Ninety Degrees

Towards the end of this post WordPress tells all—they sent me a message detailing how I did in 2012, and it wasn’t bad at all. They asked me if I wanted to share with you, and I thought I would.

After all, twelve thousand views is a grand a month, which in these days of austerity is not bad pay.

I’m heading east again, bearing zero-nine-zero, but I haven’t got very far yet. For the second time in a few months I sat on the apron in Lisbon for a couple of hours due to the dreaded London fog. Luckily my connection is only in a couple of hours, so I was just pissed off, not positively outraged.

To cap it all, Deathrow (as those in the know have christened Heathrow) has the most anal security I know—when you arrive at a terminal you need to clear security even if your connection is from that terminal. As a consequence, the staff were licking their lips at the prospect of confiscating a bottle of LBV and a superb vintage Vallado.

But I say nay nay, and took the long way round security to check my loot. Thailand is a lovely place, but wine country it ain’t. They produce a plonk called Monsoon—last time I tried, it lived up to its name: violent and unpredictable. Back in April, in the northern city of Chiangrai, we had to push the cork into a bottle of perfectly drinkable Portuguese tinto, because the entire hotel was a corkscrew virgin (now there’s a thought).

I remember a follow-up to that, whereby a bottle of red was opened by means of a shoe. I’m not sure I’m up to that trick, although I am in possession of a stout pair of wingtips that seem ideally suited for the job. I’ll let you know.

I’ll be doing fishy things in Asia, which among other things involve Nile tilapia—the Thais produce hundreds of thousands of tons annually, both in ponds and reservoirs. And it’s good business.

Casa Tilapia. Or at least that should be the name of this spread, which belongs to a tilapia farmer in northern Thailand. The ponds are round the back.

Casa Tilapia. Or at least that should be the name of this spread, which belongs to a tilapia farmer in northern Thailand. The ponds are out the back.

Tilapia is nothing short of amazing. The males grow twice as fast as the females, so the first step in cultivating the animal is sex reversal. In a truly misogynistic move, a testosterone feed additive is given to the females, and presto, she was a he, and the colored girls say,”Hey babe, take a walk on the wild side.”

Except in this case it’s the pond side. All guys. Kind of like boarding school. Or jail.

Tilapia will endure practically anything: the critters will survive in temperatures of up to forty degrees centigrade (by which time they’re practically cooked) and can live in water with almost no oxygen—the only thing they hate is cold.

The following quote from a science paper is probably the best testimony to the animal’s resilience.

The King’s initiative on community wastewater treatment under the nature-supporting-nature processes has been shown the success through oxidation pond techniques as aquatic ecosystems. Practically, wastewater from the city of Petchaburi was drained through 0.45 m pipe at approximately 18.5 km to reach the experimental site… Luckily, the fish product could make benefits more than a half million Bath per year, and then dividing to support 50 percent for community, 30 percent for two primary schools, 10 percent for elderly people, and the last 10 percent for project staff security.

So everyone gets a fish. On that cheery note, thanks for reading The India Road, all the best for 2013. Let’s have some fireworks!

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 12,000 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 20 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

The India Road QR links for smartphones: point your camera and click.

The India Road QR links for smartphones: point your camera and click.


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