|Apparently I missed something at cooking school. I thought that I was vigilant in checking out the facilities and the food for cleanliness and freshness. It was a very busy day for me hanging around in the apron and absorbing all the information of Thai Cooking Instruction, and I was looking forward to a nice sleep. This was not to be. From 10:00 p.m. until around 5:00 a.m. Elaine was running back and forth to the bathroom. Not sure what it was, but something really did not agree with her. Now, I can’t say for certain it was the food from the cooking school, as they did go out for dinner. Regardless, I finally was able to capture some shut-eye for a few hours when she finally dozed off after 5:00 a.m.
Cory was very understanding and went out to get her some Gatorade and some fruit. With not sleeping and the workout to her abdominal muscles she spent most of the day sleeping.
The next day she seemed to be feeling much better, so we headed out for a light bite to eat, and plans to go to the Tiger Kingdom. We found a tuk tuk driver, and negotiated a fair and reasonable price and headed off for the 30-minute drive to the Tiger Kingdom. It was a very relaxing drive through countryside we have not previously scene. One thing about riding in a tuk tuk is you can smell the fresh floral fragrances of the countryside. Sometimes I wish the camera could not only capture pictures, but also smells. Good smells only, not the bathroom after Elaine had been in it.
I must confess to being a bit nervous about going to see the tigers, having no idea what Elaine and Cory would do with me. Would I end up as tiger food?
When we arrived, Cory and Elaine had to choose which package they wanted. The choices were small, medium, or big cats or newborns, or all of the above. It was decided that we would go spend time in the cage with the medium tigers. We are accompanied into the cage with a trainer and we chose to have a photographer with us, so that we could have some family portraits. We have recently discussed that we haven’t had a family picture done in quite a while.
We learned that tigers sleep 18 hours a day. They are raised and trained at the Kingdom and are used to people. We did see a sign about the warnings. I was a little bit scared when I read the part about only approaching the tigers from behind.
Our first tiger that we posed with was sleeping (or was he just pretending) by the fence, and the trainer grabbed his rear paws and pulled him away from the fence so Elaine and Cory could crawl in behind, and lay their heads on the tiger. OK, you tell me, would you be scared?
At first Elaine had some pictures done, and then Cory crawled in behind. The photographer thought I was cute, I mean really how could he not, and he took a number of pictures of just me with the tiger. I thought I was being placed down carefully on a nice soft warm bed, and when I saw the picture, I realized I had been placed on the tiger. I heard the discussion about whether the tiger would bite me, and apparently he would, so there is no shots of me near the tiger’s mouth. Oh lucky day for me! Sure just have me stand in front of his paw. I am just a little guy, and his paw just about swallowed me up. I should see how Elaine and Cory would feel if they were put in front of an elephants paw or is it a hoof? Hmmmm I think I will have to google that. We then headed over to our second tiger, who was lying within a manmade log type enclosure. We were positioned behind the logs or on the logs extremely close to the big cat. I know Elaine and Cory are missing Chappy their cat, but this huge beast does not qualify as a substitute.
Finally for our third set of pictures we were taken near the pool. The tiger in here was playing with a toy, and growled as we invaded his space. The photographer suggested that Cory and Elaine lean forward to rest on the log. Oh my little heart was beating, one slip and their leg would be in the pond with the tiger.
After our 15 minutes we wandered around the park for a little while and saw the 4 month-old newborn tigers. They were quite cute, but amazingly quite large already. They are certainly bigger than Chappy. I am sure I would be one bite to them. I think Cory and Elaine would have enjoyed going in with the newborn tigers, as they appeared quite playful.
We went and collected our DVD from the photographer and made our way back to our waiting tuk tuk. The driver was very friendly and wanted to take us to the Monkey School and the Snake school. Oh yeah, I wasn’t scared enough already today; let me go hang out with a cobra. Not!!!! He did have another suggestion, and you will have to read about that in the next entry.