We don’t even know how to begin to tell our story of this fantastic day! But let’s be conventional and start at the beginning…
We wish we could write that we woke well rested but if you have read our last post you know why we did not :-(. The annoying “stop-knocking-on-my-walls-guy” was of course outside our room by the reception. However, today he was very remorseful and apologized hundreds of times. It was a very special person with a tragic background that we don’t really want to bother you with in detail. Although, he was quite insistent to tell us about it in great length and detail while we waited for our bike guide. A quick summary: He was from the US, he was bisexual, had been using drugs and prostitutes (yes, different kinds…), he was getting away from overprotective parents, he was paranoid about having his phone hijacked etc etc. It was a very tragic story and we mostly felt sorry for him and tried our best to make him feel better and be supportive.
Right on time Nok () showed up with her van and driver, her trainee Bo and Steve. Nok was just the most amazing person we had ever met! She was so happy, enthusiastic and above all genuine. Her good mood and ever present smile spread to every person we met that day, and we met quite a few :-). Nok’s sidekick Bo was also a very sweet and great person (we hope she stays with Nok as we think she will become a great guide one day). Finally, Steve was a typical American senior citizen. He was an outgoing and a nice old man with a very heavy American accent.
It was going to be a long day with both biking and riding in the van between places. We started off with a pitstop for Steve who also wanted to change clothes when he saw us wearing “adult diaper pants” and other functional training clothes.
During our drive Nok first taught us some basic thai:
- Hello and good (morning/day/evening): Sawasdee ka/krab (“ka” – if a woman is saying it and “krab” if man is saying it)
- Thank you: Khobkhun ka/krab
- No: Mai (ka/krab), this is a very handy word on Khao San Road (and quite a few other places).
- It tastes good: Aroy ka/krab (this is used very often 🙂 )
The rest we forgot…
Nok also taught us some Thai history and when we came close to the coast she told us about how they made sea salt and how important it is for the country. After an hour or so we started to come out to the country side. It was of course an immense contrast to the city. Our first stop was a coconut sugar farm. Here they both grew the coconut palm tree and produced the actual sugar. It felt like we were part of a live episode of “How it’s made”. Nok started out by showing us where they grew the palm trees and how they harvested the coconut nectar from the trees. They actually cut the long flower stems and bind a plastic container around it. After some time they collect the container that is filled with nectar. The coconut sugar is than created by heating up the nectar and adding normal cane sugar to the mixture. Then the mixture is centrifuged for a period of time and poured into containers to cool down. Finally the chunks of finished coconut sugar are chopped up into smaller pieces, put in plastic bags and finally into transport boxes.