Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Heat is Driving Me Bananas... flowering!
Musa basjoo (Japanese Hardy Banana) flowering

Closeup of banana flower spike

Too bad that the Japanese fiber banana fruit is basically inedible. But unless I learn that it is poisonous, I am bound to try and eat some!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

I'm Baaaack!

Well, it was a wonderful vacation overall. The flight was a low cost carrier, AirAsia. So there were absolutely no amenities. We had to take a bus to the plane and climb the ladder. There were no movies, indeed no screens in the plane for showing any, of course no food, no beverage- even water- we had to walk from the plane, across 200 meters of tarmac to the terminal after landing, and that was OK because oh my goodness it was sooooooooooo cheap.

After flying all night to Kuala Lumpur, we waited in the McDonalds there for another 5 hours before catching the flight to Khota Bharu, in the North of Malaysia. Then we took a high speed van to the coast, and a tiny boat with twin 150hp Mercury engines on it across the straits to the islands. 27 hours after we left, we arrived at Bubbles Dive Resort. Nice place. Nothing to buy, no TVs, just clean rooms and a fabulous beach. The "store" at the restaurant had... well, almost nothing. Which was good I guess. They don't want much trash on the island, so they decided not to sell anything in plastic apparently. Works out well. We could refill water bottles for free at the restaurant and didn't need to buy any more.

While at Bubbles, we had a chance to see some green sea turtles feeding on the bottom as we snorkeled. Pretty cool. More on the trip later. I'm bushed.

Monday, August 1, 2011

On Vacation

South Besar, Perhentian Besar, Malaysia; photo by jpatokal
Well, we are heading out the door in a few hours for a week in a tropical paradise. I will fill you all in when we get back from the Perhentian Islands in Malaysia. Until then rest assured our good friend John will be taking care of the house, garden and livestock.