Monday, 24 August 2009

Back to work again...

So, once we arrived Phuket 6th Aug I was off the ship again on to spend my remaining vacation days, after that it would be continuous work until next May again...

I went home to Jira and just relaxed until 14th when we made a sojourn to Chumphon province to visit relatives, this time Jira's brothers mother-in-law. She has farms near Lang Suan. It was a grueling drive up north half way to Bangkok with a lunch stop in Surat Thani at a highway Co-op eatery. All and all it took us 5 1/2 hrs to get from A to B. The mother-in-law had her house high up in the hills and it was pleasantly cool in the evening, even the mozzies did not bother us too much.

After arrival though we still drove down to Lang Suan Pak Nam (Lang Suan by the Beach) and saw a huge aircraft carrier built from concrete erected on the beach. It was a memorial for King Mongkut (Rama 5th). At the market we bought seafood for dinner and also visited an aunt there. Well up in the mountains again cooking began. As it was nearing voting time some guys appeared with rice whiskey bottles and tried to get the local menfolk drunk. I guess they ended more inebriated than the guys of the house (I had no part in it).

The Kings memorial


Then saturday morning 15th we got up early and started to pick Long Kong fruit from the mother-in-law's orchard. Long Kong fruits are as sweet as Lychee's but hairless and they grow funnily straight out from the tree trunk. The fruit is very well liked by ants and the are testy too and like to bite. This discovered too when climbing up a tree and harvesting it. I was picking ants off myself for an hour afterwards.

Mother-in-law also gave concentrated Durian candy to take down South. The candy is manufactured that several Durian fruits are peeled into a wok and then put on low heat while the wok is stirred all the time. Some people also add sugar but in this case none had been added. The stirring goes on for up to 12 hrs until all liquid has been heated out and only a thick brown paste remains, this then is collected into containers and kept in a fridge. The candy can be eaten just like that and is very filling, same as the fruit in it's natural consistency.

Once we had 7 crates (abt 120kg) of Long Kong in our pick-up truck we loaded ourselves in it and headed down south again. This time we did a late lunch stop near SUrat Thani at the Phrap Pla restaurant by the sea. It had a long walkway to get to the building itself but the view was very stunning and the oysters cheap (25 THB compared to Phuket 45 THB or >). Once fed we loaded us up again and headed for the last stretch home to Trang.

Then on 19th morning it was time to travel to Phuket and sign on Kalizma. I had an handover with Avnish and he arranged a farewell party in his restaurant Kargo Curry near Laguna. The food was excellent.

Next day, 22nd Aug, it was time to cast off Phuket an head down to Lumut for our drydocking. The weather forecast looked fairly ok and what happened then, I will update you after we've completed our works in Malaysia...

Related pics here

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