The softest spot was right behind his ear, a bit of a refuge from the callused, hairy skin covering their entire bodies.
Their thick gray coat was rough from sun exposure and it was almost scaly to the touch.
It was just a layering of wrinkles upon wrinkles massively stretched over their enormous frame.
The tail was coarse as a wire brush with the thickest of quill like hairs extending from the end.
His ears were thin, but strong as they flapped about acting as a weather vane twisting in the wind.
His eyes were warm and rich, a caramel brown pool of knowledge.
And undoubtedly endless patience from too many afternoons spent with too many tourists.
All personality however is stored in the trunk.
He would clamp onto your hand and hold it and pull you along places in a very effective heart-melting manner.
The very tip of the trunk was all wet and used to slobber all over you in a sneezy fashion as the elephant consumed bananas straight from your hand.
Remember that famous youtube video of that elephant painting away, brush in trunk?
That was taken at this very village.
Unfortunately the elephant wasn’t feeling particularly Van Gogh this very day, but instead he leaned more towards the Mozart side of the spectrum, playing the harmonica for us, and then the xylophone, holding a mallet in that ever so fancy trunk of his.
And afterwards, he conveniently shook a tip jar.
We all pet the elephants, and every time they sneezed, or waved their trunks in circles, or so much as blinked those wise hefty eyes it was met with a high pitched chorus of cooing affection by all the females in the group.
As we clicked away with our cameras.
Then we boarded the back of the hefty creature and set off through the woods clamoring between trees and stopping spontaneously whenever the elephant felt the urge to eat.
After marveling at his beauty and taking one too many photos, we then challenged the elephant in a game of tug-a-war.
All of us forty students against one thirty year old female elephant.
We didn’t even stand a chance.
In one single instant, we were flailing in the dirt being pulled behind this massive animal.
They asked us if we wanted a rematch, unanimously we gave up having eaten large enough portions of humility sandwich for one day.
On our way back into town, the bus stopped off at Subway Sandwich for lunch.
I guess to help ease us out of the culture shock, apparently we’d gotten an intense enough taste of Thailand for one day.
After devouring my foot long meatball marinara with extra cheese, I realized that price wise what I’d paid for the sandwich was the precise equivalent to the entire experience at elephant village this morning.
Glorious globalization and vastly overpriced pore clogging fast food.
Gotta love it.