Brandon is from Spokane, Washington and is now serving in Hua Hin. He introduced us to his friends, the elephants. He hangs out with them, bathes them, feeds them and generously scratches whatever leg they hold up. Through the course of conversation, we find out Thailand is not Brandon's first assignment as a need greater. Oh no. He served in the Sahara DESERT. I told him that should be in his intro. Hi, i'm Brandon and I used to live in the Sahara. I think if I lived in the Sahara, I would make that fact into a shirt. And wear it. But we all know that's not going to happen. Anyways, we kicked it with some elephants. No big deal.
|That's Brandon to the left being a boss.|
|Amy's about to let her have it.|
One of the elephants took me by the
hand with her trunk and tried to walk
me around. Elephant trunks scare me a little. I was trying to figure out why and I think it's because they remind me of those nasty underground worms in Tremors. The trunks are very inquisitive, very strong and slightly snotty. Every time that thing came at me, I had to surpress a scream-and-run reflex. And I think a few times I just went ahead and screamed and ran. But once we were there for a while, I started to get over the sheer size, the bristly hair, the feeling I was about to get stepped on and I could relax :)
|It's easier to wash an elephant than a dog.|
That's just wrong.
|Hey that's not an elephant.|
|They have really delicious, |
uh... I mean beautiful, chickens here.
On with Hua Hin!!
When we first got into town, we met Lidia at her hall. It was around 7 at night and the hall was deserted. Deserted but open. The lights were on, the doors were flung wide and no one was there. So we wandered around their impressively well organized kingdom hall while we waited. When Lidia showed up, she was just as surprised as we were that the hall was unlocked. Turns out, they don't just leave their halls open in Hua Hin. But we had to wait for an elder to come and lock it because pioneers don't have keys here.
Lidia is an awesome Australian/Italian sister. She even somehow knew that our favorite chips are salt and vinegar and had a whole CABINET full just ready and waiting for us. Made sure we had plenty of entertainment too. Her goal is to special pioneer but foreigners are not allowed to do that in Thailand at this time. So right now she's just practicing the schedule. And learning Burmese.
Here are some of the friends in Hua Hin...
Night markets start to look the same after a while but this one had something unique. GINORMOUS SHRIMP. When they're that big, I don't think you can call them shrimp anymore. The lobsters are those little things at the top left. The shrimp are those beasts at the front.
On to the palace. The beachiest palace in the world. The whole thing is built one story up from the ground to protect against flooding from the sea. It was all covered walkways from one group of rooms to another. Nothing closed in, few walls, open windows. Just ocean breeze and miles of polished wood floors. It testifies to the brilliance of Thai design though. Even though it was a very hot day, the house was the perfect temperature without a single fan or AC.
In the 1920's everyone in the house was expected to wear a specific color for each day of the week. The color of the day changed according to the iconography of each Hindu planet god.
Never complain about a restrictive wardrobe!
Thai people back then were even tinier than they are now! The king's bed was the size of a child's bed. Really surprising. If they had seen a California King, i'm sure it would've blown their minds.
Everything was blue! Except for the bathrooms, which were pink.
|There was some tree huggering going on.|
Oddly enough, in Thailand it's common to get a massage from a blind person. Many places advertise 'blind massage'. So for the first time, we tried one on our vacation. Cut, Amy and I were talking with the blind men who worked there and we explained that we were Bible teachers. They asked how they could learn about the Bible. We don't have anything available in Thai Braille yet and the only audio recordings we have of our publications are My Book of Bible Stories.
So the next day, we brought them their first installment of Bible Stories! Yet another experience that probably never would've happened back home...
|So yeah, it was a good vacation.|
|The king's beachfront office.|