Location: Luang Prabang, Laos, May 6th - 10th
If you are reading this post and don't know what Cash Cab is, we need to change this immediately.
It is only the best game show, shot and hosted from a taxi cab that is actually not real, or so we have heard. The show would have you think that random people get into NYC taxis and then answer trivia questions for, you guessed it, cash. But, the rumor is that the show is fully cast through Craigs List. Which only makes it more awesome. Why wouldn't you want to "maybe make $100" and possibly "be on TV"and then "meet a guy" on the streets of New York? Sounds like a win-win. Put your taser in your purse and let's roll.
Really though, it doesn't matter. What does matter and what you need to know is that Cash Cab - (hosted by the very awesome Ben Bailey and who I have also seen cameo on Law & Order SVU) - makes me realize each and every time, that my general world knowledge is pretty low, especially if Sarah "I like history" Teachout is sitting next to me.
So, let's get at it. A nod to bears and then, ten or so things that maybe you didn't know about elephants.
CHAPTER 1: BEARS
In Luang Prabang, I had the chance to go to a Free The Bears outpost. My socks flew right off. What I thought was just going to be a small zoo of bears was a rescue mission of bears who were being held captive. Most were held captive because of humans trying to remove BILE from their GALL BLADDERS.
It is apparently common in Traditional Asian medicine. This bear sanctuary rescues the bears and after some rehabilitation, places them back into their forest care. You can see that they are having a pretty rad time - mainly because someone donated them hammocks.
YOU can even buy them a hammock to show your support! YOU can be just like Santa! Grow a beard and flaunt your favor for red clothes. http://www.freethebears.org.au/web/Projects/Laos/
CHAPTER 2: ELEPHANTS
I mentioned previously that I went to an elephant camp for a day - it was astounding. Oddly organized at times but honestly, when else would you get the chance to give an elephant a bath in a river? I do believe, the answer is never.
1. They can swim! (Likely, you knew this) They move all of their legs and up goes their trunk like a snorkel. Also, when they go into the water, they like to submerge themselves to cool off. So they sit, like Spot the dog. No one warned us of that.
2. They eat about 300lbs of food a day and it’s a combo of grass, corn, leaves, fruit.
3. Assuming you are not hunting down elephants in the wild, those that you will see in this life have probably been trained to attack if you approach their left side. Keep it tight and keep it right.
4. When you feed them things, like bananas, they use their trunk to grab one after the other in rapid succession. They actually don’t even seem to chew the bananas. It is sort of like you at the movies with those peanut M&Ms… eating so rapidly that that your jaw feels tight after two hours of Taken 2.
5. Elephants can live to be 90 years old
6. They are the only mammal that can’t jump. That would hurt.
7. When hot they suck water into their trunk and then spray it on themselves, like a personal mister.
8. Elephants hug! They wrap their trunks together. Awww, man.
9. They are just like you on a Friday night with a chick flick. They cry! They are sensitive! They can also express play and compassion. When a baby elephant cries, the entire family will go to touch and caress it. They also have greeting ceremonies when someone from their herd returns after being away for a while.
10. A herd is led by the matriarch and the herd tends to stick together. Where are the men? Adult males tend to “wander on their own.” Of course they do. Of course.
And a bonus one that if you’ve ridden an elephant, you know – they have coarse needle looking hair that stands straight up and rather hurts!