Recent Observations

I just saw a big house gecko bite another on the neck, and it wouldn’t let go. Finally the one being bitten managed to escape, but the big one chased it all the way across the wall. I wonder what that was all about; it’s not like there’s a shortage of bugs to eat around here or anything.
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For the English camp, we stayed at a campground in a nature preserve, up in the mountains. We stayed in bungalows maintained by the forest rangers, who wore tigerstripe and treebark camouflage, and watched over the entire preserve with high-power binoculars. Once a day or so, they would hear a message on the two way or see possible poaching activity, after which a couple of them would fetch long arms and jump in the back of a pickup to go investigate. I saw an AR-type rifle, a sawed-off pump shottie, and an FN-FAL. On the last day, a colleague said he could hear shooting out in the woods after we saw a group of them take off to investigate.
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Today I bought an old motor scooter for 1,000 baht from a Japanese girl going back to Japan. It has a dubious history, no license plates, and no registration. It also has a Finding Nemo theme airbrushed all over the cowling (which itself is metallic gold). Steady pimpin’, yo. Oh, also, this is the second used scooter in a month I bought for exactly 1,000 baht from a Japanese girl leaving Sarakham. Strange coincidence. Even stranger, there is a distinct possibility that there may be a third soon. More on this later.
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Yesterday, Nam bought a fresh pack of durian at a night market we visited. Although I was worried about carrying it in my car, I figured what the hell since she loves the King of Fruits so much and we were only five minutes from home… Oops. Even though I bought two huge garlands of fresh-cut jasmine and left them in my car overnight in addition to a new car deodorizer thingie, this morning, the hot interior of my car smelled unmistakably durianesque. I set the aircon to vent, drove to work with all the windows open, and managed to get rid of most the smell. So. I came back from work in the afternoon and got a call from a student who just came back from working at a candle factory in Rayong (you should read that link, I was inspired when writing it). He had a present for me, he said. Can you guess what it was?
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That’s right, after all that defunktifying in the morning, I had another very ripe durian in my car, and this time in the scorching afternoon sun! The worst part is, I had several errands to run (like getting an alignment at a garage on the other side of town) and couldn’t take it home right away… I fear my car will never smell of leather again. At least Nam seems to dig it, though.

6 Replies to “Recent Observations”

  1. Everyone has a Durian story, but I have to tell you that while I lived in Singapore I had more than my share of brushes with the King Of Fruit. I will never understand what is so appealing about a fruit that reminds one of the stench of rotting flesh……. Authorities there, despite being ga ga over this spiney delite, do not allow it to be transported on public transport (for obvious reasons.)

  2. Gen, there are supposedly animals as large as bears and wild cats in those mountains, but all we saw were some type of deer.
    I didn’t examine the rifles up close but the AR is generally chambered for 5.56 NATO (this is the same type of rifle/cartridge used by US soldiers) and the FAL is usually chambered for 7.62 NATO, a full-sized round.

  3. I cannot ride in your pimped-up stanky car. After I gagged twice on durian (hey, I tried it at least! Geez, what a mistake.), just the smell makes me get drooly and nauseous.

  4. Aren’t those things REALLY stinky? There was an article I read recently where there are some botanists trying to create a new durian where it won’t stink, however there’s such a backlash, as folks rely upon the smell to determine which fruit is the best one to pick.

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