When Pati and BeeBee participated in the Living Land experience, they were learning the steps of growing sticky rice. These steps have been followed for thousands of years. Growing sticky rice dominates the economy of Laos.
The hotel where Pati and BeeBee are staying has a peculiar sign posted at the entrance to the restaurant and beside the elevator doors on the ground floor. They have seen similar signs in India. These signs say “No Durians” in bold red letters.
The musang king durian is known as the king of fruit in Malasia, Singapore, Indonesia, and Thailand. According to Pati and BeeBee’s guide, it has a green spiky outer skin, a large inner pit, and flesh similar to, but creamier than, that of the avocado. The taste has been described as similar to an overripe banana. It is popular in other countries also, and is especially prized by the Chinese.
The problem with the durian, according to Smithsonian Magazine, is that the durian smells like “turpentine and onions, garnished with a gym sock.” Others say it smells like dead rat. It is banned on some trains and in some airports, as well as in hotels in south-east Asia.
The guide described an instance in her experience where a guest at a hotel brought in a durian. The staff said they would keep it for her, wrapped up tightly. If she wanted to eat it, she would have to go out in the nearby field to do so.
As with kimchi, the durian is beginning to have followers, even in the UK. Pati and BeeBee will probably forego this fad.
On Day 3, Pati and BeeBee were walking through a shop with artisans who would hand paint small images onto phone cases, purses, whatever you had with you. Above a beautiful large painting of a Thai countryside, hanging on the wall, was a simple sign in script:
les voyages forment la jeunesse
BeeBee’s French is not as good as it could be, although she recognized the words for “travel” and “youth.” The guide had taken French in high school, a long time ago, so she also could not translate. She asked the ladies in the shop what the sign said. None of them knew.
Back at the hotel, BeeBee searched the internet for the answer and found the idiom:
As described in the Day 2 post, Pati and BeeBee were present at the kiddie fairgrounds in the Night Market periphery when power failed to the ferris wheel and blow-up slide. Pati had hoped to take some night pictures of the lights of the turning ferris wheel, but had just managed to adjust the camera settings when the lights went out.
They decided to wait for a few minutes to see whether the ferris wheel would be restarted. After a few flickering mis-starts, a man with a few tools began to work on the thick power line running along the ground from (somewhere?) to the ferris wheel. Taking a large wire stripping tool, he began to work on the end of the power line nearest the ferris wheel. That appeared to be unsuccessful. A second man began pulling power lines from the merry-go-round to the ferris wheel. No one was riding the merry-go-round, and the ferris wheel was attractive and visible from farther away. Now all the rides were dark and disfunctional. This tactic didn’t work, or perhaps it was a precurser to the next step. The “electrician” then carried a tall stepladder across to a pole carrying a thick bundle of power lines about 12 feet above the ground. Taking the end of the line that he had just stripped and a tool, he climbed the ladder and calmly connected his line to something in the bundle. Meanwhile, a child climbed into the ferris wheel bucket nearest the ground and waited.
A few minutes later, and success! The ferris wheel began to turn. Propping himself and the camera cautiously against a metal pole, Pati got the shots he wanted.
(For the faint-of-heart: the photo above is a time-lapse shot. The buckets and child did not go spinning out into the night.)
Serendipity exists for a reason, I always say. When I published my post There is no W in Paris a few days ago, I was unaware of the Alphabet photo challenge. But since I have a photographic alphabet, why not enter the challenge?
The astute reader will notice that the alphabet grid is 5 by 5, containing 25 letters. A clue to the missing letter is contained in the name of the referenced post. And I am beginning to wonder about K.