Camera Rambles: Jetlag and Brain Snags

TokayThat strange place you’re in when you’ve just arrived home from another country, climate and culture. My brain keeps wondering why it gets dark so much earlier, there are no geckos crawling up the walls and my feet feel confined in shoes. Continue reading

Pachyderm Banana Hoovers and Buffalo Sludge-Boulders – Day 7 Elephant Nature Park

Two BFF's at the elephant clinic, Elephant Nature Park.

Two BFF’s at the elephant clinic, Elephant Nature Park.

Jodi had told us that some of the elephants could be drama queens, and on this last day I got to see it for myself. I was lolling about in the dining area having my morning coffee and looking across at the elephant clinic, where there was always an elephant to be seen who lived there on a semi-permanent basis due to her need for ongoing foot treatment, plus another elephant who hung around keeping her company. Every day at ENP I had seen both of them there together. Today something caught my eye – there was only one elephant (Number 1). The more mobile one (Number 2) had gone for a wander around the back. Elephant Number 1 suddenly noticed she was gone and made a hell of an uproar! She started bellowing ‘Come back! Where are you?!’ – presumably in Thai Ele language – and kicking up a right fuss. I spotted the other one come out from around the back, and I actually saw her heave a great sigh. She took her time wandering back to the front of the clinic then trumpeted to Number 1 – ‘All right! Keep yer proboscis on, I’m here!’ They touched trunks and felt each other all over for a little while then settled back into their usual routine of, well, eating. Ah, the trials and tribulations of a BFF relationship. Continue reading

2009 Thailand # 10: Tribal Rolls Royces and Flintstone Lizard Earrings

King cobra. According to the Thai people, touch one of these and have good luck for life. Personally, I think it's better luck not to go near one at all...

King cobra. According to the Thai people, touch one of these and have good luck for life. Personally, I think it’s better luck not to go near one at all…

Saturday – It got up to 39 degrees yet again, so we had brunch at the usual cafe then slept through most of the day or lay around under wet sarongs right in front of the fan, wishing it was a ceiling fan. We don’t know how to stop it turning so we get cool for a few seconds then have to wait for it to come round again – by which time we’re sweltering already. At the cafe an old lady came along selling little jellyish cake things that looked like fish roe to me. Gill was brave enough to try one and it turned out that they were a kind of chicken jelly with satay inside. They were tasty enough but the texture was pretty weird so we turned down offers of more from the cafe owners, bless them. Continue reading

2009 Thailand # 5: In Which Ma Baker Strikes Again and Our Neighbours Live Down the Rabbit Hole

The neighbours on patrol...

The neighbours on patrol…

Night before last: Full-scale war occurred again. This time there were guys on the verandah next to ours patrolling with huge guns. I sat across the road in front of the ‘Nice Kitchen’ and watched the action from a different viewpoint. Several rums were handed to me in quick succession, which I only drank to be polite. They pour very weak drinks here though, so even though our locals had been drinking for hours, they were still very mellow and easy-going. I was quite impressed at their lack of loutish behaviour. Gill joined us after a while and we sat around talking and playing guitar and bongos and singing. At about 10p.m. I was ordered to get on a tuk tuk and our friend Chow drove a few of us (me the only Westerner) around the perimeter of Old Chiang Mai. He’s a Bangkok driver, so a lot madder than Chiang Mai drivers, but of course I was already used to that from being in Delhi and Bangkok so I just sat back and enjoyed. At one stage we went past some other falang (foreigners) and I called out to them to help me and that I was being held hostage, but for some reason they just laughed and didn’t come to my rescue. So much for solidarity. Continue reading