Jeeez....That was a pretty long absence huh? Well, sorry for that but I just couldn't tolerate that internet cafe in town anymore and had to wait until I had a phoneline installed in the house, which in itself ended up becoming a major production. But, now it's installed and I'm buying up "Internet Cards" at the local 7-11 for $178 Thai baht apiece - giving 12 hours of internet usage a whack.
Life here in Thunglung is quiet to say the least. This village is small and relatively calm. But there are always the little surprises....
Yesterday, after a long day teaching at the school, I was walking on my usual route home when I spotted an elephant in the road. Not a very tough item to spot I must say, since despite this guy's size, he was drawing quite the crowd. I wormed my way through the crowd of mostly Thai students dressed in uniform and heading home, to get a closer look at this massive beast.
Once I was close, a tall, dark and thin Thai guy approached me, speaking rather good English, and saying, "You want to buy some banana stalk to feed him?"
Elephants have quite literally always been my thing and one of the things I've always dreamt of doing in life is riding one. Well, I didn't get to ride this fellow, but I quickly shelled out the $20 baht for a small bag of banana stalk and started approaching this massive creature.
I had hardly gotten the banana stalk out of the bag when a very big, rather firm elephant snout began worming it's way towards me. The old boy (yes, BELIEVE me, it was a BOY) was rather persistent and didn't seem to have the patience for me to wrestle with the plastic bag holding his treat, but finally I managed to get his small snack out of the bag, and he took care of the rest.
The whole ordeal took about ten seconds and then the stalks were gone. Soon afterwards this great elephant took a "bow," his form of a Thailand wai, to say thank you.
Just TOO cool! It really made my day.
It seems there is some sort of Elephant "farm" nearby and supposedly this public exposure is used to supplement the cost of feeding these huge guys and assisting their caretakers with their upkeep. I'm hoping to see another one soon.