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.


Sandy said...

Ha HA Haaa...what fun!

Carmen Goetschius said...

Fun! Glad you had fun visitors--- of the people and animal kind!!!

Why is Thailand so far away!? I want to have a coffee with you and Shell!

Chuckaroobob said...

Actually, Keith should be accustomed to elephants. They're all over Winston-Salem. No, really. I mean it.

Peter Varvel said...

Loved this! Such amazing extreme close-ups!