I’ve been taken out of commission by some type of heat rash or allergy affecting my face and neck. I’ve assembled the finest team of witch doctors in the Northeastern Region, and am currently sticking dried gecko in my orifices to get rid of this affliction.
In the meantime, please enjoy my photo of a lung-shaped, rotting mango:

It was supposed to be a photo of just a lung-shaped mango, but I forgot about it for a week.

A quick note regarding comments

My shared server is sick, or my blogging software is messed up. It’s hard to tell, because my “country road” DSL connection is so spotty. In any case, what this means for you, loyal reader, is that comments may seem like they aren’t going through. Most of the time, however, they are. If you want to make sure your comment went through even though it’s seemed to have timed out, go ahead and hit the back button on your browser and try posting it again. I’ll clean up any double-posted comments for you afterwards. Sorry for this inefficient way of doing things, but it won’t last forever.

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.
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.
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.
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?
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.

Pimp My Ride with Borat

I haven’t decided whether Borat is retarded or brilliant yet – I think that’s what’s considered cutting edge these days, though. Speaking of pimping rides, I left my car in the shop for some dampening work and to be fit with a custom sub box since I had a nice mix of audio parts I brought from Japan. Pics to follow.

Thailand is too hot for campfires

I’ve just come back from an “English camp” where I taught elementary school kids at a summer camp with a couple of colleagues. It was fun, but totally sapping in the 100 degree weather. It was nice to be in the green mountains after living on the dusty plains for so long… Man, it was so hot at times, I could have roasted marshmallows in my pocket!
Speaking of heat, there was a fire at MBK center. MBK is great because they have so many unique shops crammed into all the space, which is also why it would suck to be there in a fire. In fact, whenever I’m there, my eyes are constantly searching for the stairways and when I’m weaving around all the groups of people, I’m thinking about how many would die from smoke inhalation versus how many would be trampled if there was a fire. I’m just strange that way.
Speaking of strange, this is perhaps the strangest and coolest link I’ve seen since being back in front of a pc after my four day break: Enjoy!

Mangosteens and Rambutans

…are in season!

They sell for around 40 cents per pound each at the market; this is apparently a good year.

Probably my favorite fruit in the world. In fact, I can’t think of a close second.

Such an alien-looking fruit. Delicious, though.

Fr007 pr0n!
Bonus trivia (via Wikipedia):

  • The mangosteen is known as the “Queen of Fruits” in Asia. (The “King of Fruits” is the durian. If the king and queen ever bear children, I’ll be the first in line to eat them.)
  • The exocarp (purple outer layer) of the mangosteen is rich in both nutrients and antioxidants, however, this is generally not the edible part. The inner white fruit is known as the aril and seems to contain, well, uh, delicious juices that aren’t proven to be beneficial in any way, thus proving that anything that’s really healthy for you probably doesn’t taste very good.
  • “There is a story, possibly apocryphal, about Queen Victoria offering a cash reward to anyone who could deliver to her the fabled fruit (mangosteen).”
  • Thailand is now the world’s largest producer of rambutans.
  • Rambutan seeds are poisonous to humans.