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First I find a beautiful little green snake in the Coconut tree and after bonding and playing around with it -to the shock of everyone around me, I too learned the darn thing is poisenous. Heck, things are always better if you dont know…
I have never dwelled in my grown up life in a place so remote from all worldly reality as in this little corner of Indonesia. Basically I have not watched TV in a month and the little blurbs of information I hear from either tourists or on the internet FrontPages of Google is yesterday’s news… On one hand it is soothing not having to shrug about another Bush-ism or to be revolted about another group of young soldiers being blown up by a road side bomb. On the other side, these days I am more in tune with the local spoken news and the gossip (Carlotta in Indonesia); So let me share a little. The City Chief has promised US 14 for anyone voting for him. That is about ¼ of a monthly salary here. Surely they were not prepared for the long lines of voters and postponed the Council meeting to next weekend. In the mean time the Governor of the region is busy, since a few fishermen caught an ugly and scary looking fish with legs in their net and somehow realized it ought to be something significant. After officials here activating the few professional people in Bali about their Coelacanth Fish and were told to put their catch on ice for a week, the local University became involved. They announced to do a sonar check on the species (maybe the prehistoric fish is pregnant…) but requested the fish to be brought to their facility. The Governor (also in re-election but without competition) stepped in and had the catch be transported to his office (I hope on ice). Historians flew into the region but were denied access to the valuable species. Seems that this is a finding sought to be distinct 80 million years ago. I hope I am not making up more crap, but keep in mind this is kitchen-carlotta… The story came to a screeching halt on the manager’s diner table when my partner Q coyly commented I should braise it gently in butter… Check out Coelacanth on the internet; I have no more time for it…
I went with the kitchen staff white water rafting as a bonding experience, it was great fun indeed. Interrestingly two of them cant even swim but grew up on the Ocean. When standing on the bubbling hot and sulfuric water coming out of the active lava grounds my chefs explained they’d never experienced this…? A hot bubbely team indeed!
I have nearly completed my Dive Master training, a few more dives and practical tests and I should be certified. It all is much more study and required respect for the amount of information requested to safely hold such a title in responsibility. The last two dives I joined the local guys catching KOT’s (Crown of Thorns) Not sure it has any religious reference which would not be surprising here in Manado… A purple rather nice looking starfish with long, poisonous spikes that eat and destroy entire coral reefs in weeks. Those came over the last year from the China and Japan region and have cause huge damage to local coral banks and need to be removed. Some of the fisherman simply dive 15 meters without gear and can easy stay two minutes under water. While in construction of building a brand new kitchen I find ample time with my team to practice and polish Classical Cuisine. Sometimes I build in questions relating to PADI dive theory. Imagine you would arrive in a resort that is not just one of the foremost dive center located in the most spectacular coral reefs of Indonesia, you would be served by a team that fully understands your enthusiasm and can talk with you about your hobby, even knowing the best dive spots! We would be a worlds first!
I’m off to Phuket for a weekend, change of sceneries and possibly picking up more pots and pants for the new kitchen. The existing stash of kitchenware is not designed for the professional-strength oven and stove top. Maybe I even get to sit in a movie theater again? What is new out there? Thai food, gosh – I am sooo ready!