Early morning at the Teak Garden, Thailand

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(Last Updated On: June 5, 2019)

We are up early for breakfast, so I wander around the Teak Garden‘s grounds as the day quietly begins.

Rice fields begin immediately across the dirt road that bounds one edge of the resort’s manicured grounds. Wild vines with bright yellow flowers clamber up taller plants, forming a delicate fence at the field’s ragged edge.

The surface of the field is itself ragged, an uneven plain of interwoven patches of standing and cut grain. I can’t discern a pattern, but even now a few workers are slowly making their way out into the fields. Soon the workday will begin in earnest and I’m sure the closely cut areas will continue to expand as the sun makes its way through the sky. For now though, the fields are still and wet with dew.

Near the road, a lone man carries a bundle of the grain from the field to a cart that is already piled with brushy stalks.

When he tries to add his armload to the cart, the whole thing flips back like a see-saw, making it impossible to add more to the load.

He tries a couple times, studies the cart for awhile, and then sets down his bundle and turns his full attention to the cart.

First he tries balancing the cart against a pole. It slides loose and flips back away from him again. He tries to brace it with a rock. That doesn’t work either. Finally, he finds a split piece of bamboo that slides neatly under the cart’s handle. Perfect.

He adds his bundle and slowly heads back into the field.

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