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Everything is new, in a positive way!

July 12, 2010
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As the title suggests, the past four days have been a whole new experience for me~ The weather is hot, of course, but not intolerable; the bugs are a nuisance, but you learn to ignore them, especially when everything else is so wonderful.

Thai people are marvellously nice and friendly, and Ketsanee, who has generously introduced me to food styles in all corners of Thailand, is an exemplar. Then there is Eric, who’s  so knowledgeable about plants that not only does he know every species in his garden, he can also casually point to a tree on the side of the road and tell me all about it. Being a person without much botanic background, there has been way too much information to swallow, but I did remember that to discriminate a lime tree from a lemon tree, you look at the leaves:  the former has a secondary leaf connecting every leaf and its stalk, whereas the later has ordinary single leaves – considering  I didn’t even know lemon and lime are different things, I am learning! Also unforgettable is the encounter with many plants which have leaves with distinct odours: there is one that smells like orange; another one smells like nuts; and much to my amazement, there is even leaves that smell like fresh fish! According to Eric, Thai people use it in salads, but it’s hard for me to imagine the taste.

All in all, it’s been a fabulous break from the city life, thanks to Eric and Ketsanee, and I’m surprised that I don’t even miss the tele and the computer (so far).  I’m looking forward to more new things to explore!

Yichao, Shanghai

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