Sunday, March 9, 2014

Best Birthday Ever, Tiger Temple Part 1

We left our hotel at 5a on my unbirthday to head head to the Tiger Temple. Our Driver, Adami, did all the work while Ross snoozed, and I took note of how things looked in the dark. We stopped in Kanchanaburi to pick up offerings for the monks. Where did we stop? 7-11. Thailand is full of 'em. One on every corner and one in between. They more common than Starbucks in Manhattan. What did we buy the monks? Ah, this is the funny part--we bought them yakult (liquid yoghurt) and chocolate wafer cookies. Our guide, Jackie, whom we met up with at the 7-11 said that's what the monks like.
When we got to the temple we put our offerings on these trays, and then the staff added a bunch of real (cooked) food in plastic bags. Oh, the Thai are obsessed with plastic. They put everything in plastic bags! Even drinks. And plastic drink cups come with plastic bag-like carrying handles. Street food is sold in plastic bags sealed with rubber bands.  And they give you a straw for every (plastic) bottle drink you get at 7-11. Of course the straw is wrapped in plastic. It's a bit crazy.

Anyway, back to the temple. The monks lined up and we put the food offerings into their bowls, which was hard because I wasn't allowed to touch the bowls or the monks, and the bowls had narrow openings. Also, we were toward the end of the line, so when they got to us their bowls were full. Anyway, it all worked out and I didn't defile any monks with my uncleanliness.
We were shuttled to a temple and told all the rules. Before I knew it I was holding a three month old tiger and feeding him. It blew my mind. Jackie took all the photos, so we could just enjoy the cats. We had handlers that made sure we were doing what we were supposed to.
Ross got a turn feeding the tiger too. Take a look at those paws! They were so soft/smooth, and so hot. The tiger's fur wasn't soft though.
He we are with our baby boy. I liked rubbing his belly. It was hard to believe we were actually holding a real live tiger. And it got even better.

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