Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Day 3

This post will cover day 3, but it was our first day on the ground, and it was filled with meeting new friends and getting better acquainted with the transportation.   Getting around is a highly developed skill here.  The skill is not in knowing how to get from point A to point B, however.   The skill is developing a thick skin and finding "a happy place" in your brain when you're on the road.  There are rules of the road here, just as there are all over the world, but... here the rules are completely ignored!   

For instance, at a red light everyone riding a motorcycle makes their way as close as possible to the front and motorcycles fill in every possible gap in between trucks and cars and becaks (motorcycle/carriage taxis).

Only the driver of the motorcycle is required to wear a helmet.  Which means that helmets are not only optional but rare for passengers.  Most motorcycles on the road are carrying more than one passenger.  The driver, the husband or father in a lot of cases, will have on his helmet but the wife and children don't.  And very often you will see a motorcycle carrying a driver, sometimes another adult passenger and also 1 to 3 more children!  I saw dozens of toddlers riding in this fashion on motorcycles just hanging on to mom or dad and zipping in and out of traffic.

But nearly all drivers here are very good at watching out for other vehicles and for pedestrians.  Once, when crossing a very busy road, my friend likened it to playing Frogger.  You step into the road as soon as there is an opening and you wait for another opening in traffic.  Pausing and alternately darting across until you reach the other side.  Not recommended for the faint of heart.

When we reached the home of one of our friend's coworkers we were greeted with this: YUM  YUM  YUM!
and these!  More please!
If I get the recipes then I will be sure to pass them along!  All I know is that coconut and/or coconut milk and potatoes were involved and that it was all delicious!

After we got settled in at S's house, she took us to a local mall where she gets her "fix" of The West.  Then she took us to a beautiful shop filled with local crafts and furniture.

I'll post pictures of some of the beautiful things I bought once I'm done with the travel posts.  Don't let me forget.  My brain is a bit fried from having to jump back into my usual routine and trying to catch up from being gone for over a week.  Things have a way of piling up and getting lost in the shuffle if it's not tended to on a daily basis!

So, on that note, I'm off to sort through some of those piles and I'll be back tomorrow with more pictures!