Habits, Rabbits and Dog Bits

Charcoal and limeWonderful Wi’s mama has a strange habit when it comes to the kitchen fridge, and an even stranger one when bathroom time comes around. The photo on the right looks innocuous enough, bottled water and Cadbury’s chocolate, but the poor clarity of the photo doesn’t show the contents of the glass bowl clearly. It contains charcoal and half a lime.

Now I can understand that the lime is perhaps there to give out fragrance that is strong enough to overcome some of the more


I'm a sixty-year-old Englishman living in the town of Swindon in rural Wiltshire and I have a real deep desire to retire in Thailand one day. If you don't have a dream then you won't have a dream come true.

17 Responses

  1. Catherine says:

    Hi Martyn,

    ‘What I can’t fathom is what the bloody hell charcoal is doing inside something that I paid a lot of money for.’

    (I love these questions) the charcoal is there to absorb smells. It is also good if you are known to ingest a lot of beans, so there is that too 🙂

  2. malcolm says:

    Martyn, the charcoal is there not to absorb orders , but to absorb moister in the frig , it keeps the walls from getting wet when you open and close it , remember when you bought a electronic device like a camera or radio, or watch that were sealed and stored in a box wraped in plastic wrap they put in this little bag of charcoal granules to keep out the dampness , I’m almaost sure thats why it’s there , and as far as the old lady goes and her ugly open air toliet , she keeps using it to bug the sh– out of you and that is called a non-submissive , hard headed and stuborn person thats my guess. Malcolm
    .-= malcolm´s last blog ..MONKEY TOLL ROAD =-.

  3. *lynne* says:

    Hiyya Martyn,

    My guess about the charcoal is for absorption of odors. I’ve also taken charcoal pills when suffering lots of gas / intestinal discomfort (in Malaysia — I don’t know if any doctor in the US would prescribe such a thing, LoL!).

    … and yeah, neutering the dogs might be the best way to go… after all, they would then not be adding to the numbers of soi dogs population 😀

    .-= *lynne*´s last blog ..Autocomplete Me: do Americans … ? =-.

  4. Mike says:

    Martyn great breakfast read thank you. I too thought charcoal was to absorb smells but I also think Malcolm’s suggestion is a possibility.

    Now MTF doesn’t do this but does put some right smelly stuff in the fridge so I might slip in a bit of charcoal and watch her reaction.

    Of course the MIL might just want to store her charcoal somewhere before her next BBQ or perhaps there is some more sinister reason to do with Thai folklore we don’t know about!!

    That rabbit(RIP) is a dead ringer for Lucky(RIP) maybe they are both now happily munching carrots wherever dead rabbits go in Thailand-well I know where most of them go so maybe not!
    .-= Mike´s last blog ..Frozen Dew or Frost in Thailand =-.

  5. Lawrence says:

    Martyn, Cat & Malcolm are both right. Charcoal absorbs odours and moisture. However, Mama might have her own very different reasons for keeping it there. There’s surely a very good chance she knows something we don’t. I wonder if the same can be said about her bathroom habit. But ‘habit’ is what it is, I guess. Don’t let Malcolm make you paranoid, I’m sure there’s nothing personal about it.
    .-= Lawrence´s last blog ..Professional mor lam in Phana =-.

  6. Hoo Don says:

    Catherine thanks for shedding some light on the charcoal puzzle, it makes sense which is quite unusual for mama to be doing something like that. Perhaps she knows more than she lets on.

    Malcolm again some solid sense and I like the dampness theory. Your description of mama is pretty spot on although on the last couple of trips she’s been fairly quiet. I think she’s finally realised that the house is Wilai’s and she’s never going to be the boss of it, with the exception of her jungle patch of course.

  7. Catherine says:

    ‘she’s finally realised that the house is Wilai’s and she’s never going to be the boss of it’

    Then Wilai is one lucky lass! The moms in my life don’t easily give up control.
    .-= Catherine´s last blog ..Thai Turkeys for Thanksgiving =-.

  8. Hoo Don says:

    Lynne – Taking charcoal for stomach disorders, strange, but it’s amazing how many alternative medicines ‘rural’ folk use. I once saw a young lad in the village come to mama’s old house with some kind of stinging eye infection, the was a bit of commotion then someone rushed off and came back with some leaves from a tree. Mama applied a leaf to his eye and all of a sudden he was feeling a lot better. Amazing. Neutering….I don’t think Wilai will take that route.

    Lawrence I know from reading your blog you are very clued up on things Thai and so I will close the book or perhaps slam the fridge door shut on the puzzle. Smells and moisture it is. Paranoia is something I tend to get from time to time in western society, mama and her odd habits tend to amuse me, apart from leaving the front gate open, that bloody annoys me because I seem to have to shut it all the time.

  9. Hoo Don says:

    Mike I do envy your breakfast experience. Leisurely browsing the net and reading a blog post here and there, what a great life. The rabbits could be sat on a cloud, scoffing carrots and singing a duet of ‘Bright Eyes.’ I was thinking along the Thai folklore road but the smells and moisture theory would seem about right, I just can’t fathom out how mama can know of something that has a scientific approach to it. What experiments is she up to in her bedroom, perhaps the rabbit is in there with a fifth leg and third ear attached and being spoon fed liquid charcoal.

  10. Hoo Don says:

    Catherine it has taken mama over four years to give up control but perhaps there is one more attack planned, a coup d’etat could very well be imminent. However I would like to think she is just growing old ungraciously and ungratefully. I live in hope.

  11. Talen says:

    Obviously chiming in late but add another tick to the smell box. Pookie’s mother and Aunt do the same and I imagine it works quite well as they put some real smelly stuff in the fridge.
    .-= Talen´s last blog ..Thailand in the News Week Ending 11/21/09 =-.

  12. Hoo Don says:

    Talen it’s better late than never, I know exactly where you’re coming from. Mixing work, blogging, commenting and some kind of social life takes a big strain at times. I sometimes go a couple of days without really getting around the blogs I read because I just haven’t got the time. As far as the fridge goes then it would seem that I’m the only one who didn’t know what the charcoal was for. I asked Wilai but she couldn’t explain.

  13. Emm says:

    This was a hilarious post!!! I loved this line: “Why would a daft bat do that when the house nearby has a modern, clean bathroom”. I could just hear you calling her a daft bat!!

    Poor puppy! My dogs used to really bully my puppy and so we left her behind with a relative when we moved to UK.

    The dogs just have to be neutered – it is the right thing to do!!
    .-= Emm´s last blog ..A Saturday in London =-.

  14. Hoo Don says:

    Emm I don’t but if I did call mama a daft bat all day it wouldn’t make a jot of difference as she can’t understand a word of English and I can’t make out too much of the Thai – Laos language she speaks. Talking to Wi on the phone today revealed that Cola took a bit of a beating from one of the bigger soi (street) dogs yesterday so today he and Gaan were taking refuge in the garden. Perhaps that might have done the trick.

  15. jim says:

    Charcoal for a stomach ailment. Interesting. Alot of my students have never heard of baking soda for the same. Live and learn.
    .-= jim´s last blog ..Baby Door Bouncer Safety =-.

  16. dsa practical test says:

    I’ve read through your post, and was very puzzled by the gharcoal thing so after some research I can confirm what our friend Malcolm above has said the charcoal is there to absorb moisture in the fridge, tried it myself and have to say my food does seem to taste fresher, especially the vegetables, wuill be sharing this top tip with my cheffy friends, many thanks.

  17. Hardware Supportline says:

    Very interesting blog, I really enjoyed reading it, particularly the bit about Pepsi being a mix between a Shi-Tzu and a Poodle. Excellent work, you have a very good writing style. Thanks.

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