The beautiful floral arrangement and the strange porcupine looking surprise awaited me one afternoon,
when I returned to my room from a short break.
I hadn't slept that well the night before, as I was still struggling with the occasional gecko lizard that joined in my room. The room was very clean and I tried spraying some insect type repellent that is natural and sold here on the screen in the bathroom and by the door opening. But, somehow, the geckos didn't care about the spray and liked to visit. Not every day, but I never knew when one would appear.
So, I was a bit jumpy to begin with that day, when I entered my room to see the plate of odd looking food of some kind on the desk. I had seen those strange looking 'whatever they were' in the markets and did not find them appealing in the least. To eat one was not on my 'list of things to try' while in Thailand. So, I was surprised and leery to try a plate full of them. Yet, I've also come to know and like the staff here at my hotel and did not want to insult them either.
So, feeling kind of 'creeped out', I tentatively poked at one of them and tried to figure out what to do next. I thought maybe if I could get it out of the hairy looking shell, maybe I could be brave enough to try it. And so, I quite easily popped the first oval white, almost translucent in color, squishy in texture - whatever it was - out onto the plate. The hairy shell, I pushed onto the tray that the plate had been on before I took the picture. This needed to be shared. I made sure not to touch it.
At this point, I didn't know if it was a fruit or a vegetable. Though I guessed at it being a fruit. A couple other times, mid day the staff had left fruit for me. Then it was watermelon and cantaloupe, so I recognized those. I think they felt sorry that I worked so much on the computer in my room - or they are just nice and hospitable is as likely a reason.
Now, the next thing I did was to poke it with the fork and lift it up to smell it. It didn't have much smell, but it was quite juicy and dripping as I stuck it with the fork. I thought, ok here goes, how bad can it be -
I tried to take a tiny bite, which was impossible. But, to my surprise, it was sweet and juicy and quite delicious. The closest thing I could think of was that the texture is much like the inside of a grape. It has a large seed in the middle too. The taste is nothing like a grape, but it is cool and refreshing. I ate the whole plate of what I later learned are Rambutan. They were a real treat! I look forward to having many more during June-August, when they are in season.
"The fruit of the Rambutan (ngaw) tree is usually bright red though there are also orange and yellow varieties. Rambut means hair in IndoMalay and the fruit could be described as a golf-ball sized red fruit covered in green Velcro fibers.
Breaking open the skin reveals a fleshy translucent or whitish fruit containing a large seed. The fruit is sweet with a mildly acidic flavor. The best Rambutan are said to come from Surat Thani province where they were first planted in 1926."
As for the geckos, I'm working on facing my ridiculous fears of these tiny creatures, who are much more afraid of big me, I am sure. Usually, I spot one after it has been dark in an area and I turn on a light. The most they've ever done is scurry across the wall or freeze and not move. My mind plays games and has me looking up at the walls and ceilings often, when I'm in the height of my paranoia about them.
It's not possible to never have one get into my room in this climate, when I want to have a natural environment around me. I finally decided that enough is enough, and I've got to control my mind better.
I've started walking a bit noisily and saying good morning and good evening 'buddy' when I have to put on a light. I even managed to use the toilet with one on the wall right next to me, overhead. He was frozen still and not moving - probably scared to death of the big body who entered the room. Ha Ha Ha I laughed a bit and stopped feeling all nervous and tense - so much better than being on pins and needles over a gecko.
My mind tells me to be scared, and I'm just not buying it anymore. As long as he leaves me alone, I will leave him alone and try to peacefully co-exist.
Sending You Love from Chiangmai, Thailand.
Thank you for taking this journey with me!
If you haven't signed up for the blog post updates, please do.
I also welcome you to leave a comment below or post one on my BestYOU facebook page.
Sharing your thoughts is a gift to all of us!