Monday, October 25, 2010
There were also various tourist attractions such as these birds you could "buy" and let go to make merit. A sucker for the little buggers crammed in their tiny cages, I gave the lady 50 baht (pretty expensive since I buy an incredible lunch most days for 30 baht) and let two go. Later my friend Kate informed me that that birds are trained to come back for food!
You could feed an elephant sugar cane for 20 baht. Once a major part of the Thai workforce, elephants are now replaced by machines in almost every region, but they still show up regularly at festivals with their owners making some money this way. It is a little upsetting, but the handlers and the elephants do not seem at odds.
In fact the first week of November we are slated to attend the elephant festival in Surin- a big elephant event. These are the smaller Asian elephants and they are phenomenal. I love touching their bizarre hides and coarse hair. They have the most amazing eyes and move with a beautiful grace. We met an older tourist couple from Holland who informed us that there was some serious flooding going on in other parts of Thailand. As we are cut off from most news, this came as a surprise. Since then, I have been trying to keep up better by reading the Bangkok Post online which is posted in English.