I wish I could say that we left of boat issues behind in Thailand, but no such luck. We had smooth, fast cruising so got back a day early. We had one funny experience when we anchored off a "resort island" and Randal called them and asked if they would send a water taxi to get us around 5 pm so we could come for dinner. (We didn’t want to mess with our dinghy for such a short time.) The fellow on the phone said that he would. We were all showered and ready to go at 5 pm and finally gave up waiting and had dinner on the boat because no one ever came. There could be any number of reasons for the confusion but it really didn’t matter and I was just as happy to stay on the boat.
A day later and our converter stopped working so we had no lights unless we plugged them into outlets. Most of our lights are built in. I can’t begin to explain the problem, but it involves a battery that went dead and is also our start engine battery. We were really lucky that it waited for us to return to Rebak before it died. Now it will be fixed and several back-ups planned. (Our back-up also had issues.) We’ve never had so many things go wrong, but we seemed to be in the best places to deal with them.
Tomorrow we’re going to Singapore where we will collect our new converter sent from The Netherlands to a shop in Singapore we have dealt with in the past. We’ll also get a better battery charger than the one we bought in Kuah Town the other day. Not such a good battery starter. And we need air conditioning pump parts. We’ll get all that stuff done so when Randal’s niece Tammy arrives at midnight on the 17th we can devote our time to touring. We’ll spend a few days in Singapore, return to Rebak, cruise to George Town and spend several days there with Tammy before she flies home. We’ll stay in George Town for a few weeks.
I’m glad to read that it’s finally warming up back home. We really wish we could use some of your cold weather to cool off our too hot weather. Even the monkeys have been in hiding. We did see several this morning after last nights hard rain. Two of the monkeys had very tiny babies. The males hissed at us which struck me as brave since they have to see how much bigger we are than they.
So that’s what’s happening with us.
Everyone lined up to get their photo taken with “ Miss World 2010”
This little girl and her sister were there with their dad.
Ever see a monkey look graciously bored?
I was the last in line and the monkey was really ready to be done with all of this posing and hand holding. She actually had gotten up and started to walk away. Her trainer put her back for one last photo. Samlee was just so “genteel” that you just wanted to take her hand and thank her for taking the time to see you. Like an audience with the queen…..
Monkeys are trained to climb the coconut trees and throw the coconuts to the ground to be collected.
Monkeys are colorblind, we were told, so they are taught to feel if the coconuts are smooth or rough. I think the monkeys are taught to pick them when they are rough, so more mature. Neither Randal nor I can remember which though obviously this monkey did remember. He pulled one off and threw it down as he had been trained to do.
Thai kick boxing.
It looks like shadow boxing because I was shooting into the sun. This was a staged demonstration but Rick and Suza had seen an actual match and said it was pretty amazing. I was surprised to see that they wore boxing cloves and could hit as well as kick.
There was cooking and tasting. Our guide made a Thai Salad
Thai salad ingredients (photo by Suza)
Carrots, and ? on one plate. Lime, tomato, green beans, chili peppers, pine nuts. We all voted for one chili pepper but a second one slipped it. Very spicy hot for me, though mild for a Thai.
Grinding it together (photo by Suza)
She followed a certain order and ground it all together with whatever is in that bottle almost out of the photo. Obviously the tomatoes and green beans went in toward the end so nothing became mush.
Rice fields (Suza photo)
Nunchuk and rice
I knew what a nunchuk was because I once had to find the Virginia statues that referred to nonchucks as a weapon. (nun chahka, nun chuck, nunchaku are all possible spellings.) Here they use them to help with the threshing process.
Ignore the cooking demo and the rice growing demo and spend more time with the waterbuffalo.
That’s actually sort of true, especially for me which is why I don’t really remember all of the ingredients of the salad. This waterbuffalo was tied just at the end of the cooking demo and rice demo area so I kept walking over to rub behind its ears and commune. Therefore I can’t tell you how to make a Thai salad or grow Thai rice. Shades of elementary school where I found my own interests rather than what the teacher might have been explaining at the time. I do know one thing for sure about Thai rice: it tastes really, really good and might be the best in the world.
Thailand produces rubber and we saw a rubber collecting and processing demo.
Rubber sap collected somewhat like maple sap
Roll out the white blob
Press it into a flatter sheet and then trough a slightly different type of press that gets the rest of any liquid out…I think.
Finished rolls hanging to dry
Suza and Rick, our safari partners.
They both worked for and retired from the space program. Their boat’s name is Voyager and their home port is Cape Canaveral! Both are trained as engineers but Suza spent a great deal of her time promoting the space program even in exotic places overseas.