Boats and Cigars

Beez Neez
Skipper and First Mate Millard (Big Bear and Pepe)
Tue 5 Dec 2017 23:07
Nam Pan Village Boat and Cigar Makers
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Nam Pan Village is well known for its diverse range of workshops. Visiting one of the large, stilted buildings gave us an opportunity to experience local cultures and learn a little of their livelihoods. Blacksmiths and bamboo craftsmen as well as the one-legged fishermen are common trades in the area but we have come to a business specialising in teak boat building and cigar making. We climb out of our trusty steed and meet three very disinterested chickens. Stalls surround us covered in teak goods including elephants, model Intha fishing boats, screens, platters and pipes. A lady greets us, she will show us the boat building side of things but casually begins to point out her own stall.
This fifteen metre beauty is the standard means of transporting goods and tourists. Four workers, one month and a price tag of two thousand five hundred dollars in solid teak, that’s without the engine.
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Joint and caulking.
The front of the beast.
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Pulpit decking and tools of the trade.
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A twelve metre, family-sized boat nearing completion. The teak is still cut by pitsaw. An individual fishing boat.
We headed inside to watch three ladies making cigars. Cheroots are a local type of cigarette covered in dry leaves and have different flavours to anything we have ever tried. Banana. mint and anise as well as herbs are very popular.
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Cigar making equipment – tobacco, filters, glue for labels and roller. Measure to trim to size with scissors and the finished cigar.
I took a video clip of this lady, she made three cigars in forty one seconds. Her daily target = five hundred and fifty. Sitting on a tiny wooden stool, chatting away happily and keen to slow one down to show us. Roll two leaves between two pieces of stiff plastic, add the filter and tobacco, keep rolling and out pops the cigar. Label held in place, glue added to the ends and rolled. Once several have been made put on measure and trim to size. Day in day out for a few dollars in wages.
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Cigars in a plain box and in pretty tubes. We were offered one to try but were told they are very sweet (to be honest they didn’t small too great and knowing the taste would stay with us, we gently declined).
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Not sure what this cat was up to on the side of a stall.............
..........but he sprang from quite a height, landing at our feet unfazed.