Thursday, 3 May 2018

Thailand Blog! About elephants and rats and Thai ladies.

I have a feeling that this blog is turning into a travel blog. Which is fine, only they reckon for a blogger to grow the audience and become successful, she needs to target her audience, you know. Be specific as to what you are blogging about. And when people ask me that, I sound like one of those old video rental places I used to visit very often in my younger days in Baku. Where, among all the categories the films were broken into, there was one with misspelled Russian word “jiznenniy”. Life-like

So yes, my blog is about life, to summarise it. It started off as a humorous blog about culture clash. But life itself is a major culture clash, isn’t it. Not always humorous one, either.

We talked about everything here, haven’t we? Some of you been visiting this blog for years. So you know we covered death, life, childbirth, romance, dating, politics, even The Eurovision. And of course, travel. 

Anyway, enough of that intro crap. I wanted to tell you about elephants.
I had seen elephants before, of course. But, on our recent visit to Thailand, I had a few hours of up-close and personal with elephants. We went to Patara Elephant Farm day out, up in Chiang Mai.

I mean, in theory, I should start by telling you about Thailand, where I had never been before, about Chiang Mai, which is a fascinating place to visit, even though not at all what I had expected. But I start with the elephants because, as I recall the overall impression from that 10-day trip…elephants over shadow everything else for me.  They are so so so…I am not American so I don’t use this word lightly, but they are so awesome. The whole experience was amazing. 

Their trunks are so wonderfully weird? I mean I can’t think of anything as cool and bizarre at the same time- besides penises, I guess?- that Mother Nature created. 

So yes, elephants and that particular type of a rescue farm where they look after them, buy the sick and abused ones from other parts of Asia, and nurse them better.. is an amazing place, and if you ever get a chance to visit Thailand, it is a must.

Now…back to the rest of it. 

I guess, even though I had never been to Thailand, in all my years on this planet I already had formed a certain stereotypical image of what it would be like. I imagined beautiful Thai ladies serving us tea, their waists as narrow as my ankles, big shy smiles on their pretty faces.
I imagined exotic beauty everywhere. 

Nope. None of that. 

Firstly, I guess Chiang Mai is a completely different planet altogether from perhaps, more touristy beach destinations. It is very poor. It is dirty. I am talking rats rummaging right outside the grocery shop in the central part of town. I am talking roaches everywhere, of course, and ugly, shabby buildings. 

Yet of course, certain charm is still there. If you enjoy backpacking poverty and getting fed up looking for your soul in India, Chiang Mai is your next destination.
The food…is amazing and cheap. Really amazing. And really quite cheap. 

Back to the Thai ladies. They don’t smile. At least not in Chiang Mai. Really, they made me feel quite at home, it is as if you go up in the mountains somewhere in Azerbaijan and try and get a smile off local ladies. Same kind of stare back, no smile, no words. Nothing. 

I understood from discussing this bizarre situation with the villa manager, that the four ladies who worked in the house were from a very small village somewhere up north and were simply very shy

To me they didn’t appear shy. More like hostile. I was convinced that should I dare to ask them to bring me another coffee, they would add some elephant urine to it.

The villa where we stayed with our Spanish friends was indeed, as photos promised, stunning. But what I of course, should have realised from the start, we were in the jungle.

Did you know? That gecko is called that because the creature actually says the word? It sits there, clearly somewhere very near you, maybe even in your bedroom, and announces loudly, at around 2:30am every night that it is a ge-cko.

Besides geckos who really are quite cute, there were some crickets or cicadas or whatever the hell they were, who were making an incredibly annoying, shrilling, loud noise. They would start all together, every day at around 1pm, then stop abruptly as if someone conducted them. Then again later in the afternoon, and so on. After those, and some rat tails hanging through ceiling boards in our bathroom, enormous spiders and a few cockroaches…I decided I didn’t particularly want to ever visit jungle again. I even am seriously reconsidering my retirement in Spain plan now, that my friends laughed and pointed out to me that there is a lot of wild life all around in Spain too. We have roaches flying on the streets, they announced happily, and all sorts of insects. Hmm, I thought. Perhaps, I could buy a little house in Finland instead. 

But, to summarize…go. Go to Chiang Mai. I do recommend it. I mean, I appreciate that it is a jungle and jungle has creatures living in it who have a right to exist there; and I was only visiting and sharing their living environment temporarily. The environment where things were killing other things at 3am, slowly and painfully, or things were getting born maybe? or whatever else those horrible noises were. And I survived that. I didn’t really sleep much at nights, but I survived. 

And I appreciate that I am terribly urban. Nature and I are not friends, like I pointed out before. So you, a more normal person, might enjoy the jungle. And the rats.

So, do go. And go to Patara. It is amazing. 

Do the zip-line! Do the rivers. Do visit the magnificent temples and see the monks pray. The monks are almost as amazing as the elephants. There is something incredibly cool about them, don’t ask me what, I cant figure it out.

Thailand is a great place to visit. Just bring a lot of mosquito repellent. I mean A LOT of it.

1 comment:

  1. What an amazing (or should I say awesome?) travel agent you would be!