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A strange palm tree in San Mateo

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I was stuck in a traffic jam on J. P. Rizal St in San Mateo on my way home (unfortunately an all too frequent experience) when I noticed this strange looking palm tree in the backyard of a house opposite the SM mall. 

I worked out that it must be the trunk of a dead coconut palm that either got decapitated in a typhoon, or died because of a coconut beetle infestation, onto which a bird had dropped a seed (probably a fig tree seed) which had produced a small tree that is now growing out of the top of the trunk.

As a dead coconut trunk is very fibrous and will hold a lot of water in the rainy season, the tree will probably survive a few months more.  But once the dryer weather comes towards the end of the year, I doubt it will survive very long. But it will be interesting to see how long it does survive.

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An honest vulcanizing shop employee

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I got back from Australia yesterday afternoon and discovered that one of the tyres on my pickup was flat. I swapped it with the spare and took it down to a vulcanizing shop on IBP Road at Batasan Hills that I had used before.

The young guy in this photo fixed it in about 10 minutes and put it back on the car. I asked him how much that was, and I thought he said 550 pesos. Having just spent three weeks in Australia and still thinking Australian prices, that didn't seem a lot, but he looked surprised when I pulled 550 pesos out of my wallet.

"No, no," he said, "that's 150 pesos not 550!"  I was slightly embarrassed because I should have known that 550 pesos ($11) was too much for a tyre repair in the Philippines, when that's more than what these most of these guys earn in a day.  But I was impressed with his honesty because he could have easily taken my money without me being any the wiser (maybe later on I may have thought it was a bit expensive).

In some parts of Manila repair shop employees might take advantage of foreigners who don't know the local prices. But not many foreigners live in this part of Manila, so it's not part of the culture to charge foreigners more.

I gave him a 50 pesos tip, and he seemed happy with that.

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Missed opportunity for an aerobatic adventure flight

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I caught up with an old friend this afternoon, Troy Smith, an ex-TV industry colleague. We both worked for North Queensland Television in Townsville for many years before moving overseas to work - me to Malaysia and he to Hong Kong and the UK.

He was lucky enough to be able to retire from all the pressures of the corporate TV world earlier than me, and is now pursuing his passion of flying with the only ex-USAF Mentor T-34 in Australia. He bought it in the US for his Aerotrek Adventure Flights business which operates out of the Caboolture airfield in southern Queensland.

His T-34 is in superb condition, and is a fully aerobatic aircraft. He would have given me a demonstration this afternoon but unfortunately it was a rainy day with low cloud. And maybe that wouldn't have been such a good idea so soon after my eye surgery!

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End of 14 years of eye surgery

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My eyes are a little sore today. My right eye is still recovering from last week's cataract operation, and I've just had a retinal examination of my left eye.  Usually eye doctors use something called a binocular indirect ophthalmoscope for routine retinal check-ups. They wear that on their head and there is no direct contact with the eye. But as I had reported some flashing of light in the left eye in recent weeks, my eye surgeon used the the type of ophthalmoscope that incorporates a slit lamp, and inserted a large contact lens into the eye after placing anesthetising drops on the cornea. I believe this enables the doctor to see much more detail that with the ophthalmoscope that they wear on the head.

Even though the cornea is numbed, it's still a very uncomfortable procedure, and the doctor kept apologising for the "torture". But he could find no problems with the retina, and surmised that the flashing could be due to scar tissue around the buckle that was stitched into my eye when I had my detached retina back in 2003.

I'd had a retinal check-up in Manila a few weeks ago, but the doctor there only used the ophthalmoscope that they wear on the head, and he didn't even turn the lights off in the room, so I didn't feel it was a very thorough examination. So having a second opinion from my Australian eye surgeon was very reassuring.

After two rounds of surgery for a detached retina and two cataract operations, I now have great vision and better than 20/20 in both eyes. So I hope that will be the end of my detached retina story because it's been a long haul over a period of 14 years getting my eyes fixed.

The cataracts were a direct result of all the surgery previously done on my eyes, and I still have to put eye drops in them every day to control the ongoing glaucoma (another consequence of the surgery) but hopefully what I have now should serve me well for the rest of my days.

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The new Westfield Chermside dining precinct

I'm in Brisbane, Australia, for a couple of weeks for some eye surgery. My daughter suggested I check out the new dining precinct adjacent to the Westside shopping centre at Chermside near where she lives. It was opened about three months ago.  It is very well done and includes more than a dozen different restaurants as well as wine bars and other eating places.

I used to have to go all the way to Brisbane city for restaurants as good as these, but now we have eating places as good as any on the northside right here in Chermside. There's more to chose from here than there is at Park Road, Milton, and parking is much easier.

Click on the photo above to view some additional images. The last photo is my pan fried barramundi with bok choy and mushroom wontons which I ordered at BIN 931. It was delicious.

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Food trucks at U.P. Town Center

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I was shopping at the U.P. Town Center mall in Quezon City this afternoon when I noticed these food trucks tucked away between the Phase 1A and Phase 2 buildings. They weren't doing much business - in fact there were no customers at all both times I passed (although the first time it was raining, so that was understandable).

I wondered whether they were intended to be a permanent fixture of the mall, so later checked the mall's Facebook Page. It seems that they are intended to be there permanently. They were introduced at the end of last month. But they are not going to do much business in the middle of the rainy season, and the location where they are parked is not very attractive - right under big exhaust grilles.

I don't think the mall management has thought this one though very well. I predict they are not going to be there for very long!

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Coffee options at San Pablo City, Laguna

If you are a coffee lover like me, traveling outside of the main urban areas of the Philippines often means being deprived of real coffee for a while, because Nescafe and 3-in-1 (instant coffee with powered milk and sugar) is all that is available in most rural parts of the Philippines.

If you are traveling by road back to Manila from the Bicol region, then you've most likely experienced the anticipation of a real coffee as you get closer to San Pablo City where there is a Starbucks out the front of the SM mall on the Pan-Philippine Highway.

But if you are not a Starbucks fan, there is an alternative that I discovered yesterday on the way back from Quezon province. It's called Espresso de Kaldi and the coffee is as good as, if not better, than Starbucks. It's on the right hand side of the Pan-Philippine Highway about a kilometre before the SM mall, just after the Petron gas station.

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My only disappointment was that they do not serve coffee in mugs, only paper cups - which is not good for the environment. But given that 95% of Starbucks coffee in the Philippines is served in paper cups, I can't penalise them for that.

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Short visit to Bangkong Kuhay Valley

We attended the christening of a friend's new baby daughter in San Pablo City, Laguna, this afternoon, after which we headed to Dolores in Quezon province for the reception which was held at the Bangkong Kuhay Valley nature resort.

It was my first time there and I was impressed with the beautiful forest views from the resort.

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The road up to the resort was very narrow in places and a couple of times I had close calls with motorcyclists (locals I presume) racing down the hill at speeds far in excess of what the road is safe for. Towards the top, the road becomes a dirt road and is very rocky in places. I doubt a small two-wheel drive car would make it up to the resort if it was raining.

The only part of the resort that I saw was around the function room where the reception was held, so this is not a review of the place. Maybe I will return to write a proper review one day when I have more time. But I was impressed to see an honesty bar in the garden - the first time I have seen that in the Philippines. Normally hotel and resort owners in the Philippines are the least trusting people in the world, and won't let you leave their premises until someone has checked out the minibar to make sure what you have written on your minibar tab agrees with the hotel's reckoning. I've assumed that's always been because guests have taken advantage of the honour system that hotels in other parts of the world generally adopt.  So it will be interesting to learn of this resort's experience with an honesty bar.  Not only does this resort trust its guests to record what they have consumed in a book on the bar, they leave the cash that guests have paid in a basket next to the book.

The honesty bar at the Bangkok Kuhay Valley nature resort

The honesty bar at the Bangkok Kuhay Valley nature resort

The outdoor seating area at the honesty bar

The outdoor seating area at the honesty bar

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Treatment of animals in Asia

I went to a landscaping materials supplier in Antipolo today to buy some ara-al stone, and was playing with this friendly kitten whilst waiting for my pick-up to be loaded. I noticed that his whiskers had been cut off, so I asked the nursery owner what had happened to it.  

She told me that her kids had cut the whiskers off. I suggested to her - as politely as I could - that maybe she should tell her kids not to do that. I explained why cats need their whiskers and that they can become very disoriented and distressed if their whiskers are cut off.  Fortunately this little fellow didn't seem to be suffering any ill-effects, but it annoyed me that the mother didn't seem concerned about it, even after I explained why cutting off a cat's whiskers is a big no-no.

Unfortunately, living in Asia exposes you to a lot of ill-treatment of animals. Cutting off whiskers is a comparatively mild form of physical abuse compared to some of the things I have seen. I frequently see kittens dumped on median strips of busy highways where they are unlikely to survive more than 24 hours unless a passing motorist stops and picks them up (something I have never seen happen, or been able to do myself, because usually the traffic is moving too fast and it would be dangerous to stop).

A Filipino friend told me recently that his cat was blind because neighbourhood kids had poked its eyes out "for fun". What was almost as disturbing was that he too seemed to be unconcerned about it.

And then of course there are the dog-eating festivals in China where pet dogs are stolen from suburban streets and boiled alive, and the bloody dolphin-killing rituals in Japan that attract international condemnation every year.

Why do people in Asia treat animals so badly? I don't know the answer to that question.

Yes I know my question is based on a generalisation, but from my observations from 50 years of traveling the globe, it seems to me that the treatment of animals in Asia is far worse than in any other part of the world.

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Good coffee in the Philippines

I've been living in the Philippines for nearly seven years now, and as a coffee lover it's been hard going at times because up until recent years we had little more than chains like Starbucks, Seattle's Best Coffee and Coffee Bean to choose from. That was until Costa Coffee started opening stores a few years ago, so now the situation is much improved.

However, the nearest Costa Coffee stores are all close to an hour away from where I live, so most of the time I make my own coffee at home using my espresso machine.

Finding fresh beans with good body and flavour was also a challenge for many years too. I tried many different Philippine coffees because I assumed those would have been fresher than imported ones, but most were too bland or too bitter.

So for the past couple of years I've been using the Costa ground coffee in tins, despite them being about twice the price of other brands.  But the problem with Costa is that the supply of their ground coffee is very erratic.  They will have some in stock for a few weeks, then nothing for several months.

So I was absolutely delighted to discover a new local brand today called 'Brillo' that has an Italian Roast blend that tastes almost identical to the Costa coffee that I normally buy.

My 'old' coffee on the left, and my 'new' coffee on the right, with a cup of freshly made 'Brillo' coffee in the middle.

My 'old' coffee on the left, and my 'new' coffee on the right, with a cup of freshly made 'Brillo' coffee in the middle.

Actually Brillo is not that new. According to their website, which I checked out when I got home, they were established four years ago, but I only came across them today. I will be switching to them now because their coffees are half the price of the Costa ground coffee (but I shall still continue to enjoy Costa's famed flat whites when I am in the vicinity of any of their stores because I can't replicate the thick layer of crema on my home espresso machine).

The Brillo company was established to roast and package imported coffee beans in small batches, recognising that the secret of good coffee is to use freshly roasted beans.

Brillo is a strange name for a coffee brand (when I think of Brillo I think of a soap-filled scouring pad) but I guess they are using it as a Spanish word (which means brightness). The Philippines used to be a Spanish colony so it is quite common here to see Spanish words being used as brand names.

But what surprised me most of all when I checked out the Brillo website, was that their Italian Roast was a blend of a local Arabica bean (from Mt Matutum in southern Mindanao) and a Java Robusta bean (which I guess is why they can keep the price low).  The coffee tastes so good I had assumed it must have been 100% Arabica beans because the Robusta beans don't add any bitterness at all.

They have three other blends that I will try in due course, but at the moment I'm more than happy with their Italian Roast - let's hope they can keep the taste of that blend consistent (something that Starbucks struggles to do with their coffees).

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Jeepney rollover protection?

I spotted this jeepney driving through San Mateo, Rizal, this afternoon, with dozens of pillows tied to its roof. I wondered whether these belonged to a passenger who was using the jeepney as a cheap means of cartage, or whether the jeepney driver had installed them in case of a rollover.

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Flying on a wing and a prayer

Flying back from Cebu on Cebu Pacific Air yesterday, I was not impressed to see advertisements plastered inside the aircraft cabin carrying this worrying message.  I'm sure most passengers are like me and prefer to be reassured that the plane is well-maintained and being flown by skilled pilots - not being told that someone is praying that we will make it to our destination! 

 

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Beautiful Camiguin Island

I spent a few days on Camiguin Island this week. It's a beautifully scenic island made up of five volcanoes, but only one of which is still active (it last erupted in 1953). Ironically that one is known on the island as the 'Old Volcano' (official name Mt Vulcan), but geologically speaking, that one is the youngest because it's a parasite cone of the larger Mt Hibok-Hibok. I tried to climb it whilst I was there, but the sign to the path up the volcano from the coastal road is misleading (see last photo), as the path only goes as far as a grotto about half of the way up the mountain. When making enquiries later, I was told that the only access to the volcano crater is from the other side of the mountain, and you need a guide because the path is not well defined. I didn't have time to try from the other side, so I will save that trek for a future visit.

Camiguin Island has some great restaurants, but no good coffee shops yet, which for a coffee addict like me was a bit of a disappointment. But there's a road right around the island, and many up the flanks of the volcanoes where you'll find waterfalls and pools to swim, so it's a great destination for cycling, hiking and getting back to nature.

 

A view of the north-western part of Camiguin Island from White Island - a sandbar which can be accessed by small ferries from Agoho, about 5 kms west of the main town of Mambajao.

A view of the north-western part of Camiguin Island from White Island - a sandbar which can be accessed by small ferries from Agoho, about 5 kms west of the main town of Mambajao.

There are many waterfalls and cool swimming holes on the flanks of the volcanoes of Camiguin Island. Most of them are easily accessible by road.

There are many waterfalls and cool swimming holes on the flanks of the volcanoes of Camiguin Island. Most of them are easily accessible by road.

If you stay on the west coast of Camiguin, you'll enjoy some beautiful sunsets. This is a black sand beach not far from the airport. Most of the popular tourist spots are in the north-west quadrant of the island where the airport is located.

If you stay on the west coast of Camiguin, you'll enjoy some beautiful sunsets. This is a black sand beach not far from the airport. Most of the popular tourist spots are in the north-west quadrant of the island where the airport is located.

This sign on the circumferential road south-west of Agoho is very misleading because the path from here does not lead to the Old Volcano crater - only halfway up its flanks.

This sign on the circumferential road south-west of Agoho is very misleading because the path from here does not lead to the Old Volcano crater - only halfway up its flanks.

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Aerial view of Mt Fuji

Flying back from Haneda to Manila this morning, I had a great view of Mt Fuji from the right hand side of the aircraft:

I love the shape of the carbon fiber composite wings of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. They are so elegant. New aircraft technology is impressive, but it's a pity they haven't found a way to keep the windows clean yet.

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Japan's beautiful Wisteria gardens

Today I visited the beautiful Ashikaga Flower Park, north-east of Tokyo, to see the Wisteria vines in flower.  I’ve just missed the cherry blossom season on this trip, but the Wisterias are almost as impressive.  

There are two big Wisteria gardens in Japan - Kawachi Fuji-en and the Ashikaga Flower Park. The Kawachi gardens are probably the most well known to international tourists because that’s where the photographs of the famous Wisteria tunnels are taken, but it’s a long way from Tokyo on the southern island of Kyushu. To get there you need to fly or take a bullet train, which takes about 6 hours. But the Ashikaga Flower Park can be easily done in a day trip from Tokyo.

Just take any main-line train or bullet train to Oyama, which is 1-2 hours out of Tokyo, and then a local train on the Ryomo Line from Oyama to Tomita (don’t go to Ashikaga Station because that’s the next one along, and is further away from the gardens). The local trains on that line run every hour.

Get off at Tomita Station and walk to the main road (a short distance) and turn right.  Walk down the main road about 750 meters and you will see the entrance to the gardens on the left.  At this time of the year, the train is full of people visiting the gardens, so all you have to do is follow the crowd.

As will be seen from the photos below (click on the images to enlarge), there are Wisterias all over the gardens from vines that look like trees because they are over 140 years old, to young specimens in tubs that are beautiful in their own way. The oldest Wisterias in Japan are in these gardens, and one covers almost 2,000 square metres.

These gardens have many other flowering plants, and strolling through them is a very relaxing way to spend a springtime afternoon. There are excellent facilities in the gardens including restaurants and snack bars, and even an ice cream parlour selling Wisteria ice cream.

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A sleepless sleepless night

Last night I didn’t sleep a wink. Not for a single solitary moment.

That was the first time that had happened to me in my life. Yes, like most people I’ve had the odd night where I’ve had difficulty getting to sleep because of illness or just too many things on my mind, but eventually I know I will fall asleep. Even on long haul night flights I can usually sleep for a few hours, but I’ve never experienced being unable to sleep even one minute for the whole night.

I went to bed about 2 am which I guess would be late for most people but pretty much the norm for me when I am writing or editing photos. Usually by that time I am quite tired so will rarely take more than a couple of minutes to drop off to sleep. But last night when my head hit the pillow, I realised something wasn’t quite right. I felt hyped up – sort of like I would expect to feel if I had downed a couple of espressos before bedtime – and my stomach was feeling unsettled too.

After half an hour I got up and took half a Travelan tablet because that usually fixes an unsettled stomach very quickly. But on this occasion it did nothing.

I tried listening to my iPod for a while because that usually sends me to sleep if my mind is on other things. But on this occasion it didn’t work.

I tried turning on the air-conditioner because often the hum of that will send me to sleep, but that didn’t work either.

So at about 3.30 am I got up and went back to my office and did some more work for about an hour.

At about 4.30 am I decided I must surely be ready for sleep now, so went back to bed. But I still couldn’t sleep. I tossed and turned for a while, tried counting sheep, but couldn’t fall asleep. It was a strange sensation - my body clock seemed stuck on daytime. My stomach was still feeling unsettled, so I started thinking about what I had eaten during the day. Breakfast had been the same as usual, a toasted cheese and tomato Panini for lunch – nothing unusual there – and for dinner an item off the menu at my local Italian restaurant that I had eaten a dozen times before. Coffee mid- morning and mid-afternoon, a glass of Sangria in the evening – nothing out of the ordinary at all.

Then it struck me. I had done one thing that was different to my normal routine. Normally I will make a fruit smoothie before or after lunch, but I’d been running a lot of errands yesterday so didn’t make it until a few hours after dinner. And I’d added an extra ingredient that I’d never consumed before.

When I went to the fridge to get the yoghurt and wheat germ that I always add to my smoothies, I spotted a small jar of chia seeds on the shelf that I'd bought some time ago but never got around to trying. I read the label and it suggested adding a tablespoonful of the seeds to smoothies. I’d heard of chia seeds being described as one of nature’s superfoods, so thought I would try some in my smoothie. I wasn’t sure how they would taste, so I only added about a teaspoonful.

Could I be suffering from some sort of reaction to the chia seeds, despite the small quantity that I had consumed?

I got up and went back to my office and googled “Will chia seeds keep you awake” and lo and behold there was a page of results littered with the words “chia” and “awake” in a bold font. One search summary simply said “Do not take Chia after 2 PM as it will keep you awake at night”.

So despite having taken only a teaspoonful of chia seeds, it seems that was the cause of my sleeplessness. And probably because I had never taken them before, my stomach was reacting to them because I had taken them dry (many of the links I started reading recommended that they be soaked in water and made into a gel before adding to smoothies because they absorb large amounts of water and can therefore cause dehydration in the body if taken dry).

Many of the sites to which the search results linked told stories of Aztec and Mayan warriors marching through jungles for 24 hours on nothing more than a handful of chia seeds and some water. Health food sites raved about how rich they were in anti-oxidants and omega-3 fatty acids, and loaded with vitamin B-17 and phytonutrients. Other sites described them as better than coffee for providing an energy kick to enable people to work through the night without the side-effects of caffeine.

One health food site maintained that chia seeds “will let you fall asleep when you want to without disrupting your biorhythms” but that was a solitary site amongst hundreds of others saying the opposite. (I later noticed that the same site said “chia’s high levels of vitamins and nutrition won’t just help keep you awake, but they’ll give you the energy to operate at the very top of your game both in a physical and mental sense” – which seemed to contradict the earlier claim that they wouldn’t keep you awake).

So I came to the conclusion that it must have been the chia seeds that were keeping me awake – despite the relatively small dose that I took (perhaps being the first time I had consumed them, they had a greater effect on my body).

By this time I had been on the Web for more than an hour, and it was already dawn. I still didn’t feel sleepy so decided to have a shower and breakfast. At around 8 am I headed out to run a few errands and came home just before 10 am. I went into my office, turned on the computer, and started answering emails, but then realised I was nodding off in front of the computer. So just after 10 am I went back to bed, put my head on the pillow, and in less than five seconds I was fast asleep.

Despite being an advocate of natural foods with a strong interest in medicinal plants, I have always been a skeptic when it comes to many of the claims that health food purveyors make about their products (especially those that claim to cure cancer or make you look 30 years younger) but I seem to have stumbled across a product here that was definitely living up to its claim that it would “feed the body with a steady supply of energy that can last for hours”.

Unfortunately it supplied me with a steady supply of energy at a time when I didn’t want it, but having been subjected to its effects without realising what was causing them, I had unknowingly undertaken a sort of blind trial without being influenced by the claims for the product.

Sometimes when you consume a product that claims to give you more energy, and you subsequently feel energised, you are never sure whether the product is really working or whether it is a psychological reaction to the marketing claims. In my case I experienced the feeling of having more energy without realising what was producing that feeling. So it does seem that the claims being made by promoters of chia seeds are real.

Today I am feeling completely washed out because my body clock got thrown so much out of kilter by taking the chia seeds late at night (I feel like I have jet lag right now) but assuming I can get to sleep tonight, tomorrow I will try some chia seeds with my breakfast and see if they give me an energy boost in the morning.

The ‘offending’ chia seeds. I note the bottle says this is a 7-day supply. Based on the reaction I had to one teaspoonful, I don’t think it would be wise for me to try consuming the contents of this bottle within a week – I think I would be jumping out of my skin.

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Orchid book back in stock again

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After selling out a second time, the library shop at the World Orchid Conference (WOC) here in Singapore has received more copies of our new book Growing Orchids in the Tropics. On the first day of the WOC - 13 November - the bookshop sold out by 3.30 pm. The next batch to arrive sold out in two days. The bookshop manager told us that our publication was the top selling book at this event, so that's why they've now given it pride of place on top of the white table in the middle of this photograph. They've even placed a beautiful Phalaenopsis right behind the display copy.

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World Orchid Conference opens in Singapore today

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The 2011 World Orchid Conference opened in Singapore today, and the public displays are already attracting thousands of visitors.  There are orchids from all over the world, as well as market stalls and eating places. We are also launching our new book The Essential Guide to Growing Orchids in the Tropics, and will be signing copies for buyers. Dr Chia Tet Fatt will be here with me for most of the day, so if you are in Singapore, come on down to Marina Bay if you need some free advice on growing your orchids.

WOC Singapore 02.jpg

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The good luck/bad luck bird

I posted this photograph to my Facebook wall yesterday to see if any of my Malaysian friends could identify the bird. I took the photograph last December in the restaurant at the bird park in Kuala Lumpur (where it had landed next to my table and was watching me eat) so I had assumed that it was a bird from the Borneo rainforest, given its striking colours.

However, I was wrong. Turns out it is an African ground hornbill (thanks for identifying it, Angie). When I looked it up on the Internet, I discovered quite a few interesting facts about this bird. Apparently female birds lay two eggs, but they only raise one chick, leaving the other to die within a few days.

According to some information posted by the Honolulu Zoo (which has two of the birds) the African ground hornbill is classified as ‘vulnerable’ in South Africa now (which is the next classification down from ‘endangered’) because they can now only be found in reserves (with about 700 birds in the Kruger National Park). The zoo’s website states:

“In South Africa there has been a large decline in their numbers for a number of reasons. They are popular to use as ‘muti’ or tribal medicine among some of the indigenous people of South Africa. The brain of a ground hornbill, if kept in a village, is reputed to bring the village luck. Irate homeowners kill them because they will attack windows, breaking them, if they encounter their reflections. They are also vulnerable to picking up poison baits that are set out for predators. Currently there is a conservation project underway in South Africa, in which the second chick from a nest is taken before it dies and raised and released to help increase their numbers.”

That’s good news that efforts are being made to help prevent these birds from becoming an endangered species.

Some other facts on the website that I found interesting related to the local folklore surrounding the African ground hornbill. The Masai believe that the bird should never be killed because it will bring bad luck, but if one lands on the roof of a house, the occupants must move immediately or they believe death will ensue.

Seems this bird has a split personality in African folklore. In some circumstances it brings good luck, on other occasions it brings bad luck.

I am pleased to report that death did not ensue after it landed next to my table at the Kuala Lumpur bird park!

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Monkeys suck their thumbs too

I was walking back to my car after having lunch at the Kuala Lumpur bird park today when I spotted a monkey on a waste bin across the road eating banana skins from the bin. I took a few photographs as she had a cute baby monkey hanging onto her chest. When I got back to the hotel in the evening, I downloaded the photos onto my laptop. On a larger screen the baby didn’t look quite so cute (their faces look like old men!) but I noticed it was sucking its thumb. I guess that must be something that monkey babies and human babies have in common.

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