Saturday, May 19, 2007

96 degrees of separation

Who would've thought being by the equator would be so stinking hot?!

It's in the nineties with a bazillion percent humidity. I brought undershirts but voted against it later today because I wanted to stay cooler then look dryer after the meeting rush for the day was over. In an attempt to re-hydrate I kept grabbing water and was instantly infatuated with a lovely beverage named "Pocari Sweat." The salesman didn't see my constant humor in a drink actually named sweat, especially in my state of drippy stinkyness. It presented a whole list of questions just like everything else here that's foreign and bizarre and lost in translation. What is a Pocari and why is it's sweat so much better than drinking my own? Why am I paying for this privilege? Apparently it has something to do with it's ability to be an "ion supply drink." Does that mean it takes care of any static cling or potential lightening strikes in my digestive system? I found the true purpose for an ion supply drink is to make sweat bead up on my head-hood and roll off without leaving water spots. Excellent!

I was also happy to see another culture embracing the Monkey King. Our production manager for the pilot shoot in China kept thinking and talking about how much I had in common with the monkey king. She would mention it to friends and make comments based on my actions. I assumed the connection was purely physical but apparently the king is a mischievous super hero who straddles the dimensions between God and humans, thinking amusing others and himself is better than steady work. I can respect that. Of course the monkey king legend is throughout southeast Asia and talked about in many, many cultures. I shouldn't be surprised to bump into him and am proud to be associated with the title.

I had a dorian smoothie today for lunch. I knew what I was getting into but still wasn't prepared for the parade of aroma. If you're not familiar with the Dorian fruit, it holds nature's strongest smelling warning broadcasting of how inedible the meat of the fruit is. It doesn't really need it. The body alone is rock hard and spiky. I found it uncomfortable to hold one because it's so sharp.

Even with ice, sugar and other dessert filler the smoothie smelled like someone made a margarita by wringing out sweat socks into a glass and frosted the rim with sulfur instead of salt. It tasted more like an iced three egg omelet with extra onions and garlic. Not knowing the difference between a course and a condiment I saved a pile of red mish mash on my plate for last and popped it down in one big spoonful.

Apparently this is an inferno of delight ("Sambal Asal" if you're Indonesian) that is supposed to be spread throughout your plate to add burning goodness to your rice and other foodstuffs. The dorian ice drink was the only available extinguisher so I chugged it down and had an afternoon of burps that consistently tasted like something fermented in the bottom of my digestive tract. Not a flavor and smell you want coming from the front porch of your taste buds. It was made to escape out the back door.

The only other thing I found more amusing than the "ride the wild panda" children's ride is the rickshaw driver who apparently did enough winning laps around Jakarta to secure a Pennzoil endorsement. The competition is obviously life threateningly fierce but it looks like it's earned him custom clear taillights, a jacked up suspension and slick racing tires.


At 10:06 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

You are definatly kin to the Monkey King : ) Hope your trip is ubber successful and you get millions : )

At 5:43 AM, Blogger CyndiAKADisneyqueen said...

Wow, interesting sights, sounds and smells (LOL).

At 9:53 PM, Blogger Dee G said...

Hey Wester-- I've drunk Pocari Sweat too! It's huge in Japan. But, I must admit, I've never handled a Durian... you are truly the man. :)


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