There’s no way these creatures are going to cross the road. They’re very firmly fixed to their concrete bases.
Well, they are all a bit of a mystery.
One recent afternoon I decided I’d go out for a tootle. There was some rare sunshine, and I felt like I was getting cabin fever, having been stuck indoors for several days staring at the rain. I often head a few kilometers south to the small village of Sao Pao.
There’s a convenient gas station along the way, so while tootling, I topped up. Bert’s on board computer seems to think I’m going to get 1077kms out of this tankful. It seems a bit optimistic, but with the engine and gearbox starting to loosen up, I guess it’s possible.
Usually though, I’m going to the Post Office. It’s very small, quiet, and I get personal service from a young guy who speaks good English. It saves me scaring any post office customers with my farang-ness, because there usually aren’t any. It also saves me fighting the traffic in Sichon.
No, it’s not like Bangkok, but the streets are narrow, and people don’t seem to be aware of other road users when they’re busy shopping. The motorbikes are especially nuts, and I feel I need six eyes, and a sixth sense every time I go.
Anyhoo, after doing what I need to do in Sao Pao, I normally make a left at a small crossroads in the center of the village, and then head back on the tiny roads that run along the sea shore. And I really had no idea where I would end up if I turned right.
I figured probably nowhere. Most of the roads that head inland come to a dead end as they reach the mountain range, which is thirty or so kilometers away from the main north-south highway. No matter, I thought, I’ll take a look anyways. And that’s when I found the roosters.
Now, this is not a trivial display of roosters. It’s not even a flock of roosters. It’s a flocking lot of roosters.
I ended-up making a kind of V shape, after which I was back on the main road a few kilometers south of where I’d started. I travelled maybe twenty kilometers, and along the way, I’d estimate there were 200 of these things. I actually counted to one hundred before giving up. They’re a bit randomly spaced. Anywhere from five to fifty meters between them. And they’re all about two and half meters tall, but not identical.
They have different colorings, different decorations, and different offerings. They’re clearly revered, as they all had drink bottles of various kinds and some food at their bases.
As far as I could tell, they’re only along these two roads that form the V. I’ve seen rooster statues inside wats – hundreds of them – but never fixed alonside roads, like these.
And in case you felt the urge to take one, or lots of them home with you, there’s at least a dozen stalls selling roosters of all sizes up to about a meter. The stall holders didn’t seem too amused by the fact I only wanted to take photographs.
So now you are as confused as I am. Someone once told me the roosters are a kind of fertility symbol, but from the lack of kids running around I’d say they’re not working too well. Defective cocks, you might be thinking?