Sunday, January 6, 2013

Sliding Down an Elephant's Face? That Wasn't In the Brochure

WE RODE ELEPHANTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This elephant was scratching itself on a nail on that post
This elephant was dancing

And it was so scary.  It was cool... and awesome... but mostly scary.  We got picked up at our hotel in the morning and rode about an hour or so in the back of a truck out to the elephant camp for our 1/2 day elephant extravaganza.  When we got there they handed us our new denim on denim gear to put on so we could get dirty.  Dirty as in- swim and bathe in elephant poo.  Denim is pretty rugged but not enough to make bathing in poo water with elephants ok, but I mean, it's what we signed up for so oh well I guess.  What doesn't give you e coli makes you stronger right?

Back to the awesome stuff though.  After we were wearing 100% denim, they gave us a sheet of paper with 10 commands in Thai that we were supposed to commit to memory before we started riding the elephants.  The words included things like head down, go, stop, reverse, lift your leg, come and our favorite- yaya, which means no more fruit.  I'm sure you agree that these prepared us more for a night in a Thai bedroom than on a Thai elephant.  Unfortunately I was so rattled by the fact that I was trying to mount a giant elephant by standing on his leg and hanging off his ear, that I couldn't really remember anything at all.

We each got to practice climbing up- or rather, being hoisted by a small Thai man- onto the elephant and making it turn in a slow circle a couple of times before we took them on a longer ride through a river.  We also got to practicing dismounting the elephant, by sliding down it's face.  Elephants are tall.   

Since everyone else travels in couples, and there were 3 of us that came together, they had Kim, Kyle, and me all squeeze onto one elephant for this longer ride.  I was in the front with the stick shouting whatever commands in Thai I could remember, Kyle was in the middle on the hump trying to supersede my commands by yelling in a louder more authoritative voice, and Kim was in the back, with nothing to hold on to, trying desperately not to fall off.  HAHAHAA I'm just picturing this again now.  It's a lot funnier in retrospect. 

Three deep on an elephant

Acting like an elephant on an elephant

Holding on for dear life

By the time I thought my wrists were going to break and shaky thighs could hold on no longer, the ride ended in a river full of poo.  At least we were wearing denim?  We walked the elephants into the water and they lowered us down so we could slide off into the river and help bathe them.  This was a mix of fun and nastiness, but I guess mostly fun.  There was an adorable baby elephant splashing around with us which definitely helped. 

Washing her right behind the ears
Well, now there's poo in our hair

The trip ended with our half day group eating a delicious thai lunch while we watched the other full day group shovel manure by the elephants- and this was when we were SUPER happy we opted for the half day adventure.  We then hopped into the back of the truck bed and headed back to our hotel where we fought over who got to shower first. 
Homemade Thai lunch!
So happy to not be shoveling manure



  1. You make it sound so much fun I wish I could go back and commit those elephant commands to memory.

  2. The number of times you mention denim on denim just killed me. That's all.

  3. Not sure why there are so many pictures of kyle in capris?

  4. So cool you guys did that and especially cool you saw that adorable baby elephant. Did that adorable baby elephant do a high pitch trumpet that sounded like my signature gas? Hope so!!


  5. My favorite part of this story was your reference to a thai hotel when referring to the elephant commands... lolz yous guys! XOXO Miss you!!!

  6. OMG - I've been reading these from my phone on my bus rides and I have never been able to comment for some reason. Now I am reading on my computer and it's so much better! I LOOOOOOOOVE your stories!!! So much!! I just had to go back and comment on this because the denim ensembles are fucking hilarious!! Please put a similar item together in Seattle and take photos.