Monday, October 26, 2009

[Travelogue] Thai massage, elephant-style

We're in Bangkok tomorrow. Although it's only about 20 miles from the port into town we're told it takes 2-1/2 hours because of traffic, and after seeing what the roads are like in Saigon I believe it. So we're staying overnight in a hotel, which means I have to pack, which means I don't have much time to write. But I just had to tell this story:

We were on Ko Samui island today, which is abeam the more well-known Phuket but on the Pacific side of the Thai peninsula instead of the Indian Ocean side (and hence was unaffected by the famous Christmas tsunami a few years ago). There are a lot of places that advertise Thai massage, most of which are not what you're thinking. (Those places are mostly in Bangkok.) But I had a truly unique "massage" performed by an asian elephant! We were at an elephant training facility and I was "volunteered" to lie down on the ground and have an elephant give me a "Thai massage", which consisted of having the elephant gently pat me on the back with its foot. Still, when you consider that the critter weighs as much as a small car and could have squished me like a bug, it was pretty exciting. I also got a "kiss", which from an elephant comes from its trunk instead of its mouth. It was kind of like having a vacuum cleaner hose stuck to my head. Afterwards they gave me a little moist towelette to wipe off the elephant snot.

it really wasn't nearly as gross as I'm making it sound. I just couldn't pass up the opportunity to use the phrase "elephant snot" in a blog post. Opportunities like that just don't come along every day. :-)

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