Saturday, 22 October 2011

Day 4

Getting drinks by the pool has proven to be one of the many luxuries I wish I could take home. The weather by now has also improved so much that we can not only make out the rooftops and jetties on the nearest island, but if we squinted we could also tell you how many people were meandering there. It's unbelievably fine and God has turned it on for us in extreme measures. Apparrently last week it was raining.

At the big mall we'd joked about the name of shop that was completely unmissable.

b.u.m. Equipment.

Hmmm, I mused with one of our friends. What do you suppose they sell? Her reply: "Yeah. Like, maybe, toilet paper?"

Actually, it was a clothing shop. I love this place :)

So, day 4 yeilded a great taxi with a friendly driver (bling free this time) who took us past a chocolate factory he insisted made the best chocolate in all Malaysia. He drove us to the marine park where, very sadly, the work of conservation was echoed by the usual rundown appearance. They are limited by the money they don't have, but the guy who became our guide assured us things are slowly on the up and people are starting to pay attention to the needs of their environment. We felt happy for him because he takes his job quite personally and he was a wealth of completely unboring details. The place was deserted save for us, and we got a very informative tour.

We saw many of the creatures we are acquainted with at home such as sharks, turtles and an array of fish, yet the highlight was by far the Horseshoe Crab. It was intriguing enough when he showed us one of 15cm diameter. Cross over to the next tank and he showed one of Goliath proportions - and I got to hold it! That baby weighed a ton. She was about a foot across and heavy.

These things are amazing. They have an almost impenatrable shell, have ten eyes, resemble a round stingray with a long pointy tail, and their underside is like (in my mind) a large version of a Hunstman spider's hairy legs. Our guide told us their "blood" is worth so much to the medical industry and can be tapped, valued at around $15,000USD a litre (a quart) because the anti-bacterial fighting properties are off the planet. They are kept indoors at the park to avoid blackmarket theft, and to save lives.

Are they deadly? Yes, if you decide you might like to eat one. He explained that only recently a family of four had died after catching one, cooking it and eating it. The toxins within the crab killed the whole family. He said it's not worth eating one for the trouble involved in cooking it, which takes about 8 times to go through the heat to kill off the toxins. Any normal housewife will tell you that even cooking something once may be waaay too much effort ;)

Decide: What amazes you about Creation? Do you think God minds if we tap His creatures, or do you think He hoped we would because He knew we'd need to?

"If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
   if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
   your right hand will hold me fast." Psalm 139v9,10

Et si j'empruntais les ailes de l'aube
      pour me réfugier aux confins des mers,

     là aussi ta main me dirigerait,
      ton bras droit me tiendrait.

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