Thursday, April 24, 2003

April 24th - April 25th - Fruits and Metal

Thursday, April 24th – Pomelo: The largest fruit in the citrus family, the pomelo is considered to be native to Thailand and Malaysia, and the trees bear fruit all year round.

The pomelo fruit may weigh a kilogram or more, and is shaped like a pear or flattened globe. It has a very thick skin, light green turning to lemon yellow as the fruit ripens. Inside the fruit are large segments of pulp, each surrounded by a very tough membrane, which must be removed before eating. This fruit is a particular favorite of the Chinese in Southeast Asia, and is associated with all Chinese festive occasions, and finds a featured place in many Thai events as well. Pomelo juice is sweet, but not strongly so, and much less tart than its distant cousin, the grapefruit.
Soursop: The Soursop is usually processed into ice creams, sherbets and drinks, but fiber-free varieties are often eaten raw. The large, elongated, somewhat ovaloid fruit, can be up to 12" long and 6" wide and usually weighs several pounds. The fruit is covered in small knobby spines that easily break off when the fruit is ripe. The thin, inedible, leathery green skin cuts easily to yield the large mass of cream colored, fragrant, juicy, and somewhat fibrous, edible flesh. A typical soursop contains anywhere from 30-200 black-brown seeds, each about 1/2" long and 1/4" wide and enclosed in a separate "pocket" of flesh. There are known seedless varieties, but they are rare, and tend to have fibrous flesh. Soursop's are processed into excellent ice creams, sherbets and beverages throughout much of Central and South America. Sweet varieties of the fruit can be eaten raw, and are often used for dessert. Today, Soursop ice cream, marketed under its Spanish name "Guanabana," can be found in some gourmet supermarkets. Preserved soursop in syrup can also be found in many ethnic markets. The canned pulp can be pureed or blended in the home, and easily transformed into a delicious desert, although fresh pulp is more desirable. Immature soursops are often cooked, and eaten as a vegetable. The leaves and roots of the tree have various medicinal properties. Soursops are high in vitamins B1, B2 and C.
[Both of these were stolen off some web sites]
Friday, April 25th - I finally have a school pass so I don’t need to check in at the gate each time we go. That’ll be a blessing too, because while I enjoy a little chit chat between the kids and the guards, it’s really become excessive where we’re left waiting by the gate with 4 or 5 security types while the -only- person who can check us in is dealing with something else. At least this time that one guard didn’t keep asking about any friends of ours who might be wanting to adopt out their kid because he wants a little girls Just Like Rebecca. Ugh.
We also had Nicholas’s check-up today. I’m not quite sure what to think about the visit other than it was very short. I do know that he’s 37 ½ inches and 34 ¼ pounds. No shots until school, as long as he’s all caught up, not that the doc checked to see if he was caught up. But that’s about it. I also asked about Jonathon’s bites and he couldn’t tell me what they were from, or how to prevent them or if there was anything to treat them. Do you get the impression that I didn’t learn a whole lot? And it was a pain getting to Seafront. Not only was the traffic heavier, but upon arriving I asked Cesar to go through the gate, but the guards weren’t going to let him do that (it is, afterall, a rental car) so we got out of the van to go through the foot gate, only for the guard to see my badge and say we could go in with the car, etc etc. I said no thanks, as we were already 10 minutes late and waiting for the security check on the car would have made us that much later, but did ask them to just let the car through so it could wait by the clinic.
On the way to the school afterwards, we were pulled over by a traffic cop. We have reams of literature on what to do and not do when accidents and pull-overs occur. My first instinct was to call Ian on the cell, just in case the cop was going to do something he shouldn’t. Officers here are, well, how to put this without offending the honest ones. Most of them are a good amount corrupt, pulling over people they think they can scare some cash out of, taking licenses, generally being difficult. Afterall, there are no enforced traffic laws here. Oh, there are plenty of street signs, there are traffic lights, there are corners with huts of “traffic enforcers”, but in all truth, people do what they feel like. So to be pulled over by a cop is a worrisome thing, especially for expats in the times as they are.
At the end it was a painless affair. The driver was given a ticket and we were sent on our way. Only to discover from Cesar later that the ticket was for an unregistered car. How does that bode for the business of rental vehicles?

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