Life still goes on. The cows are still eating grass and shitting. Rice is still harvested. Fish is still bread, grilled and eaten. Nong Khai harbor on the contrary is temporarily closed. And my dear friend Gaddafi still can provide us with fuel for the garden.
We need the sun for growing things and water, plus good soil. On our bicycle tour through Nong Khai rice fields, we discover a clever system of canals. The water of the mighty Mekong river is pumped up into these canals during the dry season right now. During the rainy season the water in those canals flows into the Mekong so the rice fields are not flooded. The Mekong also brings fertile sand for planting purposes. And: Get to know the Gac fruit.
After the discovery of the new world most travelers bound there died of scurvy. British scientists discovered 1790 a remedy: lemons. The main producer at the time was Sicily. Due to sudden worldwide demand for lemons, prices went through the roof. To producers looked for protection and thus the Mafia was founded. Hans Fritschi feels like e Red Indian on the warpath.
Our daily bicycle routine leads us to the shores of the mighty Mekong river where we detect a real Strawberry tree. Then we notice a salmon stranded at the shores of this great river. Since it is dead already, we want to turn this tragedy into opportunity by smoking it, without smoke. In the end we can eat most delicious smoked salmon. Another wonder at the Mekong.
I take you through my beautiful garden where I grow plants usually not seen in Thailand tasting fresh figs. I have giant lemons as well and Chinese olives. But the real focus of the first episode lies in chocolate making.