There, Then Here…

A month ago, we were just back from Thailand.  We started the trip with elephants, then worked in quite a few temples, meals, friends, sunshine, golf, taxis, boats and more.  We were very lucky to have this opportunity to see Thailand again, this time through different eyes.  We smiled while combing through photos again this weekend, and I hope you enjoy how the light tended to us on this adventure.

The title is from “Houses and People” by Angkarn Chanthathip 
Each spot   each spot kindles an image…
the seashore   the plain   the top of a mountain
the rice field   the roadside   the bleak grey twilight
there, then here, the light is tended…
 
Glistening splendour of life
each place   each direction   arrives in the city
the countryside   riversides   near far
never without houses and people
 
The forms of the houses are created by people
everywhere is old from the beginning
the dark ancient times are finished
go beyond the past until you reach the present
 
People build houses homes
their dreams are built from the light of their lives
the truth of all things is sustained
by that – foreverEach place is the dream of an image
reveals a truth stronger than
the heart of the darkest darkness
everywhere under the sky there is light

Glistening brilliance of life
the deep dark night   the traveller   the wide world
each place everywhere it breaks through
never without houses and people

Can you say กอล์ฟ ?

A very special post written by TSA’s other half…

Thailand – a great escape from the long winter in Shenyang.  For one of us, it was a chance to experience what we had heard about the golf, กอล์ฟ, in Thailand.

Thailand has a reputation as a top golf destination in Asia, and this is well deserved.  The golf courses are numerous, well maintained, and inexpensive compared to similar quality courses elsewhere.  The service is top notch, with locker rooms, showers, and great caddies.  You can even have your golf shoes cleaned after the round.

There were four of us golfing, all Michelin expats in Asia, from Shenyang, Shanghai, and Bangkok.  We played 4 times during the week, at the following courses:

Chiangmai Highlands Golf Resort (http://www.chiangmaihighlands.com/golf/)  –  A Schmidt-Curley designed course with great views of the surrounding mountains, and all manners of trouble for even a mildly errant shot.  The greens were rocket fast.  Beautiful, but deadly!

Lam Luk Ka Country Club (http://lamlukkacc.com/) – A Roger Packard design with 36 holes bringing a lot of water into play.  It has hosted professional golf events in the past and is still an Asian Tour Q-School site.  You are assigned by the Starter to play 2 of the nines.  With repeated visits, you would play the course 12 different ways.

Summit Windmill (http://www.summitwindmillgolfclub.com/) – This course was designed by Nick Faldo, and another one with plenty of water.  Amazing (read “expensive”) houses were visible along some of the fairways.  This course was definitely an exercise in risk-reward.

The Pine Golf & Lodge (http://www.thepinegolf.com/) – Since our departing flight was Saturday evening, we decided to add this 4th round on Saturday morning.  This course is one step below the other 3, but it’s still a great course, a good choice as an “every weekend” place to play.

Check out a few of my favorite photos from the week.

A Hati Hati Birthday

The Blind Men and the Elephant
John Godfrey Saxe (1816-1887)

It was six men of Indostan
To learning much inclined,
Who went to see the Elephant
(Though all of them were blind),
That each by observation
Might satisfy his mind.

The First approached the Elephant,
And happening to fall
Against his broad and sturdy side,
At once began to bawl:
“God bless me! but the Elephant
Is very like a WALL!”

The Second, feeling of the tusk,
Cried, “Ho, what have we here,
So very round and smooth and sharp?
To me ’tis mighty clear
This wonder of an Elephant
Is very like a SPEAR!”

The Third approached the animal,
And happening to take
The squirming trunk within his hands,
Thus boldly up and spake:
“I see,” quoth he, “the Elephant
Is very like a SNAKE!”

The Fourth reached out an eager hand,
And felt about the knee
“What most this wondrous beast is like
Is mighty plain,” quoth he:
“Tis clear enough the Elephant
Is very like a TREE!”

The Fifth, who chanced to touch the ear,
Said: “E’en the blindest man
Can tell what this resembles most;
Deny the fact who can,
This marvel of an Elephant
Is very like a FAN!

The Sixth no sooner had begun
About the beast to grope,
Than seizing on the swinging tail
That fell within his scope,
“I see,” quoth he, “the Elephant
Is very like a ROPE!

And so these men of Indostan
Disputed loud and long,
Each in his own opinion
Exceeding stiff and strong,
Though each was partly in the right,
And all were in the wrong.

Moral

So oft in theologic wars,
The disputants, I ween,
Rail on in utter ignorance
Of what each other mean,
And prate about an Elephant
Not one of them has seen!

We visited the Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai, Thailand earlier this month.  It was a beautiful way to spend my birthday – with friends and family and so many elephants.  Maybe a wall, a spear, a snake, a tree, a fan, or a rope, but in my mind, they are simply amazing.

Click on any of these photos for a caption and description.  These are just a few of the many, many pics from a beautiful day.  And your moment of zen – http://youtu.be/Tmh4RT6Vjkk