Thailand

Thoughts on long-tail boats and far-away places

Two of my friends are currently touring Thailand, and I was thrilled to find this photo from one of them in my inbox this morning. Along with it was a link to this story, “How Long-Tail Boats Keep Southern Thailand Afloat.”I had not heard of long-tail boats, and found it a fascinating read. It paints a vivid picture of traditional boatbuilding, as well as its place in the local community. More importantly, it provides a view into life and livelihoods in that community and the role that these boats play. I was struck by the resourcefulness of the boat builders – especially their repurposing of used materials such as car and tractor engines. I was also heartened to see someone deliberately choose a livelihood based on emotion and love of the work, rather than necessity…as I have done, more than once.

I also enjoyed reading about the innovative “7-Eleven” fishermen. I haven’t seen anything like them on the water in my own community (I suspect we have all kinds of regulations here that prevent this), but it reminded me of the relatively new land-based Food Truck craze here, in contrast to old-fashioned, “brick and mortar” restaurants. Yet, I’m old enough to wonder, weren’t Ice Cream trucks the real pioneers in this movement? They certainly were my “Food Truck” of choice as a younger person.

I’ve never traveled to Thailand, but have enjoyed travel outside the U.S. including quite a few boating experiences (in Japan, Norway, Mexico, Canada, the Netherlands and the U.K.). These were different than my boating experiences here, and have stuck with me across the miles and the years. I wrote earlier that I believe that boats bring us together as a people, across cultures.

I do truly believe that. But, I neglected to mention then, that I also enjoy, relish, and savor the differences. There is something to be said for these differences — experiences that take us out of our comfort zone or otherwise shake up or change up our world view, as well as those idyllic places that just make us happy.

I’m on board for all of them

Karen Berge

Karen Berge

I enjoy living in Seattle, where boating opportunities abound. My goal is to take advantage of them all!
Karen Berge

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