Sea Turtle Rescue

 


Sea Turtles
One of my favorite souvenirs for Thailand is a bracelet with jade turtle beads strung together.  Whenever I wear it I always get compliments on it.  And of course, I can’t help but brag that I got it at a temple that had a sea turtle rescue, off the cost of Sri Racha, ChonBuri, Thailand.  There are actually a lot of efforts going on in southern Thailand to help save the sea turtles, which warmed my heart among all the environmental woes in the industrializing country.  Watching all the turtles was so fascinating, I could have spent hours running around their pools.  It got even more exciting though… when I got to feed them!  Even their food, aka squid, looked cool!

Turtle Food

If you want to learn more about the Thai Sea Turtles you can check out this site: Warthai.org or EarthJustice.org

 

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Chicken & Pork

Chicken being sold at a Thai Market in Bangsaen.

They don’t cheat you out of your money in Thailand the way they do in America, if you pay for a “whole chicken” you actually get the WHOLE chicken. I never really thought it would be possible for me to get use to walking past dead animal heads, but it’s just everywhere in the markets. Okay I’m still a bit squeamish when it comes to seeing pig body parts so openly displayed. A born butcher I am not. These sites are not just at the markets, but the street vendors also display the meat proudly. When I came here I expected I would eat almost purely vegetarian seeing how picky I am about how my meat is prepared and when I get home I will be living with a vegetarian anyways. That has certainly become the case, really they just don’t have beef around here and that is my main meat of choice. I eagerly wait for when I get home and have a delicious Wisconsin burger…well done and not having sat out in the sun for several

Pork for sale in a Thai market in Bangsaen.

MSG Free Zones

Once upon a time on a little island nation filled with great scientists one of these men discovered that the human tongue could taste not just sweet, sour and bitter, but also the taste of pure protein.  With that the scientists went on to package and mass market that wonderful new taste in what they sold as the miracle ingredient of MSG!  These days MSG is everywhere in Asia.  It’s almost impossible to avoid, which is a very bad thing for Westerners how happen to be much more sensitive to it than Asians.  MSG has shown signs of potentially being very bad for the body anyways.  To top it off my Dad is severely allergic to MSG, so we have to avoid completely.  That is not a very easy task and makes our choices for eating very slim.  MK is one of the few chains that are MSG free.  This is a picture of my first meal there (and in Thailand), a vegetable noodle that was pretty good.  Other than that we have two main restaurants we go to that my Dad can eat.  So if you ever go to Thailand be sure to search for MSG free places.

Food from MK, veggie noodles.

Forbidden Pillars

Unused Highway

Modern ruins of the untouchable highway.

Once upon a time in Bangkok there was to be a new highway. They plotted out a path and built pillars. Then the company building them went bankrupt. The construction was ceased. Legend states that there is a legal issue that that has kept anyone else from building on the land already constructed on. As a result the new highway was eventually built by another company just a few feet away from the ruins.

Untouchable and Unused

The untouchable and unused within site of the new. The foreground pillar is for the new functioning highway.

I really don’t know to much about the new old highway, people don’t really seem to have many answers.  I’m not sure if that is because they honestly don’t know or just don’t want to discuss it.  If I find out any more I will update.

more ruins

forgotten left standing

The Price of Booming Growth

Thailand is a country that is booming with growth.  Everywhere you go there seems to be construction going on.  On of the sadder things about this, besides the destruction on the beautiful natural landscape is that there aren’t very strict zoning laws.  In the picture bellow you can see houses and apartments built right up to the road highway as well as having a factory in their back yard.  There is some worry as to the long term effects this could have on the population living right in the factory zones.

Zoning?

Another downside to the constant building is that it is changing the way people use the land around them.  The dark spot in the this picture is where a traditional house once stood but was torn down to make room for the apartments towering to the left.  All of the trees surrounding where the house had been were edible fruit plants.  People would plant these to no only shade their homes but also to supplement their food source.  The whole situation is an environmentalist headache, but it’s the cost of rapid growth and expansion.

Housing changes brings about lifestyle changes.

No Smoking

No Smoking

Looks like America really is one of the last countries to get the clue that smoking indoors is bad for your health!  Even developing countries have gone smoke free before us.   Oh well at least in July next year Wisconsin will finally join the get on the boat.  SomethingI am super excited about seeing as I’m horribly allergic to smoke and if I can’t get peanuts on my flights anymore then why do is it still okay for me to be forced to have allergic reactions just for trying to be social.  Well I know most of the ones closest to me are on the other side of that argument, but that’s okay my side is still the winning one! hehe.

Actually it doesn’t even seem to be an issue for Thais, at least around Bangsaen.  It still seems to be a fad reserved for a few rebellious boy crowds.  I’ve only seen one girl smoking the entire time I’ve been here.  Really most of the smoking I’ve seen has been from American and Chinese  professors and students, and all male.  And despite the the tons of litter on the ground at least there really aren’t cigarette butts!