Wednesday, January 8, 2014
Rice Hats and Rafts
After riding elephants on January 4th, we were able to ride a bamboo raft down the river. Before getting on the raft we saw a sign recommending not bringing a camera or any other valuables, so we all stepped onto the raft with rice hats atop our heads--leaving our cameras behind. At first I regretted leaving my camera when our guide offered to take a picture of our group, but as we began to journey down the river I was glad I could take in the natural beauty with my eyes and not be stuck behind my camera. This experience has been one of the most vivid and clear memories from the trip, don't get me wrong pictures are great, but sometimes I believe everyone needs to just put their camera down and enjoy and absorb the experience for themselves. So often people get caught up in capturing the experience, and end up not even experiencing it for themselves.
Our guide introduced himself as Jack Sparrow saying he wanted to go to Hollywood. The whole ride he was cracking jokes, or trying to make us worried by gasping, and acting like something was wrong. He told us we didn't have to worry about sinking like the Titanic because there are no icebergs in Thailand. At one point he gasped and pointed into the jungle announcing, "Look Tarzan and Jane!!!" Near the middle of the raft ride down the river he let each of us stand up and paddle down the river.
The view of the river and jungle felt like part of my imagination. I have never seen such beauty, or felt such peace--slowly floating down the river was an such a wonderful experience. This helped me realize that, yes, I need to document my trip--but not at the expense of not experiencing the beauty and sights of it.