Twisted Sister?

“Oh we’re not gonna to take it. NO, we’re ain’t gonna take it!….sorry,  echos in the ear of a younger me and my Twisted Sister cassette tapes.

Now back to the prompt.

In the picture it’s not the cow in a chef’s uniform that seems twisted.  It’s the watermelon cow with a bite out of its back.  Take a look and tell me what else you see.

Thanks Amsterdam for keeping things interesting around every corner.

WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge- Twisted

Advertisements

Waypoints

Rusty, a 3-year-old male Irish Terrier marking his Denmark territory.  Waypoints on our walking routes, it you will.  I keep telling him he’s been there and that it’s his pee but he has so much energy he doesn’t mind being thorough.

Yup, I took a picture of his ‘waypoint’.

I can’t blame him though, I like going back to a favorite spot too.  I only ran him out of pee once.  He has what seems to be a 5 gallon tank.  He will mark 75 waypoints on a 30 minute walk.

DSC07137

Now I haven’t been marking territory quite like Rusty but I have placed a few waypoints of my own.  Mostly because I don’t have the memory I used to.  In fact, I can’t remember ever having a good memory.  My wife, as some of you know, can remember what the weather was like on a certain day 17 years ago.

DSC07166

Denmark was a black and white landscape that occasionally showed purple and violet.  I am grateful for the hospitality of the new friends we met there.  (Thanks Ib, Anne, and all the Denmark family)

Anyway, where was I?  Oh crap… Yes, I’ve marked major waypoints on this map link Gurr World Map Waypoints showing where we have been.  More stops to come!  The map is interactive so you can zoom in and around.  We started our trip going west from Portland.

img_9390-1

I’ll keep blogging.   Be sure to follow along.

Wired

Coffee, Powerlines and other Stimuli:

dsc02075

Up for a cup?  Always.  I’m ALWAYS up for a cup of joe.  I’ll have it in all forms.  Hot, cold, was hot, mocha, latte, just a shot, whatever it is… yes please, I’m a junkie.

Traveling and on a lean budget leads to a lot of instant coffee.  At times you only have a kettle and a 7-11.  I’ve dug old espresso makers out of the back of cupboards and brought them back to life.  I need my fix…

I have searched for a good instant blend and maybe I have just gotten used to them rather than think they are good.  “Acceptable” is common.

But when the price is right I find the local joe.

Bali and other places seem to put what I call weasel coffee (Luwak in Bali) on a high pedestal.  Like lobster of the seafood category,  This coffee is harvested after passing through a mongoose, roasted and priced accordingly.   dsc02068

Yes, you can taste the difference between male and female brew.  Enough of that crap.  Let’s talk about Vietnam.

img_9718

Vietnam offered, and I couldn’t turn down, cà phê sữa nong.  Slow pour over espresso with condensed milk.  Small but powerful.

Just yesterday I had a beautiful Coffee Coa in Denmark.  A shot of espresso and a piece of chocolate melted into it.  Hygge in a cup.   There is no photographic evidence of the actual cup but this one came close.  It’s a cappuccino in a red cafe with candles on every table.  Lovely and 25 Krone.

Ok enough coffee. What is up with the electricians in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand?  Is there a contest I’m missing?

There are lines laying on the ground and hanging low across sidewalks in Da Nang begging the question, “It that hot?”.  I didn’t stick around to find out.

Code? What Code?  I’m not an electrician but I do know this wouldn’t fly in my neighborhood.

 

dsc03648

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other stimuli: Pull tab Beers.

 

Bricks

img_7633-1Bricks: The building blocks of Southeast Asia.

Behind every layer of cement lies a layer of red-orange (aka brick-red).  It doesn’t matter if the building is purple or fluorescent green or both (Thailand), it’s still brick on the inside.DSC04423

Each new Air b-n-b includes a near by construction site allowing you to play such games as “Guess what time the crew will start tomorrow.”, “What tool makes that much noise?”, “I don’t think THAT is OSHA approved.”, and “Do you see any safety harnesses?”.

Down every street and in most driveways is a stack of bricks.  I watched a woman move an entire pallet sized pile from one side of the alley to the other.  It was a 1.5 meter move and I wondered if it actually needed to be done.  Maybe she was rearranging?DSC03536

Vietnam was where I really started to notice.  Da Nang was the clear winner in the brick pile competition.  I think it’s because of their drive to become the Singapore of Vietnam.  Every patch of land along what used to be called China Beach is being built up into high-rise condos or a hotel.

dsc03817-1

Go Broncos!

Hue and Hanoi were doing well also.

img_9299

I guess not much attention to detail here.  some of the letters are up some down.  It really set me off.

We even passed the brick factory on our way to Halong Bay.  Passing by a small town on the left side I marveled at the field full of neatly stacked piles and pillars that looked like a miniature city scape.  A brick Hobbiton.

Some may say that SE Asia is built on bamboo and palm fronds and they certainly use a lot of each for almost everything.  I also know I get fixated on a subject and soon I’m seeing bricks everywhere.

I rest my case with My Son.

DSC03792

The like new looking bricks are the originals.  The black and deteriorating are the modern rebuild.

Built of brick and tree sap between 400 AD and 1400 AD the building are still standing.  Located in the jungle of central Vietnam.  Worn by moisture, weather and war,  My Son is truly a marvel in construction to this day.  Bricks layered without cement.  Stacked and set to dry, the ancient construction is not holding the moisture.  This baking of the bricks is what makes them better than the ones used for reconstruction.

 

Go Broncos!

BBBBbbbOOOiiiiiSSSseeeee!!!!……….. STATE!!  Growing up in Boise, Idaho never goes away.  It follows you.  Even around the world.
It’s the call of the Broncos as they rally to victory or the next hoop or TD. Some guy with a booming voice starts from one side of the stadium “BBBBBbbbOOOiiiiiSSSSeeeeee!!!”.   And the other side answers…

(in my head I’m hearing “And Rohan will answer!” from The Lord Of the Rings.  Yeah, I’m that messed up.  Stay focused Kelvin). 

“STATE!!!” as a crowd.  ONE guy starts a chain reaction that brings the crowd to their feet until the next point is scored.

Some time in the late 80’s, I remember going to basketball games, as a youngling, with my father.

DSC03885

Oakley getting ripped in Da Nang

Running laps around the Pavilion and having a great time.  Dad was sometimes taking photos with a floor pass while I was let free to roam.   I eventually paid attention to the game and watched as the broncos came together to win quite a few games.
I knew the names and positions of all the players.  Doug Usitalo., and uh.. hold on… it will come back….Got it! Arnell Jones, and Chris Childs to name a few.  I can also still hear the anouncer calling out their names at the start of the gamea and every time they scored.
Boise State is my alma mater.  I graduated from the culinary school that sat in shadow of an huge football stadium.  Seriously, I think we lost the sun with one of the expansions.
I considered myself a Bronco and still do although I have lost some interest. I live in Portland, Oregon now and married a Vandal, actually a whole Vandal family.
I’ve traveled back over the years and witnessed an uprising in what is called Bronco Nation.  Fred Meyer, the local grocery store, was a sea of blue and orange on one visit. Every place of business is showing support.
I couldn’t believe the size of the fan base.  I guess it has always been there. Someone just found a great catchphrase for it.  Other colleges and universities have it and call it their own, but they don’t know what they are up against.
The thing I bet you didn’t know about is… in my mind there is a huge following in Vietnam.  I’m not talking about t-shirts, hats, and little flags stuck to your car.  I’m talking about the biggest overall use of blue and orange tarps.
I found myself pointing them out to my boys and saying “Go Broncos!” without even thinking about where it came from.  It was a phrase I had heard by countless fans in passing around Boise.  A greeting used by a city of my past taken by storm during a successful season.  Used as both a hello and a goodbye, it popped into my head.
Strange as it may seem, my family caught on and even the Vandal was saying it while pointing to another Vietnamese BSU fan.  A fan, unbeknownst to him or her, showing pride and support for a completely different nation (literally) and it’s much smaller town in Idaho.
From Ho Chi Minh City to Da Nang and up to Hanoi the only tarps being sold are those with orange on one side and blue on the other making for an accidental and unexpected showing of Bronco pride by a nation of over 95 million people and 47 million scooters.  Sounds pretty unstoppable to me.
Go Broncos.

Scooters 

“Okay, no problem, I can carry that on my scooter.”

DSC01909

Nothing prepares you for the amount of talented scooter riders when you travel to Bali.  Coming from The States where a few areas might have what seemed like a lot of motorbikes.  Or it may be summer when more riders are out and sometimes even grouped up together on a tour. The numbers here are unreal. They just keep coming and from all directions.

Oakley, my youngest son of eight years age was saying the word “there” as in, “there is one” from the moment we left the airport until I told him he needed to stop (keeping Dad’s sanity is priority).

“There, there, there, there, there, there……There, there, there, there, there,…”

The thing is, I don’t think those riders in the USA stand a chance in what I believe to be some bizarre competition held on the narrow streets of Bali.  The rules are pretty straight forward with the only goal being…get to where you’re going without dropping something.

The players compete in two categories.

  1. Largest amount of items carried either by weight or bulk.
  2. Top level of unexpected weirdness or level of danger of items carried.

Note: A player may enter both categories in one ride

Here are the contestants.  Help me judge by choosing your top 3 and replying in the comment section below.

Sorry for the lack of photos, the riders come up fast and I spent most of my time staring in astonishment while mentally placing them into the appropriate category.  

  1. Two car tires (not scooter tires…car tires on 14 inch rims.)
  2. Family of four (it’s okay, the kids are in a Baby Byorn type thing or standing between your legs up front)
  3. You, me and my dog (pets are pretty popular to take on a ride. Just have a good grip on them and have them lay across the seat between you and me.)
  4. Surfboards (This increases the danger factor by adding a wing, or shark fin depending on placement.)
  5. Birdcage (with bird. Covered. Usually a cockfighting rooster)
  6. Air compressor (Good size one that needs a handle and wheels to move around the shop)
  7. Juice bottles (6 or 7 cases of glass bottles. Stack them high for additional danger)
  8. Umbrella (open, because it started raining and you are still going to get where you were headed.  This takes a high level of skill due to wind generated by movement and the use of one hand to hold the umbrella leaving only one to control the bike.)
  9. Four, 5gallon water jugs (full)
  10. 6ft. Stack of welcome mats (see pic)img_7365
  11. Bowsaws (4 of them)
  12. Mailbox (big)
  13. Fifteen flats of eggs (not in a box, not wrapped in plastic, not tied. “hold these.”)
  14. Three, 5gallon plastic jugs of gasoline (Obviously more danger than the water guy but what if they crashed into each other, sparking the petrol and then adding the water? I see bonus points here.)
  15. Breadfruit 30+ (These are as big as watermelons at times.)
  16. All manner of plants (including a 40lb Tarrow root or 1/3rd of a tree.)
  17. Three foot pane of glass held by the passenger upright (I thought he was raising his fists in victory during the ride because I couldn’t see the glass.)
  18. Six foot Ladder (Attached at the back or on the rider’s back, positioned straight up)
  19. 40 balloons (inflated)
  20. Scissors
  21. Eight cases of soda and beer (danger factor is increased due to the value placed on the beer.)
  22. Sharp bamboo sticks (placement was key here. The driver had the sharp ends pointed up between his legs.)
  23. A cooler or “esky”as the Aussie call them. (one that holds around 70 cans, filled heaping with ice, no lid)
  24. Four to-go container sleeves (not the small ones, the big ones, no box.)
  25. 2 or 3 giant pillows full of packing beads. (see pic below)img_7777-2

There you have it. Now you just have to imagine these competitors riding in tight traffic, on narrow streets with dogs, cars, trucks, and other folks on scooters filling any open space.

I realize Bali may only have a fraction of the scooter traffic that Vietnam has.  At least that is what I’ve heard.  I can’t wait to see for myself.

Thanks for reading. I look forward to your responses.

Staples

DSC02066I wonder if there is an office supply store on Bali dedicated to staples. Hell, maybe the Staples that shut near our house in Portland was just in the wrong market.

Here is what I know and trust me I have done extensive research into this… The Balinese use ten times the amount of staples we do. I’m not talking about binding papers together to hand in to the professor. These folks use them for absolutely anything they need attached or stuck together.  Decorations are everywhere.  Trees are given sashes of fabric. Temples are dressed up as well. DSC02299

 

 

 

 

Bali is constantly praying or maybe it’s called placing an offering. Every house does this and in multiple locations.

DSC01900

A multitude of celebration baskets made of staples and dried palm leaves.

Store owners will place an offering in order to have good sales (I’m totally trying this in the next troubled restaurant I consult for).

Ok back to explaining the amount of staples. Where were we…. Ah yes, each house or building will place multiple offerings and each offering is usually placed in a basket made of palm leaves stapled together.

img_7754

7 staples in this small clam shell for chilies. 7!

Each spice packet in the supermarket is stapled shut.  Every clam shell (restaurant to-go box) is stuck will staples. Intricate ceremony gifts and decorations are stapled together.

The actual numbers are incalculable.

Here is an offering placed on top of a generator for a big winch system as a crew builds a wall.  I’ll be trying this instead of preventive maintainance on all my future vehicles. DSC01975