I’m one of the luckiest girls in the world. I never dreamed that within a year, I would be reunited with Boonme. Not only were we reunited, but I was able to introduce her to my family. I’m not so sure she really cares, being an elephant and all, but she played her part nicely.
Once again, I was able to shimmy up her side and lazily meander through the jungle. I could take part in the ant-avoidance dance, and I could practice my Thai. The difference was that this time, I could call out to my parents and my sister, relaxing just yards away on their own elephants. Not to put words in their mouths, but if I could put words in their mouths for a second, I'd say they were, “Wow… This is…”
In addition to riding elephants, we had the opportunity to experience a national holiday that puts other national holidays to shame. The Thai New Year is a chance for people to make a fresh start, but what it really consists of is the entire country shutting down and throwing water at each other. It took us a couple of hours to travel a distance that normally would have taken twenty minutes, because traffic was crawling. The backs of pickup trucks were packed with barrels of water and people holding super soakers aimed at other vehicles. People sometimes even abandoned the cars and ran down the middle of the street in order to hit their target. My main thought throughout this experience was, “How can I start this in the United States without being arrested for disturbing the peace?” Also, I occasionally thought, “This would be a terrible time for your windshield wipers to stop working.”
Bangkok seemed tame after these experiences, and I am sure “tame” is a word rarely used with this city. While I would love to post pictures of my favorite part, helping my sister pick out her wedding dress, I am aware that this would mean immediate dismissal from her bridal party. And from the family in general. But let me just say, her dress is beautiful. And that’s my cue to stop.
Pure chaos, but really fun chaos
Our emotional reunion. Okay, honestly, she just kind of stood there.
Anna: The photographer becomes the subject
Expert mahout right here
Too unbelievably cute
My pictures from last summer hanging on their wall!
Back in the confusing maze that is the Chatuchak market