DAY 5 FRIDAY 14TH SEPTEMBER 2012.
This morning we hired a tuk tuk and driver for a trip into the countryside. I needed to get wind on my face. Instructions to the driver were that we didn’t want to see monuments, temples or any tourist places, we wanted to see farmland. The following photographs tell the story.
Passed through one particularly pretty village perched on the edge of a lake and after seeing how simple people live I got to thinking that somewhere along the way we have lost the plot compared to how the simple village people live. They obviously do not need all the material claptrap that we seem to need to find happiness.
The correct definition of a kiosk is a roof supported by poles. This is exactly what this structure is. A kiosk is not a place to buy food. This kiosk was perched out over village lake. It would be easy to camp near or in this village and experience the simple things of life.
This photo was taken over the rail of the kiosk. The Comb-crested jacana on Lily Lagoon at Kununurra (Leg 2) would like it here.
Brahman is a breed of cattle very well suited to the tropics including the tropical regions of Australia. The reason for their suitability is they sleep during the day and graze at night when it’s cooler so therefore they are not exposed to daytime heat. Another factor is the flaps of skin hanging off everywhere provide a large surface area through which to perspire.
The first six Brahman were introduced into Australia in the early 1960s in the vicinity of St Lawrence on the coast of Queensland. The carer of these animals was Bushie, a retired jackaroo who I interviewed for ABC Radio. Bushie delighted in telling us yarns about his days when working on cattle stations in the region. He took Bev and I to an abandoned abattoir/cannery (where bully beef was canned for WW1 diggers fighting in Europe). During the radio interview I asked him how he decided whether a property was a good one to work on? He replied, ‘You had a look at the ends of the crow bars and picks. If they were rusty you didn’t work there as you knew there was most likely to be a lot of digging and fencing to be done and that’s hard yakka. You want the picks and crow bars to have shiny points.’
AFTERNOON FRIDAY 14TH SEPTEMBER.
Sirilug and her parents collected us around 11-30 and we returned to their place from where Bev and I went exploring the local market. The market was a Thailand version of the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul except in the Grand Bazaar you can’t buy cockroach, toad, eel or giant catfish.
Sirilug assured me these were not cockroaches. These beasts are cooked, dried and ground to a powder, which is added to sauces to flavour Thai meals. They were about 75mm long.
I’m told that exposing the innards allows the shopper to see the quality of the purchase.
Eels are good tucker, especially the big ones in Australia. My recipe: skin the eel using a pair of pliers then chop into pieces about 40mm long and boil them. When soft, dip into an egg and flour batter then lightly fry in oil.
These catfish were about a 1.3m long. Note the width of the head in comparison to the bucket under the table. When you cook catfish you skin them like you do an eel.
In the good old days every kid in the Sydney suburb where I lived had a shanghai. We made them from fencing wire and heavy-duty elastic bands. I always remember being shocked as to how powerful they were when one day I used a small steel ball (from a ball race) as a projectile and put it through a beer bottle. It didn’t shatter the bottle, it punched a perfect round hole through one side. Shanghais in Australia are now a prohibited weapon.
Rarely in Thailand do you see an overweight person and it’s because they eat such healthy tucker. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are of this standard. We could easily live in Thailand just for the food. Sirilug’s children do not crave junk food, they prefer vegetables and rice.