Wait.. that’s my lunch!

I was eating a late lunch at the outdoor balcony of a cafeteria. The usually packed narrow galley was empty except for me. Something soft knocked my head forward and, startled, I reflexively rocked forward. I sat back up befuddled. I looked up to see a blur of brown. It took a good second before I realized: my plate was empty.

A falcon had swooped down from behind me, wing brushing my head aside as it came over my shoulder, and grabbed the chicken off my plate. Fortunately, I already finished eating.

Oddly, it dropped the chicken. The falcon then perched on the closest tree, lowest branch, watching me. I waited a while before going to pick up the chicken, least someone slipped on it.

So, now what? Usually a wait staff clears the table so I was free to get up and leave. But I didn’t want them to clean up a mess the bird may make.

I tried to continue reading.. it was unnerving when an enormous predator of a bird was sitting there, staring me down. I gave up, and picked up the lunch tray to take inside. I reached the door and juggled with the tray to free up a hand to open the door. As I turned to walk in, I realized the bird had swooped back over my shoulder, only because I had shifted the tray to one hand, it was on the wrong side.

The bird was enormous. Wingspan over 5 feet. The wait staff jumped to my aid when they looked up to see the beast just flying by.

Only in Africa.

All that work for first prize

Pulled from the BK Magazine, Friday 3 December 2010 edition. Last Week, In Reality column, which pulls out excepts of local (extreme) news and translates to English for the ignorant such as myself.

25 Thu
In Pichit, a 76-year-old grandmother wins first prize in a laughing competition. Phrathip Pitak, the district office of Po Pra Tub Chang, arranges a laughing competition to promote healthy lifestyles and to boost local morale after a terrible flood that damaged their farmland. To win, one must laugh the longest, impress the majority of the audience and dress in the most wicked style. The clear winner ends up being Lek ReungSri, an elderly lady with no teeth. The prize is a loaf of bread and a blanket.

Pardon, I need to…

Learning foreign languages amuse me.. because, inevitably, I’m bound to run into a misunderstanding that it’s too funny to not make.

This post: “Excuse me.”

In Thai: kor tot ka/kap.

Except, if you don’t pronounce “tot” right, it might come out as “todt” which means fart. I can’t even hear the difference.

And I’m dying to see someone yell that while squeezing through a crowd.