School trips aren't what they used to be!!
On Wednesday we took the 28 kids in P3 (age 8/9ish) to Safari World in Bangkok. I've never been the biggest fan of zoos, but heard that the animals here were well-kept, bearing in mind they're still out of their natural habitats and confined in cages so that's debateable. I thought it would be a good educational trip, seeing lots of different animals
Oh no... the Thai teachers idea of 'education' consisted of carting us past all the animals to all these different animal shows. I suppose when I was younger I found them exciting, but now seeing orangutans dancing in bikinis and dresses and boxing each other, sealions playing basketball, dolphins jumping through hoops, and elephants painting and playing football I find it a disgraceful form of entertainment.
The most entertaining bit of the shows was before they started and some crazy dude in the audience kept getting up and dancing (very badly) to the eclectic selection of music being played. No sense of embarrassment for some people!
There were some good elements to the visit... including being face-to-face with giraffes and feeding them. They have very long tongues, one of which almost slobbered on me! We also got to feed birds, which I surprisingly didn't find too bad seeing as things flying towards me usually make me flail my arms around like a crazy lady. Managed to see a few of the animals by dawdling behind the kids. Got quite upset when I realised there were polar bears though... in 30'C heat, with just a fine mist being sprayed on them. There was greater concern to keep the tourists cool than them!
The trip redeemed itself slightly at the end when we drove through the 'safari' where the animals roamed about in this huge open space. We saw zebras, rhinos, giraffes, lions, tigers, deers, bears... all sorts, obviously kept in different areas, so not wholly a natural environment otherwise the lions and tigers would be feasting on the rest of them. That might disturb the younger visitors.
The journey home was a bit weird... we were on a huge double decker coach equipped with blarring sound systems and flashing lights (they always drive up the main road by my apt. at all hours in the morning and disturb my slumbers!) So at at least 70mph up the motorway the kids were all up being thrown about the aisles whilst dancing around to the kind of music I'm used to hearing in clubs. Once more, the safety aspect of Thai transport was fully up to par. I swear all the kids did all day.. on the coach there, at the park, on the way back was eat eat eat. Every one of their bags was just full of snacks, and they bought loads of the food at the park too, literally in between each show. I was amazed!
Got back about 6pm and went, very sleepily, to teach Jang. Then we went out for dinnner for Mom-Jeab's birthday to the nice restaurant we went to at Loy Krathong. All the family were there and it was lovely to see the grandparents. Slept well that night, very full of food and cake.
Went all the way to the orphanage the day after only to discover they were having a special donor's meal that day so eating earlier than normal. Thought I might be in the way so decided it was best not to stick around and distract the girls, instead took myself off to Phra Phuttahabat for a mooch around. I think I was the only person there and walked about getting some good people-free snaps to the noise of monks chanting. It was so peaceful. Obviously did go to admire the fine architecture and beauty of the temple... but also because the market nearby has those amazing coconut cakes, which I had for dinner.