I took a jungle cooking class today, so be assured that if you are ever in a plane with me that crashes into the jungle, I will be able to make you a very nice curry.
The class was actually a lot of fun. Part of it was a jungle survival class, and I learned how to make blowguns and poisonous darts. Something that may come in useful someday. The really interesting part was Bong. He was a Thai that didn’t speak English. The interpreter was the front man (and probably made the most money), but Bong was running the show. The guy learned how to make rope from tree bark, cook in bamboo bowls, and weave baskets from his father. He was trying to keep the tradition alive. He was logging once in Burma and stepped on a landmine because his boss didn’t pay off the local mafia. It almost cut his leg off, and he still has a hunk of metal inside him.
He also used to be a Thai boxer, and he had a scar running down the center of his forhead from when he got hit with an elbow. In those days, there were few rules and no scoring. They wrapped rope around their fists instead of gloves, and they fought until one guy got knocked out or died. He told me that his uncle was a great scrapper outside the ring and could defeat anyone large or small. Everyone was afraid of him and was sure he’d be a good Thai boxer, but when he got into the ring he couldn’t win, “because,” Bong said, “he was not allowed to kick anyone in the nuts.”
posted Friday January 2008