After last weeks massacre of ants, they have regrouped and responded by invading my sealed bag and jar of sugar as well as my empty hot water pot. They also seem to be congregating around my rice cooker again. I’m afraid to look inside. So, I have strategically placed more ant power and got a new spray with a special nozzle made for spraying it into cracks. All is quiet now but I am waiting to see what they are planning next.
Yesterday was supposed to be a rest day so my elbow can get better. But Anong’s cousin wanted to try rock climbing so we took him out for a short day and since it was his first time we just did the easy climbs so I did not hurt my elbow more. At least I don’t think I did.
I put up EFZ 6a+ and we each took our turn on it. Anong’s cousin climbed well for his first time but had trouble at the crux. After climbing it twice he was tired so left. Anong and I stayed a little longer and climbed Zak Attack 5. There are a lot more mosquitos now so we left after this climb even though there was still time for another hour or so of climbing.
Náam (Thai: น้ำ) is the word for water or more generally any liquid. So if something is a liquid, the word almost certainly starts with náam (Thai: น้ำ). But there are exceptions. Some words that are not liquids start with náam (Thai: น้ำ), for example the words for “ice”, “blue”, and “brown”. Other words that are liquids do not start with náam (Thai: น้ำ), for example the word for “blood”, “glue”, and “sweat”.
- water: náam (Thai: น้ำ)
- saline solution: náam-glua (Thai: น้ำเกลือ)
- semen: náam-gaam (Thai: น้ำกาม)
- bile: náam-dii (Thai:น้ำดี)
- waterfall: náam-dtòk (Thai:น้ำตก)
- flood: náam-tûam (Thai:น้ำท่วม)
- oil/fuel: náam-man (Thai:น้ำมัน)
- crude oil: náam-man-dìp (Thai:น้ำมันดิบ)
- honey: náam-pûng (Thai:น้ำผึ้ง)
- fish sauce: náam-bpla (Thai:น้ำปลา)
- tea: náam-chaa (Thai:น้ำชา)
- syrup: náam-chûam (Thai:น้ำเชื่อม)
- tears: náam-dtaa (Thai:น้ำตา)
- rain water: náam-fon (Thai:น้ำฝน)
- coconut cream: náam-gà-tí (Thai:น้ำกะทิ)
- distilled water: náam-glàn (Thai:น้ำกลั่น)
- acid: náam-gròt (Thai:น้ำกรด)
- perfume: náam-hăwm (Thai:น้ำหอม)
- sauce: náam-jîm (Thai:น้ำจิ้ม)
- dew: náam-káang (Thai:น้ำค้าง)
- salt water: náam-kem (Thai:น้ำเค็ม)
- olive oil: náam-má-gàwk (Thai:น้ำมะกอก)
- saliva: náam-laai (Thai:น้ำลาย)
- lemonade: náam-má-naao (Thai:น้ำมะนาว)
- tar: náam-man-din (Thai:น้ำมันดิน)
- kerosene: náam-man-gáat (Thai:น้ำมันก๊าส)
- motor oil: náam-man-krûang (Thai:น้ำมันครื่อง)
- lard: náam-man-mǔu (Thai:น้ำมันหมู)
- vegetable oil: náam-man-pûut (Thai:น้ำมันพืช)
- turpentine: náam-man-sŏn (Thai:น้ำมันสน)
- intoxicating beverage: náam-mao (Thai:น้ำเมา)
- coconut milk: náam-má-práao (Thai:น้ำมะพร้าว)
- holy water: náam-mon (Thai:น้ำมนต์)
- mucus: náam-mûuk (Thai:น้ำมูก)
- milk: náam-nom (Thai:น้ำนม)
- fruit juice: náam-pŏn-la-máai (Thai:น้ำผลไม้)
- hot chili paste sauce: náam-prík (Thai:น้ำพริก)
- water spout: náam-pú (Thai:น้ำพุ)
- orange juice: náam-sôm (Thai:น้ำส้ม)
- vinegar: náam-sôm (Thai:น้ำส้ม)
- sea water: náam-tá-lee (Thai:น้ำทะเล)
- fresh water: náam-jùut (Thai:น้ำจืด)
- soft drink: náam-wǎan (Thai:น้ำวาน)
- ice: náam-khěng (Thai:น้ำแข็ง)
- blue: sǐi-náam-ngǝn (Thai:สีน้ำเงิน)
- good will: náam-jai (Thai:น้ำใจ)
- sugar: náam-dtaan (Thai:น้ำตาล)
- brown: sǐi-náam-dtaan (Thai:สีน้ำตาลำ)
- tone of voice: náam-sǐang (Thai:น้ำเสียง)
- weight: náam-nak (Thai:น้ำหนัก)
- deed / act: náam-meu (Thai:น้ำมือ)
There are a lot of unusual bugs in Thailand. It’s some kind of giant flying beetle. They are really dumb. They fly around and crash into everything. Inevitably they end up upside down on the ground and can not flip around. Then they get eaten by ants or a lizard. I think this one recently landed but it would have been here for hours wiggling its legs around fruitlessly.
Changed things up again today. Warm up on Chutzpah 6a+. I haven’t climbed it in a while and it was fun. I even found some new beta through the crux that makes the climb a little easier for me. Anong climbed it on top rope then I climbed one more time on top rope to clean. Then we head over to Devil’s Backbone 6b. Still feeling confident from last time, I wanted to try redpointing another 6b. Happily I got to the top with no falls or takes and glad I was able to redpoint this route before it starts raining a lot and becomes unclimbable. Then Anong tried it out for her first time. She needed a little help through the crux but did pretty good. Then I went one more time to clean it and after that it was time to go.
Just as I am continually amazed at the insane driving in Thailand, I continue to be amazed at how important mental strength is to climbing (and I’m sure other physical activities). It’s been suggested that climbing performance is 1/3 mental, 1/3 technique, and 1/3 physical. For me I think it’s more like 1/2 mental, 1/4 technique, and 1/4 physical. Lately after a day of climbing I think to the next time I go climbing and I’ll be stoked to climb something hard and push my grade a bit. But when that day comes I make excuses and just climb what I am comfortable with. For a long time I’ve wanted to redpoint Momentum 6b. Despite top roping it a few times I always felt intimidated by it. So yesterday I was psyching myself up to climb it today on lead. But this morning I started to get those familiar thoughts of doubt creeping into my head.
So Anong and I head out to the crag and I’m not sure what to expect. First, warm up on EFZ 6a+ like usual. I decide to push my comfort zone a little bit and skip over half the clips and used only six quickdraws to climb the whole route. Anong climbs it on top rope. Now I have to decide what I’m going to do. Try something new or revert to the familiar and comfortable. Despite still feeling a little unsure of myself I decide to try for the redpoint.
So I start up the route. It’s got a bouldery start and a sort of awkward move but with really good feet between the second and third bolt. There’s very fun easier climbing in the middle but the best part is near the top, climbing up some tufas, slightly overhanging with big juggy holds. I almost went the “hard” way at the top which would have surely led to failure. Recognizing my mistake I down climbed a few moves, rested, then continued up the “easy” way and clipped the anchor just as the burn in my left arm was starting to get intense. Hurray for adding a new route to my redpoint list!
A couple more laps on top rope for fitness then it was time to call it a day. There is one more 6b I have not sent at this crag. If the weather stays nice for a few more days I’ll get it. But if not then it will probably have to wait until the dry season.
For the past few months, I have been mostly living in harmony with these creatures. Resigned to the fact that there will always be at least a few around. But lately the Ants have been overstepping their bounds and committing what I consider to be acts of war. For example, finding their way into a sealed bag of snacks from Isaan. Constantly crawling around on the dining room table despite it being clean. And finally mounting a full scale attack on my rice cooker to eat a gecko that decided to die inside it (gross!). Maybe they were doing me a favor on that one.
So, I’ve stepped up my game the last few days and acquired some weapons of mass destruction.
The powder is good for resolving border disputes with the ants. If they cross the border they don’t get far. The powder also lasts a long time and seems effective as long as it doesn’t get blown, swept, or washed away. The spray is good for cracks and other tight spots where ants might be coming in. It kills them almost instantly but seems to lose effectiveness after a day or two.
I’ve also been filling cracks with wall putty to try to block their points of entry. Ants are pretty amazing creatures though. Blocking the point of entry seems to work for a little while but then they just find another way in. Cleanliness is of course the best defense against the ants but they seems to be able to find the smallest grain of sugar or crumb of food. By Thai standards the room is spotless and average to above average for Western standards but the ants still seem to find things to eat. I’ve heard cleaning counter tops with vinegar can help deter the ants. So far I haven’t noticed it doing much.
I also found this stuff called ARS Ant Killer. I think it is boric acid based or something similar. It’s food for the ants that they take back to their nest then they eat it and die. I’ve placed a couple of these in window sills and near other areas that can not be sealed. It seems to work pretty good but it is relatively expensive.
With all of the above, I’ve seen a significant reduction in ants. Currently there are no ants swarming around invisible crumbs of food and there are just a few searcher ants wandering around. It’s time to get serious though. Borax / Boric Acid seems hard to find but I’ve heard some hardware stores and chemical supply stores have it. Time to start calling around to see if I can get some sourced locally or shipped. Today I found the Thai name for boric acid. Now I know what to ask for. กรดบอริก (grōt bawric).