Sunday, October 18, 2009

Lazing on a Sunday Afternoon

One of the first things I noticed on the beach here in Ban Phe was these little balls of sand on the damp area of the beach just above where the waves reach. Closer inspection revealed that they are the result of tiny crabs building cavernous crab-mansions under the sand. Their palaces disappear at every high tide, and they work diligently when the water gets low again to rebuild. I wonder if they use the same plans for each attempt, or whether each crab-mansion is a unique, fleeting masterpiece.


I only see elephants on weekends, when they lumber up and down the beach with their masters, seeking tourists to buy elephant food and pose for photos. Sometimes they do tricks, like twirling hula-hoops on their trunks. I saw this one stopping periodically to help himself to some greenery growing on the side of the road. I'd like to see him try to take some fruit from one of the food carts. I wonder if anyone would try to stop him.


There are plenty of vehicles that drive up and down the beach all day: musical ice cream trucks, honking drink carts, and the amazing floaty toy parade float. It's difficult not to smile when you see this thing coming up the road. This is the front; the floaty toys are denser on the sides and in back where visibility isn't important. Under everything is a humble motorbike. I asked the fella for a picture and he said yes and then hid behind an airplane.


This beach is supposed to be a booming resort area, and it is the low season here but Condochain is nearly empty. It seems that the boom faded at some point, leaving a number of skeletal resort buildings along the water. With the strength of the forces of nature here (thunderstorms, humidity, ocean, jungle) it's difficult to say how long ago these buildings were abandoned.


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