Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Water for Elephants

I am on a roll... three days, three posts; can I get a hoo hoo? Wait that totally does not translate in text. That is what we call our girlie parts. So no, not a hoo hoo, how bout..."Can I get a woo hoo?" Hmmm, ok, moment is gone.

I would love to contribute my enthusiasm in writing again to my three PM mocha choco latte(s). But embarrassingly I hate to admit that a part of my brain has been awaken or maybe "aroused" after reading the 50 Shades Trilogy last week, wait, yes, that is my subconscious is leaning over her bifocals and she has agreed. Don't worry I am not posting again about 50 Shades again but if you missed it, you can find it here.

Anyhoo... hoo hoo, ha never mind. Elephants!

Elephants! I have told this version of the story to a couple of my close friends. Because when an acquaintance asks you, how was your Thailand trip? Did I hear you rode elephants? You don't reply, "Yes, it was a once in a lifetime experience, especially the part when I got very "personal" with the elephants.

Let me back track. It was two or so years ago, husband was hunting with the TV remote and we landed on the Travel Channel. They were featuring Thailand and in Thailand, the Four Seasons Tented Camp/ Elephant Sanctuary in Chang Mai. By day you ride the elephants bareback, bathe them, basically mono and mono- you and the wild beast sharing a afternoon (cue music montage here). Then by night you are whisked away to the tree tops of Chang Mai, where you sleep in beautiful white canopy tents, on plush king size pillow top beds, being hand fed lobster thermidor by your man-servant in a heated personal jacuzzi. Mentally, I made a spot for this on my "Top five places I would like to go before I die list" which was wedged between my list of "Top five celebrities I am allowed to cheat with" and "last dinner request" should I ever have to make one.

Two years later, I find myself in Thailand, southern Thailand, so unfortunately Four Seasons Tented Camp is but a distance dream. But spending the day with the elephants is a reality. At the retired Elephant Camp our guide asks halfway through the day, "who wants to bathe the elephants?" My hand goes up faster than green grass goes through a goose. (or bamboo through an elephant)


Up I go, I am sitting, now riding bareback...legs straddled around the elephant's thick neck and her little stubby hairs are poking into my thighs. The mahout (trainer) is seated behind me. I am in shorts and barefoot, "you may get your feet wet," they say. She is a giant of a girl and once she starts gradually moving forward I instantly realize that if she starts running for the hills I shit-out-of-luck. BUT I keep repeating to myself, "once in a lifetime." She is gentle as she galumphs towards the water, which from my vantage point looks to be an average sized green pond. There are six of us "bathing." As it reaches our turn to enter, my girl hesitates for a brief minute before heading down the clay slope. Once in she glides gracefully through the water and my toes dangle alongside her neck, the water is luke warm, this is nice.

I enjoy the journey for about thirty seconds before I first hear, then see them, ba-loomp, ba-loomp., I am completely surrounded by floating, basketball sized elephant dung balls from the other elephants. If you add the mahouts (one per elephant, the riders and elephants) we are outnumbered three to one by the amount of floating shit in this... what I first thought was medium pond is now a very small toilet. They have formed a small army I am sure if I listen closely I can hear one of the dung leaders playing a tiny trumpet, CHARGE!!

"Once in a lifetime, I murmur quietly, and anyway it is just my toes, no harm." Karma followed me into the lake that day, because right after I said that, what I thought was the elephant tripping was really the elephant DIVING. Hold on, I- got- a- swimmer!!! I look down and her entire head is UNDER THE WATER, only her trunk is out to breathe and I am now boob deep "GLIDING GRACEFULLY" THROUGH AN ARMY OF BASKETBALL SIZED ELEPHANT SHIT...if she goes any further under I will have to doggie paddle out of this son of a bitch. I think to myself I would much rather be stranded in the jungles of Thailand on the back of a rogue elephant surviving on grub worms and sugar cane...I turn to look for my mahout? He is standing on the elephant's back, laughing. This guy lives in a mud-house with three walls, downwind from elephant farm and shares a bed with his chickens, but even he will not get into the poop infested parasitic waters.

"Once in a lifetime, I say this time much louder."

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