More exotic fruit

After my bad experiences in Kuala Lumpur, I decided that nothing could be worse than durian, so I will now try any fruit in any country at least once. I stopped at a little snack place on the edge of the rainforest to see what they had.

Mammon. It was orange and red with rubbery hairy things that stuck out the sides. It was not something you see on a bush and think, “Hey, I’m gonna eat that.” I cracked it open (as you can see in another picture below), and there was a testicle-sized mucousy gelatinous globule (is your mouth watering yet?) with a small seed in the middle. You are supposed to eat it and suck/chew off the gel part, leaving the seed part in the middle. The seed is only slightly more dense than the gel outside, so it was all-in-all a very confusing culinary experience.

Mangostan. In Malaysia, I had something called mangosteen, which was different and better. This tasted like mango, but it was very stringy and there was not much meat on it.

Pipas. They are like coconuts in almost every way. I had a bag full of pipa juice. It was in a plastic bag and there was no opening since they had knotted off the top. I asked how you were supposed to get the juice, and they said you bite through the bag and suck out the juice. I am glad there are no pictures of what happened when I attempted this maneuver.

Here are all the fruits I tried together. The two on the right are called gocope. They were the best of the ones I tried. Well, the orange one was soft and good. The green one was a different type of gocope and it was hard and sour. Like Hilary.

Great time in Central America

Wow I had a great time in Costa Rica. I don’t have enough time to post here, since it is tough to find a wireless connection in the rainforest. I will post a few pictures here and add more insightful textual context after I land in Korea and get settled. In the meantime, here are a few pics!

(Pictures stolen by wireless rainforest tribe.)

Costa Rica

After one day back in Austin, I decided to head down to Costa Rica for a few days. I understand there are many adventures to be had and many diseases to be caught. It sounds like a good time!

Bravos Area

Towards sunset, we traveled over to the west side of the island to watch the sunset. We were in an area called “Bravos,” where all the gringos hang out and do all kinds of fun white things like badminton and not looting.

There were some very pretty houses over on this side of the island and there seemed to be a lot of renovation happening. It is starting to appear that people are finding out about how pretty Vieques is and it may turn into another St. Bart’s, in terms of escalating real estate prices.

Isla de Vieques

Spanish Fort

After making several wrong turns and going through a slum area where people scowled at me as I ripped through their shanty town with my sweet SUV, I finally found my way to an old Spanish fort that overlooked Isabella Secundo. I would have stayed up there longer and taken more pictures, but there was a Conquistador following me, trying to give me Legionnaire’s Disease.

(Picture quarantined.)

Restricted Area

The US Navy used to own about 22,000 out of the 33,000 acres on the island. Even though they recently released a lot of the land for public use, there remain several restricted areas. It was with a leery eye with which I anxiously explored down the roads that said, “Danger, Unexplored Ordinance.”

I knew I was staying in a bad part of the island when my hotel directions said, “Turn left at the hidden land mine and keep going straight for 2 miles when your Geiger counter explodes.”

Out of Gas

I rented this car from Maritza Car Rental. The island only had one gas station that was open right when I ran out of gas. Luckily, I ran out of gas at my destination, where I bribed a guy to go fill it with gas for me while I was busy eating fried conch fritters. Handing money blindly to a non-English speaking Puerto Rican may sound scary, but it really wasn’t. Yes it was.

Casa de Amistad

We stayed at a unique little place in Isabella Secundo called Casa de Amistad. At first I thought the rooms would be inexpensive because we would be sleeping aboard a slave ship. I was wrong, unless Martha Stewart came up with her new “Fall Slave Ship Collection.” It did have tiny rooms, but they were very nice. It also had a nice pool out back.

Midnight Crab

On the way to the bioluminescent bay, we found a pregnant crab. Even though this looks like a pretty nasty thing to hold, it was a little bit more pleasant, like holding your own entrails as they spill out of your severed belly.

You can see the hairy egg sacks on the bottom of the crab. I suppose that sort of thing is pretty gross, unless you are a male crab in Puerto Rico that has nothing to do all day but watch Telemundo.

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