The disappointing thing about adventures is that they come to an end. I'm dreading tomorrow like you dread the trip to the dentist when you haven't been flossing properly. My flight whisks me away from Thailand at night, thankfully giving me one more day with my elephant. Still, I must go through the compulsory farewell process and face the fact that I will not be going back to the camp on Wednesday morning. If you are wondering how I am taking this, my answer is, "Not well."
Today, I tried to ignore reality and spend my day like always, fetching grass for Boonme, hoisting myself up on her back, and eating fresh pineapple from my comfortable seat above the ground. Boonma took her for a swim in the pond, and it was like watching a log rolling contest where the log has a mind of its own. She plopped into the water, dove under the surface, and sprayed water from her trunk. It was like watching a child discover how exciting the water can be.
Tonight, I had my last English tutoring session, and my usual student brought a friend from school to practice scripts with us. My American accent makes me very popular here, and people love to listen to me speak, even when I have nothing groundbreaking to say. My value as a teacher here stems from the fact that I was born in the United States, which hardly seems fair. When I consider the great effort it takes to learn English as an additional language, it makes me unbelievably thankful that it is my mother tongue.
Allow me to make you grateful that it is your first language. (If it's not and you are reading this, bravo to you.) As an experiment, explain to me why the following words are pronounced the way they are: rough, through, dough, bough, and cough. When you come up with the reason, let me know so that I can re-explain it to Thai people. I don't believe the shrug I gave them was a satisfactory answer.
Needless to say, learning to speak Thai is much more straightforward, and I will miss my daily lessons, among many other things. Now excuse me while I go floss. I have a dentist appointment later this week, and I am afraid they are going to yell at me.