the Vernon Journal

Serving the Kingdom in Southeast Asia

The Dye Man

The Dye Man on his bicycle

Well, this week marks the end of a busy season in the Vernon household. In fact, this is the first real down-time we've had since Christmas (which is why the blogs have been so quiet recently!) The past couple of months have many worthy stories of family, ministry and travel and hopefully I'll have time to tell a few of them this week. (So stay tuned!) But before I get to those, I was going through my photos today and just had to tell you about this one.

I've been trying to share glimpses of some of the unusual things that we find in everyday life here in Thailand. And this certainly counts as "unusual" in my book! Allow me to introduce The Dye Man. He rides through our neighborhood once every few months. As he rides, he plays a Chinese hand drum (as seen in his right hand) to let his potential customers know that he's approaching. He has a metal bucket hanging from a rack on the back of his bike which contains black dye as well as a fire to keep it hot. If people need something dyed they can flag him down and he will dip it in dye right there on the street in front of the house.

For months, I wondered what this guy's trade was. I thought it was SO wierd that he rode around with a black bucket of fire dangling from his bike! Finally, I flagged him down and asked him. Now I know, but I still have a hard time getting my brain around it! Why would people need to dye their clothes black? Maybe something has gotten stained? Maybe they have a funeral to go to? But are there really enough people wanting to dye things black for this guy to make an living of it? Apparently so...

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