Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Picture of me learning to Windsurf on Koi Samed Island of the coast of Bangkok, Thailand in 1985 December

This is me learning to wind surf my very first hour ever on a windsurfing board then at KoI Samed Island off the coast of Bangkok, Thailand then with my family. My two younger daughters weren't born yet and I was 37 then in 1985 December. I hadn't intuitively got it yet to go to Bodhgaya. We were still sort of in a middle form of culture shock from Thailand. You feel it some in Japan but japan is enough like the U.S. where it isn't as difficult. But, when we went to Thailand it was beginning to get so different that it was hard especially because we couldn't get people to speak English with us. We finally hired a kid who was a college student from Malaysia then to travel with us and to translate and bargain for us then. I think we only paid him 50 or 100 dollars and all his expenses to travel with us which made him quite happy at the time. He even ran up a coconut palm on Koi Samed Island to get us coconuts. However, it might be important to note that their dollar (the Baht) was only 20 to 1 dollar at the time so it was very reasonable for us then as Middle Class California Americans once we had paid the airfare to actually get there. The same was true of Nepal as well which at that time had the very best western food available there for a very reasonable price. For example, we paid (in Katmandu only 5 or 10 dollars to eat literally like Kings and Queens (my self my wife and two sons and a daughter then who were 10 to 14 years of age. My wife and I were 37 at the time. So, 5 to 10 dollars to eat like KIngs for the whole family for dinner was pretty nice then.

However, 4 months later after visiting Japan, Thailand, Nepal, and India 4 out of the 5 of us had Giardia which is protozoas in our intestines so we were extremely skinny from this. We went to a foreign disease specialist when we returned to California and she said that the medicines were worse than the disease at that time in 1986 especially for our children. she recommended that it would sluff off within 6 months time which it did and then our health returned to normal and we didn't look like we were starving to death anymore.

Giardia is endemic in places like Nepal, India and Thailand by the way so you have to be very careful what you eat and to protect yourself from dust feces in the air so you don't get giardia. So, it is risky in this way for Americans and Europeans traveling in Asia sometimes for this reason still. You ALWAYS have to boil water before drinking it and things like Tomatoes and lettuce you cannot safely eat without risking giardia in Asia most places. The reason most people are skinny there is that they have giardia in their systems all the time. Their physiologies have just adapted to this over thousands of years of it whereas we have not yet in America and Europe because we have made it a point to keep human feces out of our water systems. Whereas in Asia often human excrement is used to grow things there still so it is also in water everywhere there as well so you have to boil water before you drink it for 5 minutes so you don't get giardia too.

Another interesting thing is the next person to rent this particular windsurfing board just took the prevailing wind and headed out to sea. I watched this 15 or 16 year old boy just head out to sea on the windsurfer so I told the man who rented me the board that this kid didn't know how to turn the Windsurfer and was in jeopardy along with his windsurfing board he rented. So, the man got into his powerboat and rescued the boy before he died out there or something. This was one of the crazier things I saw while in Thailand and India and Nepal.

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