An Elephant and a Doghouse – Happy New Year

My New Year started a bit later than my usual daily routine. Work permitting, no matter which part of the world I’m in, I always wake up between five and six each morning and start my day.  The world or at least your mini part of it is less cluttered and so very serene when the early bird catches the worm.

I woke up just before seven and I think for the first time Wonderful Wi had beaten me out of bed. I headed for the bathroom and my first shave of the year gave me a glimpse of what 2011 might have install for me in the way of luck. My shaving gel huffed and puffed but nothing came out. Onto to the shower and my bottle of shower cream coughed, spluttered and died. I made do and then headed for the doghouse. In 2010 the doghouse had been the living room.

Now for the reason behind my late arrival into 2011 and what I presumed to be the doghouse. On New Years Eve the village had a street party and I knew Wilai wouldn’t want to attend, she’s not much of a party animal.

Anyway, with Wi’s blessing I decided to unleash the lion in me and make my presence visible at the village do. Already intoxicated by my afternoon refreshments I set off with the promise I’d return in one hour. I only missed the timeline by 20 minutes or so but…….

Those readers with Thai female partners will know that on occasions your wallet or pockets may be searched in a discreet manner as a way of checking on your alleged activities.

“Hus…band how many beer you dink (drink) party”


“Why husband spend song pan (2,000) baht. Two beer not 100 baht”

It was then I had to explain my observations about the party. There was live music with about 50 villagers in attendance but the ambiance was one of muted joviality, and I gauged the reason being a lack of Thai baht. I decided to give the party a shot in the arm heroin style.

I bought two boxes of beer, four large bottles of Hong Thong whiskey, soda water and enough cigarettes to give a beagle nightmares. A fool and his money are easily parted on the crest of an alcoholic wave. The party’s ambience picked up and a few revellers hit the dance floor and I daresay later the deck.

Wilai wasn’t too amused but fortunately she does discontent quietly and not loud. The dishevelled lion put his tail between his legs and sensing his ‘King of the Jungle’ status was clearly in the balance beat it to bed. The lion woke later than usual the next morning.

So there I was in the doghouse when Wi’s voice called from the garden.

“Hus…band I want you come see something garden”.

I could hear the dogs barking like crazy and fearing I was about to be shown a snake I gingerly stepped outside. A big bloody elephant was there before my eyes.

I disapprove of mahouts parading their charges in the cities of Thailand because the concrete jungle is no place for elephants to be. This however seemed slightly different. Rural life is a bit more chang friendly than the cities streets and high volume traffic. And what a wonderful start to the year. The living room renovation was clearly cancelled and an elephant was outside our home to welcome us to 2011. Thailand’s a land of smiles and wonderful surprises.

Happy New Year from myself and the Beyond The Mango Juice Team.


I'm a sixty-year-old Englishman living in the town of Swindon in rural Wiltshire and I have a real deep desire to retire in Thailand one day. If you don't have a dream then you won't have a dream come true.

8 Responses

  1. Malcolm says:

    Martyn , you are a real party animal , and I love a good party too, my problem is that they get sooo loud, and it was cold at our village count-down , soo we counted the year down at home with our neighbor sanging karoke as loud as he and his stero would go , I might as well have went to the concert , he keep it up for an hour and then pasted out , his wife cut of stero after saying “sawdee bpee mia” and to all a good night —finally . Malcolm
    love the elephant picture , what were they selling or wanting ???

  2. Hoo Don says:

    Happy New Year Malcolm.Fortunately the singers at the village party were hired and could sing in tune but hey, it sounds like you had a good time.

    There was a woman with the two elephant mahouts and she was selling trinkets and cheap jewelry. Wilai bought a ring ‘apparently’ made out of elephant tail. Me, I just settled for a few photos and didn’t spend a bean.

  3. Adullamite says:

    I bet a few ‘elephants’ were seen after that party!

    All the best to you for 2011 Martyn!

  4. Hoo Don says:

    Thanks Graham and all the best for 2011, the elephant was a wonderful sight. Not the sort of thing you see on a Swindon council estate.

  5. Talen says:

    Martyn, sounds like you had a really good New Years…and like the villagers will definitely be inviting you back to the next party.

  6. Hoo Don says:

    Talen I’m not sure Wi will let me go to the next one not with my wallet anyway.

    I’ve been trying to get on your latest post comments butI I keep getting an error on page something or other come up. It’s probably this laptop and Dtac connection I’m using.

  7. Hi Martyn, it sounds like you had a good time, and that might just make up for being in the dog house. Happy New Year.

  8. Hoo Don says:

    Paul I had a good time and the elephant was a real nice surprise. It reminded me once again what a very different culture Thailand has to the UK.

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