I decided today to follow a path in my neighborhood to see where it leads. You see, our new subdivision is surrounded on 3 sides mountains, and an Ocean on the 4th. I saw using Google Earth that there was some kind of dam in the mountain pass behind us, so I fired up my newly invigorated Sissy and set her to the task. I reached the dam which turned out to be a wall that simply redirected flash floods and heavy rains into a waterway to drain into the ocean. Beyond was a little dirt road that led off into the jungle. ‘ Well Sissy”…. “Tally Ho!”. Up up the mountain we went bouncing, spitting rocks and rooster tails of dirt, and dodging sharp stones. Along the way I discovered a few little homes on the mountain that had cow pens. (that’s where the cows roaming through my neighborhood come from….huh) We climbed to the top of the mountain and around the side where I encountered an old man standing in front of a small house that looked as old as the mountain. I smiled and waved, but nothing…. He just watched me. I coasted back down and decided to try another even larger mountain. Success!! I followed a tiny cement path up a steep mountainside past giant Mango trees and ended up at a Buddhist temple carved into the side. A phone call told me I had to go home for supper… Awwww..Geeezz…. I was having so much fun. I returned home. A brief return to my youth and trail riding days was a blast, however, a scooter is not a trail bike and I was driving her as one. Sissy sounds a bit different now, but still runs well. God girl!! I rewarded her by upgrading to a more comfortable and fashionable seatJ I think my rear end will appreciate it too.
Now on with today’s topic
Every morning, very early. Maybe 3 or 4 am. There are many people who start their work day, mostly in the food industry. Long before the markets open, the shop keepers drive their motorbikes to the wholesale district to purchase the catch of the day, or whatever fruits and vegetables a person specializes in. They transport the day’s inventory on overloaded motorcycles and bicycles to the market where they will be opening at 5:30 to 6:00. Today I will talk about one of these groups of people. I will call them the fisherfolk. I do not know how early they start, but I do know their day is finished by noon. At 9 am I see the ladies sitting in the street selling all kinds of seafood. The catch of the day. They will be sold out by noon.
In the early morning I see them coming ashore paddling their basket like boats. Sometimes there will be larger craft being beached. The most common boat used close to shore, and as a means to transport to larger craft is a basket like craft. It is woven from what looks like rattan or banana leaf and then the bottom is coated with tar, resin, or both. They can be seen in abundance, bobbing up and down in the rolling waves off shore. During my jog at around 8 or 9 they are ashore, mending nets and setting up for the next days work. I stopped to interact with these people. The seemed a bit confused that I had a genuine interest in what they did. I asked if I could snap a few photos. That broke the ice and they shyly came around to joking with me. I will spare you the details about the marriage proposals and suffice it to say Same same but different. I have to admire these people. They work very hard for everything in their life. As I was about to leave, a girl drove up on a motorbike. A man proudly told me that he had four daughters, and all of them are in school. A proud achievement for a person of his lifestyle.
Now, a little about the watercraft here. Firstly there are the basket like boats. They are everywhere on the side of the road near water. It seems like they may be used by anybody. There are no visible ownership markings, or anyway to tell them apart. Maybe where they are beached is enough. Then there are the fishing boats. These generally are manned by two people and fish for squid, drop lobster and prawn traps, etc. Thirdly are the big fishing boats, but they are small by our standards. The boats travel very slowly, so only the larger ones will go more than a few miles out. What a shame. I think they could have a good sports fishery here, but the boats move so slowly, it would have to turn around when it got to the good fishing at the drop off in order to make it back by dark.
As a foot note:
My wife escaped to the Philippines in one of the larger boats. A total of 520 people filled 2 boats. Only 225 people survived. ( a long story I will perhaps tell another time as my writing skills improve.)