What do the following have in common?
Full body rash
The last 2 days had all of the above in store for us. Get comfortable because this may be a long one….
The ATV trip I took through the mountains was one of my favourite things I've done so far. It was amazing. There were 6 of us that rode through rough jungle terrain, through small mountain-side villages and down winding roads. I would just like to point out that the tour-guide didn't believe that I had never driven a quad before - I knew I had some untapped potential somewhere in life. The view from the top of the mountain was literally breathtaking. It was beautiful to be surrounded by never-ending rice paddies, rolling mountains and streams….very surreal. Loved every moment of it, minus the fact I felt my thumb was going to fall off from holding down the accelerator and the minor fall I took trying to climb up a rock for a better vantage point. Damn rock.
Heather loved her cooking class and brought freshly made spring rolls back for me to test out. She said they went to the market (there was another couple and her in the class) picked out everything while the guide explained the history and uses for each ingredient. She made 5 dishes, her favourite being a cashew chicken dish.I'm hoping for an invite when she cooks her first Thai dish at home.
The next day we woke up early and headed out to the elephant camp. Upon arrival they give you clothes to wear. Our "Mahout" outfits consisted of genie pants, a blue button up shirt and a bamboo hat - we looked hot.It was intimidating to be so close to so many elephants, but after 10 minutes you forget about being scared and become more concerned with not falling off the elephant or getting stepped on. It was a riot to watch everyone get on and off. Of course Heather and I were very graceful mounting our elephants. But could you really expect anything less? I didn't think so.
The highlight was James Bond, a 4 month old elephant that looked liked Babar. All he wanted to do was run around and play and by "play" we mean push into anything he could see. He broke the bamboo bench we were sitting on and just ploughed through everything - so cute. Each elephant has his own Mahout, which is an elephant trainer that spends his life with one elephant. My mahout was around 18 years old and lived at the camp. I chose NOT to steer my own elephant and rode around on the back while he steered. It was too much to remember when and where to use the stick and what Thai word to yell out when.
Remember the outfit they gave us at the beginning? My Mahout kept pointing to his crotch, which was all ripped, and I just smiled and nodded agreeing that yes, there was a hole there. About 7 hours later, after sitting spread eagle on the elephant, laying down on the elephant, climbing up and down the elephant, washing the elephant, playing the mud with the elephant and constantly shifting so my ass didn't hurt while riding the elephant, my Mahout so kindly pointed to my crotch and then his. Putting two and two together, I glanced down. Turns out his crotch wasn't the only one with a gaping hole in it, my pants didn't even have a crotch in them. I had been riding around unknowingly flashing everyone and anyone for the entire day. No biggie, they saw your panties you might be thinking. Wish that was the case. I was not wearing very large panties on this particular day and without a doubt, he could definitely see a lot more than that. I still flash with embarrassment as I write this. Oh man.
Heather wanted to ensure I included the face that I that I fell off the elephant - twice. The first was in the river, trying to get back on the elephant (you stand in front of their trunk as they make a J shape and scoop you up and push you onto their backs over their head). I got pushed too far and was falling off the other side hanging there screaming for someone to help me before I plummeted headfirst into the river rocks below. I was pushed back up after a while…..I wonder how many people I flashed during that dramatic scene come to think of it.The 2nd was after playing in a mud pit. Me and another girl thought it would be fun to get onto the muddy elephant with the encouragement of the head Mahout. Bad idea. Slippery elephant + slippery humans = falling off the side of the elephant as he stands up, while the head Mahout dives underneath us to break our fall. We were all fine; he just had a scratch on his cheek. Heather watched this first hand from the shady bench, where she rested her foot and avoiding the mud so her poor cut wouldn't get infected.Needless to say, we loved the elephant camp and it was a day we will never forget.
Okay, I hope you haven't fallen asleep yet at my rambling. This brings us up to mutant heather (this is what she refers to herself as). We visited a hospital in Phuket today, which means we have made three hospital visits this trip. I can tell it is starting to wear on her, she has never been a "good" sick person. Her fever had been constant, so we went to the hospital the other day and they sent her away saying she was fine. She has had a slight rash for a few days, we thought it was heat rash from the fever, but when she woke up today she was covered head to toe in rash. Not just in certain spots, pretty much very single inch of her. This is a direct quote she wants me to include, "I feel fine, but I look like a mutant." She got blood work done today and they say it is a viral infection, which will go away with antihistamines and vitamin C.
She would also like to ask Chris if he will still love her when she comes home all blotchy. I told her the obvious answer, but if you could post something cute on the msg board, I think that would be good. She is in the room resting and is convinced that no one should see her like this. I am also supposed to tell her mom/Chris that she may not email today.
Last but not least, we arrived in Bangkok to get our connection to Phuket yesterday afternoon, but it was delayed. We waited three hours only to board the plane only to find out we are on the wrong plane. I repeat, we were on the WRONG PLANE! The stupid guy at the desk didn't notice and it wasn't until we were looking for our seat (that didn't exist on this particular plane) that we realized. We had to sprint through the airport to a different gate, take a bus across the tarmac and board the plan from the airport driveway….up the stairs into the plane like you see in the movies. Whoops.
Okay, I doubt anyone actually read to the bottom of this other than my mom (thanks mom), but I better got check on my mutant friend. I have to say that she has looked better, but she doesn't feel sick, which is encouraging.
Talk to you soon!
P.s. Think healing heather thoughts!