Early Sunday morning I got up to go to the Eastern bus terminal at Ekkamai not so far from where I'm staying in Bangkok, to catch a bus to Rayong.
I was heading to a small village in Klaeng to visit Peter, one of my class mates from the time I studied Thai in Bangkok.
It is always so damn cold inside these buses in Thailand.
Even though it's like 30 degrees celcius outside, they insist on turning the air conditioning inside the bus to its maximum, so it's bleedin' freezing!
They even provide blankets.
Often I don't understand Thai people's logic at all. I was glad I'd brought my cardigan and scarf - even though you'd think you wouldn't be needing that in a country like Thailand.
Today's lesson: You need warm clothes in Thailand - to wear when you're inside. The same goes for shopping malls. And skytrain and metro. Brr.
I remember at "winter time" when I lived in Thailand it would get as "cold" as 27 degrees celcius in Bangkok, and Thai people would be wearing jackets and hats, and they'd be getting a cold and stuff.
But in the same time, they would keep the airconditioning inside on the same setting as if it was 35 degrees - so naturally it would be pretty cold inside. So it wasn't actually cold outside, it was just that the air conditioning made it freezing inside, and so they would "complain" to each other how cold this winter season was. I would roll my eyes. And bring a sweater and scarf to school.
Same snack, different country
The buses are actually pretty comfortable, and three hours fled while I struggled to keep awake and nearly missed my stop at Klaeng. Luckily I got off in time to meet Peter.
Peter is an American who's been living in Thailand the past 6 years or so. He has also lived in both Switzerland and France for many years, so in addition to Thai he also speaks German and French.
In Klaeng in Rayong he has built a house together with Anek, who's an interior architect. They also live in Bangkok where they work.
Anek's family live close-by, and we went to see their fruit orchard where his father was busy working.
Ripe arecas are taken down from the tree and left to dry, before its seed is taken out.
The betel nut, called maak in Thai, when chewed together with some other stuff has a mild stimulant effect.
In rural Thailand it is mostly chewed by some older women on social occations or as a part of everyday life. I don't know that much about the stuff, other than that it makes your mouth fill with blood-red icky stuff that you spit out. Not very attractive.