One of the things you do when you visit Southeast Asia is getting a rid on a Tuk-Tuk. It’s not some sort of amusement park ride because if park rides were this visceral the lines to ride them would be epic. Nope,the Tuk-Tuk is a three wheeled scooter taxi like car that gets you form one place to another in a busy crowded Asian metropolis quickly, sometimes by using sidewalks or by zipping between traffic that you could have sworn didn’t have enough space to fit a cat let alone a thing you are sitting in. Soon, local laws permitting, you may see them popping up on the streets in your area:
Get on board with the ONLY EPA and DOT approved Tuk Tuk in America! Tuk Tuk USA is excited to bring the internationally acclaimed Tuk Tuk motor vehicle to the United States after over 60 years of service abroad in over 20 countries! Dealership opportunities are coming soon with full service and and parts departments to be included on site! Tuk Tuk USA is proud to present over 14 models with choices in transmission and even alternative fuel source engines! There are both private and commercial vehicle configurations to choose from!
[via Red Ferret]
Duaians… Unless you have smelled them up close you just won’t understand what all the hub-bub is about. I can, for a fact, tell you that very fresh durians smell/taste better than ones that have been frozen. That aside, a researcher has discovered that by breeding 90 different varieties of this stinky fruit the odor can be reduced enough to make them edible by most people. This, of course, has the durian lovers up in arms.
Fans Sour on Sweeter Version of Asia’s Smelliest Fruit – New York Times
(Thank you Eugene for the tip)
More info on durians (wiki)
Now this a bold move, first was a ban on the advertisement of alcohol and now the national drinking age has been raised from 18 to 25. I wonder if the new caretaker government that was put into place a few weeks ago might be planning on some even more drastic changes in the way things are done over there.
The legal limit for purchasing alcohol is now 25. Deputy Chief of the Disease Control Department, Narong Sahamethapat, was quoted yesterday as saying that the idea was proposed by a network of parents early this year during a public hearing of a draft bill to control alcoholic drinks. From now on, alcohol free zones include:
– Schools (and any other places of education)
– State Offices
Gone will be the constant reminders of the 100 Pipers that are there to give Thais a warm fuzzy feeling on a Friday night.
When I first saw this I thought it was some form of bad cosplay gone worse but then I realized it was part of an avian flu awareness campaign. Last time I was in Bangkok I did notice a definite lack of live chickens just about anywhere. There was lots of cooked chicken to be had (mumm… street food!) but I’d saw that the government is doing a good job of getting the word out. I know that you can raise those darn things just about anywhere, farms, back yards, a cage in your apartment… No, I don’t have personal experience with keeping chickens in my apartment but I just know these things. Don’t ask me why.
Officials from the department of medical sciences wear chicken outfits, while holding signs that read "eating cooked chicken is safe" in Bangkok August 23, 2006. Bird flu has spread rapidly since late 2003 from Asia to Europe, killing at least 141 people so far. In Thailand, the virus has killed 16 people including the latest one in early August since the H5N1 virus swept across parts of Asia in late 2003.
Long live the king! I know this is a bit late but it’s still news worthy.
I happened to see live streaming of his address to his people from the government building in Bangkok. Seeing the hundreds of thousands of people gathered to hear their king was amazing. It was a sea of yellow (yellow is the color of royalty) as everyone was sporting their official ‘I love the king’ shirts.
I know a bit about what is going on here. My wife is from Asia and they have some odd table manners there. A big one is how you eat your food. Now I was brought up thinking that my fork was the primary weapon of choice when attacking a meal. I mean, what’s better than a fork for stabbing at steak and potatoes, right? My spoon was for whatever was too fine to impale or scoop up with the tines of the fork, stuff like Jello and soup. Well it turns out that other places have something against the fork as the number one go to utensil. The spoon has surpassed the fork in usefulness in these cultures all together. If food needs to go anywhere near your mouth, you use the Spoon. The poor fork has been relegated to the lowly task of loading food into the spoon and to stab at the occasional tidbit that is too far away to safely scoop into the bowl of the spoon. What a sad time it is for the fork in these far off lands. And then there is the knife, don’t get me started on the knife. In these parts, your knife has but for one purpose in it’s life: to cut. That’s it. Never is it to be used to push, prod, or otherwise assist the food onto or into anything else.
Did I mention that the inhabitants of these places are rather steadfast in their utensil beliefs? Oh yeah, to the point of having the knife ripped from your hand and replaced with the spoon and then being told that you eat with said spoon. It’s like some strange form of brainwashing once you get ‘in country’. I wasn’t prepared for it at all. My wife’s family appeared to be sane enough but when it came to dinner time they all ganged up on me as if I had been eating peas with my knife at a state dinner! After trying to tell them and giving repeated demonstrations of my proficiency at feeding myself with a fork, I realized that as people say, ‘you can’t fight city hall’. True enough, once I gave up this silly notion my fork being a main force tool, things got better. After a while they stopped pointing and staring at me while I ate. Nothing like feeding time at the monkey house I suppose, but it’s not so much fun once they learn table manners.
Sometimes I miss my fork…
[via Simply Dumb]