComLuv Profile

Comment by TalenNo Gravatar
2009-07-28 00:29:07

Thankfully Pookie wasn’t storing bodies in her jars Mike…otherwise the story might not have gotten written.

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