We had a lovely visitor in Chiang Mai these past two weeks. Rouzeh, Zimbabwean but of Persian blood, working for an important partner of HDN in Zimbabwe, SAfAIDS, stopped by on holiday. I showed her around town, but not just that, as her stay included visits to Doi Inthanon, the highest peak in Thailand, not too far from Chiang Mai, and a visit to a game of elephant polo in Chiang Rai province, right on the Mekong river, bordering both Laos and Myanmar.
Going in search of these playful elephants, taking a bus up to Chiang Rai, we passed a police check point. Neither of us had a proper ID with us. I smiled and showed the copper my Thai bank card. Rouzeh smiled even more and showed the man a torn Zimbabwean A4 piece of paper which had a vague resemblance of being something identity related.
The copper smiled back and walked away and we sighed a sigh of relief.
Elehpant polo was on the grounds of a pricey resort. Walking into the compound, we could hear the commenter in the distance, emanating the excitement of a horse racing presenter. Coming closer, actually seeing the polo in action, the elephants simply seemed to stroll from one end of the field to the other, without any sense of urgency.
Rouzeh and I know each other through Facebook, well sort of. A few of my colleagues at HDN are actually ex-colleagues of her, so we had mutual friends. And then it’s quite something when you find there’s another Iranian working in the same sector/branch, and only a few clicks away.
We got on pretty well, online, and then, when her planned trip through Thailand and Japan got rerouted due to not getting a visa for Japan, just visiting Thailand seemed a sensible choice. And since there’s a lot to see and do around Chiang Mai, it’s easy to not get bored.
Photos will follow.