When we left Bangkok on Saturday evening, the temperature was in the 80s. When we touched down at 2 a.m. in Beijing, the temperature was 21 degrees, and a cloud of coal dust enveloped us. Cough, gasp, brrrr.
Thailand was better than good. Here we are, the happy family, appropriately posed in front of Monkey Island.
Monkey Island was closed - because it was the windy season, the fishermen weren't taking tourists out. But we did get to feed the monkeys outside of a temple in the Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park. The guide warned us not to get too close, as the monkeys will bite and scratch. So the kids threw bananas from a safe distance. That is, they thought they were safe, but the alpha male decided to sneak up behind them. I was still in the van, and I saw this huge monkey sneaking up, so I said, "Hey! Watch out for the huge monkey!" Bart turned around just as the monkey drew up even with Kyra - it was about as big as her, and it was trying to get the banana out of her hand. When Bart turned and saw this, he jumped and shouted "Holy S@#t!" The monkey fled. The kids all stared at Bart and committed the phrase to memory.
So I guess you could say the most memorable thing about the monkeys was the new vocab. That, or the fact that Shay got an eyeful of the alpha male mounting another monkey. He was, shall we say, uproariously amused.
Here we are, post monkey feeding, in front of the temple.
More to come from me later. But for now, I'm off to feed my family. Because the days of fresh coconut curry and lime soda, brought to me at my table and cleared away by someone else, are over.