Sunday, February 11, 2007

Two girls, a swan, and an army of turtles

We all stayed over at Kia's Saturday night, and on Sunday (after a respectable lie-in to make up for Saturday's early morning), we decide to go to Lumphini Park. That's a big park in the middle of Bangkok – one of the few green spaces in the city (Bangkok has only 0.4 square metres of public parkland per inhabitant, the lowest figure in the world, apparently. Compare London, which has 30.4 square metres per person). Anyway, we're just wandering around enjoying the general green-ness, when we take it upon ourselves to go out the lake. In a boat, of course. Well, a peddalo. Well okay, a swan love-boat. So we trot down to the swan-love-boat-hire place. First the mean man won't let three of us in a peddalo (there's loads of room in those things! Hasn't he ever seen how many people can fit in a tuk-tuk?), so it ends up just Kia and I. Then he tries to palm us off with an ordinary peddalo. "No-no-no-no, no! No," we tell him, "Swan! Swan!" til he relents and we get our swan boat. In we hop, and off we peddal, faster than a speeding turtle (no kidding – there are turtles in the lake!). Catz heads over to the Chinese pavillion to sit down, so we follow her around the edge of the lake, waving away the crazy old man who keeps trying to sell us bread crusts. We spend the next half hour peddalling about the lake, chasing turtles to try and take photographs. Those little turtles, I swear they're taunting me. They'll swim up to the boat, I'll point the camera, steady it, and then just as I'm about to press the shutter button, they duck back underwater going "gotcha!" poking their little turtle tongues out at me. So we're stalking the turtles (love how we're trying to sneak up on them in a giant swan), and they keep on doing this – swimming up, then ducking under. Ha, got one! Oh no, it's a leaf. Dammit. Then one swims right up close to the boat:

Hold on a second... We become aware that the turtles seem to be circling our little craft. We start to suspect they're planning an attack. Suddenly our swan seems very vulnerable – how will we defend ourselves against an onslaught from the turtle army? Maybe we should have bought those bread-crusts after all. Suddenly there's a splash to our left. Is that a catfish fighting that turtle? The fish are coming to our rescue! Hurrah! We're saved! Not that we couldn't have taken on the turtle army anyway, you know. Anyway, adventure over, it's time to deliver the swan back to the jetty - which we proceed to crash into (heck, we can barely park a car, how are we supposed to be able to park a swan?), and meet up with Catz again.

Also came across this chap chilling out at the edge of the lake:


Post a Comment

<< Home