I went to Bangkok today. I spent only 2.5 hours actually in Bangkok, less than 15 minutes at the NRCT. What made the 6 hours of commute there and back worth it was being able to have chicken and rice for lunch and fried bananas for dessert. The bus on the way back was stuffy with barely functioning air conditioning and they played a God awful Jackie Chan movie at the highest volume imaginable.
But all of that discomfort was forgotten when, on our way back to the park in the truck it started to sprinkle. With the rain moved in a nice front of cool breezy air. Everything smells damp and earthy. Once inside the park I learned what elephants smell like. Julie slowed the truck down and said you can smell it best when it rains. It is a very distinct smell that I can't begin to describe. We peered into the forest while driving slowly, but unfortunately still did not spot an elephant. It was a bit early for them to be out and about, they become active around dusk. I did see three captive elephants on the way from Pak Chong to the park. Right on the side of the road, we passed by very close. They had chains around their necks and I felt bad for them.
When we got back to the search and rescue center I was so excited to finally have some relief from the stifling heat we've been enduring all week I threw on my running shoes and went for a run down the road. Just 2.5-3 miles, depending on how slow I've gotten in the last month. Coming back along the road I smelled the elephant smell, and that smell is less exciting and more terrifying when you are by yourself and not in a vehicle just before dusk...I kept my eyes peeled, but saw no elephants. Now I'm on the porch, almost surely getting eaten alive, but dying to enjoy this weather. What is hilarious is my phone still says it is 89 degrees out. Not sure I believe that, but maybe 80. Hot is all about perspective. After a week of highs of 100, anything below 90 is a relief.
I'm sure I'll be regretting this in a few months, when the rainy season is in full swing, but tonight I am so, so thankful for rain.