Gardening on the patio; camera gone bad


Everywhere I go, I always seem to find some way to garden. In Costa Rica, I tried a few container plants without success. In Indonesia, I created fairly large rooftop herb gardens (in containers) at both Smiling Hill and at my second apartment in Nagoya.

I was especially successful with growing basil and even created a brand and logo to sell organic herbs (Ken’s Organics).

I have finally started a container garden in Hua Hin, the start somewhat slowed by seeds bought in the U.S. two years ago. They had lost their ability to germinate. Fortunately, I was able to find a few seeds in Hua Hin – cucumber, eggplant, tomato and basil – as well as a rosemary plant. The latter is adjusting to the heat and doing well, while residing in a shady area on my patio. Oh, I’m also growing a coconut palm from a seed that washed up on the beach. It’s started to sprout leaves.

More seeds are on the way from the U.S. (You can’t get them mailed directly to you here.)

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Hanging orchid

In addition, I did something I don’t usually do and bought a couple of flowering plants. One is a container-less orchid, with the roots hanging down from the hub. Only about $6, but I also needed to buy a liquid fertilzer to spray on the plant after it stops flowering. It flowers four times a year the lady at the shop told me.

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Exotic Adeniums

The other plant is an Exotic Adenium ($2.80), which I’ve seen everywhere with its beautiful blossoms and unique root base. I also have a cutting of a similar plant that I’m trying to root in water.

Since I also bought a heavy clay pot and two bags of soil, the shop lady offered to take me and my stuff back to my apartment. It is just a short ride. While she was here I asked her about three leafy plants that were here when I moved in and which I have managed to just about kill. Turns out they need lots of shade and I had them in the sun.

Why bother with gardening? I guess you might ask. Just something else to keep me busy. And who knows, I might even get something to eat out of all this.

The camera saga

While I was taking photos at night on the beach of people floating their kratungs during the Loy Kratung festival early November, I managed to trip over a submerged rock, totally immersing my Nikon in the very salty water. It has now been immersed in a bag of rice for 5 weeks but looks like it will never recover.

So I went out and bought another one. But it wasn’t that easy. The two camera stores at the mall did not sell camera bodies, which would be cheaper than buying one with a lens. I have three lenses and didn’t need another one. In addition, all they had were 24 megapixel Nikons, and mine is a 14 MGP, which is better for low-light situations.

After making sure my best lens fit on the camera body of a Nikon D3400, however, I decided to take the plunge. Unfortunately, I didn’t also check to see if the lens actually worked with the camera body.

At home, I learned it didn’t. It’s an 18-105 zoom lens, with auto focus. Unfortunately, the autofocus does not work with the new camera when you use the zoom. In fact, the camera won’t take a picture if the zoom is extended. So I had to turn off automatic focusing and will use manual. (Camera is non-refundable and new lens are more expensive than the camera.)

The camera manual was all in Thai, so I have to go online to get a copy in English, where maybe I will find a solution to this problem.

A new adventure tomorrow!

That new camera will get a test tomorrow as I participate in a “Taste of Local Food” tour. A call went out for 6 volunteers who want to spend 4 hours sampling about 20 Thai foods from different regions of the country at 4-5 different restaurants, plus street stalls. The company organizing this is marketing these food tours to expats here.

There will be a ton of food presented to the group, with some cooking and ingredient lessons included. I’m hoping I will actually learn about some of the dishes I’ve seen on menus but not tried. Should be fun.

About 2bagsandapack

Lifetime journalist, author, magazine editor and publisher, now semi-retired and traveling the world. My plan, after living in Costa Rica for 14 months, was to visit a new country in southern Europe every three months to experience the culture and the challenge of adapting to a new environment, while on a fixed income. That plan was sidetracked when I was offered a job in Indonesia, providing an opportunity to explore Asia. Indonesia lasted for a 4 wonderful years but I have now moved on to Hua Hin, Thailand.
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