Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Typical day in Chiang Mai


I was taking Keith and Shelly, who are friends visiting from Albania, to get a Thai massage. Shelly and Keith were in Peace Corps with us in Moldova and now Shelly is the Admin Officer for Peace Corps Albania. On the way out, while we were driving in the Moobaan (neighborhood), we spotted an elephant walking along the street. Which, surprisingly, in not an uncommon occurance. Just a typical day in Chiang Mai. These pictures are taken while sitting in the car at the gate exit of the moobaan. It still amazes me sometimes to see an elephant just walking along the street. What a trip!

The mahout (elephant handler)always has food that you can buy to feed the elephant, which this case is was bag of sugarcane. The elephant reached into the car with its trunk and was practically in my lap while I fished a 20 baht bill out of my pocket. The elephant immediately took the 20 to give to the mahout. They have quite the system going.

The money changes hand and the transaction is complete. Now I can feed elephant his well earned sugarcane. I'm also trying to take pictures during all this with Shelly's camera. Shelly is sitting in the back seat and enjoying the show of me getting acosted by the elephant.

Here we go again for another round of "grab the sugarcane from Brett's hand". Man, elephants are strong in case you didn't know. Especially their trunks. At one time I thought he might take my finger with the other sticks of sugarcane.

Wow!!!!! what an experience! Bye Mr. Elephant and we hope to see you soon!

Wave bye-bye Keith and Shelly and welcome to another typical day in Chiang Mai. I wonder if they will have a chance to see an elephant walking the streets of Albania? I doubt it! It was great having Keith and Shelly visit. I'm also glad they got to have a surreal experience like this.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Baby Sparta and Lucky Charms



Here we go again! We adopted 2 new kitties, teenagers really. Baby Sparta the tabby and Lucky Charms. We got these lovable little purr boxes from a guest house/restaurant here in Chiang Mai. They had about 10-12 cats hanging around the place and all up for adoption. We actually just happened to stop by the place not realizing it was a kitty sanctuary.

I hope that there won't be any sad stories to report in the near future with these ones. They seem really healthy and are very lovable. Acacia and Anna are in love with them. I think they are Ok too. They are quite comical with all their running around the house attacking each other. Let's pray that these guys are keepers!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Blurry

When Shelly and I joined Peace Corps we had to go through a lengthy physical exam. During our eye exam the opthamologist performed the vision test where you had to say which way the "E" was facing going from larger letters to smaller letters. Shelly and I were surprized that we both scored 20/15 vision. That is better than the standard perfect vision score of 20/20. That was 10 years ago when I was 34 and still had the remnants of a 6pack too. At least a 2 pack for sure, or was that Toopak Shakur. I don't know, anyway.....Where was I? I think I'm losing brain cells too!
Oh yeah, ever since coming to Thailand I've noticed that I have trouble reading books in the 12in to 16in range. But, how could that be I have 20/15 vision. The Doc even said so. I am falling apart. Instead of the 6 pack I now have a pony keg and I feel like I'm going blind. I have to hold reading materials at arms length to read anything.

I would keep rubbing my eyes, maybe I just had sleep in them. No, it was old age. I came to a realization that I'm an old fart. At least I have my hair!!
Shelly got me these reading glasses and now it is like I can see again. Wow!!!! vision neat! Brett like read book. Thanks Honey for kickin it with your old man for all these years.