Random deity statue
So, what a random birthday I've had!!
After the delights of our tour to the 'lucky buddha' we finally arrived at the market to find it a bustling hive of activity. Shops packed to the gunnalls with clothes, belts, shoes, and a host more lined the streets, in every direction. Each shop we passed had sellers trying to get our attention, informing us what 'special discount' they could give us.
Baby Elephant walking down the road!
We have found the best way not to be stopped is to completely ignore them, no eye contact while walking briskly past, as if they are not there (same goes for taxi & tuk tuk drivers). We then entered an enclosed part, which looked like Tooting Broadway market on steroids. Hundreds of stalls selling every type of clothing under the sun, packed walkways bulging at the seams with the many different tables that were straining under the weight of so much merchaindise. We wandered round for a while, amazed at the variety, before deciding to pop into the shopping centre adjacent to it to get some water and cool down. We have been drinking a hell of a lot of water, a must as we are losing so much moisture through sweat. Thankfully a half litre bottle of water is only 10Baht (16p) so we can afford to buy as much as we need.
We then made our way back to the sky train station, intending to return to our hotel.
The restaurant Rachel took me to for my birthday
As we left the market we saw a bright flash in the sky and a few seconds later a huge rumble was heard. This is the rainy season for Thailand so there are regular storms passing by. We were both in shorts and strappy tops so by the time we got back to our hotel we looked like drowned rats; the doorman asked if we had gone swimming, cheeky sod!
Once we had dried off and the storm had passed we ventured out again for dinner. Rachel had read about a place that was near to where we were staying so we strolled down the street to it. While walking down the road I was busy looking at all the food and clothes stalls that were on the side of the pavement so it came as a bit of a shock when I looked back to where I was going, only to see an elephant coming towards me! I stopped and blinked a few times but nope, it was still there.
A baby elephant, just shy of 6 foot tall was walking towards me, led by a Thai man on each side of it. They stopped and asked if we wantd to buy some food to feed it, we declined as this isnt something people should do. Elephants that are kept for this purpose arnt treated well and are sold as soon as they get too big to be deemed acceptable on the street. It was a very surreal moment the elephant actually touched my arm with its truck, obviously well used to strangers feeding it and was looking for the treat. This all happened within ten seconds so were taken completely by surprise but I did manage to get my camera out and take a picture as it walked away.
We then continued down to the restaurant, which was called Cabbages and Condoms. We thought it was going to be quite a tacky themed place but it was actually really nice.
As we walked down the tropical plant lined path we were greeted by Captain Condom and what we assume must be his wife. They were two manaquins whose outfits were made entirely from condoms. We then continued down the entranceway to be greeted by our hostess who lead us to a table. We opted to sit outside as it was much nicer. there was a slate looking wall on one side which water ran down and pooled into a little pond. A sign hung above the pool, stating that for every Baht donated, the restaurant would match it and it all goes to help the victims of the 2004 Tsunami. The great thing about Thiland is that there is a great selection of veggie options, there was two pages of strictly vegetarian dishes to chose from. When we received the bill we found we had been given two condoms as well, it was very funny but to be expected from a restaurant that says its 'guaranteed NOT to cause pregnancy'.