When I was growing up, my dads favorite way to spend quality time with me (or one of my other sisters) was to take us fishing. Here on Bintan for many families fishing is a daily activity.
Our guide said there are two types of families that fish for a living. There are villages along the river (houses and huts on stilts) where the whole family gets in their fishing boat each day and heads out to catch fish together. Or there are Orang Laut (Sea Gypsies) that are nomadic people that live in small boats. Either way, both make their living by catching fish and shellfish and selling them to local markets and restaurants.
Here is a family going out to fish! My photo is a little blurry because I’m on a boat and because I was waving at this little girl who was waving at me! Notice the man standing to row. I’ve seen this style of rowing in Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia.When the families fish in the Mangroves they either use stilts or they lay a trap known as bulbus. The fishermen also have a hut. (We called it the fisherman’s clubhouse). This is made out of materials from the mangroves and it stores the fishing traps. Our guide also said it’s a hangout area for the fishermen during the day time. She said it’s dangerous at night because the snakes go inside and you can’t see them!Here’s an example of a python hiding in the rafters of our boat hut!Here’s another python we saw while we were in the mangroves.I know snakes can swim and I know they can climb trees. I think if a boat was unavailable I’d most like to fish here on this local dock. Then I could just focus on snakes coming at me from the feet area and not constantly checking to see if they were dropping down from the roof overhead!Here’s another example of a local fishing boat.This is something else to sell besides fish, it’s a Nipah Palm. This large ball is a collection of seeds known as “attap chee” and it’s eaten in local desserts. The leaves are used for roofing, cigarette paper and the sap is made into an alcoholic beverage. I thought it looked like something I could buy in Pottery Barn to decorate my house!Here I am eating the inside of one of the seeds. It is very very sweet and slightly gummy!Denise wouldn’t really try it. But I didn’t tease her because she did eat a silk worm in Cambodia, and I don’t think I’d be willing to try one of those.