It seemed like just another normal Sunday morning - until Moppet wandered into her room and saw her diaper bag being packed.
"Baaa!" she squealed in delight. She knows the appearance of this bag always heralds a new adventure. "Bye!" she said happily, waving and blowing kisses to everyone. Then dragging the bag behind her, she toddled off towards the front door. Let the adventure begin!
Having already set off, she did not appreciate being stopped and whisked away for a bath and breakfast. Despite her vigorous protests, we all managed to get ready and one chaotic hour later, we were set to go.
Our destination was Safari World, an open air zoo and marine park on the outskirts of Bangkok. Moppet's Papa had his maps spread out on the front passenger seat, and I was in the back with all the equipment required for my role as Moppet's car jester.
It didn't begin well. We got lost and had to take a huge detour to get back on track. Moppet's Papa got in a bad mood. My attempts to help with the map made it worse. Moppet started screaming to be let out of her car seat. And to top things off, it started to rain. We were literally one tantrum away from turning back and going home. But we finally found the turn-off, and as if in celebration, the sun came out of hiding as well. The light shower had a pleasant, refreshing effect, and all was well in our world again.
Once we reached the park, Moppet was released from her car seat and we went up front to be able to see better. It is a 7 km drive through the park, and has a variety of animals and birds. It was wonderful. We could get quite close to the animals, who were obviously used to being gawked at by humans, and were going about their business as usual. Moppet went crazy, bouncing between her Papa and me, and yelling out 'kaa' to all the birds, and 'dah' to the animals.
After the ride, we wandered through the marine park, grabbed some lunch and then headed to the dolphin show. Moppet had almost fallen asleep in her stroller, but perked up as soon as she heard the music that was being played to entertain the crowd waiting for the show to begin. It was our very own Himesh Reshammiya's 'Jhalak dikhlaaja'. I swear, the man is becoming a global menace!
Anyway, there was a bunch of desi guys swinging wildly to the music, and the crowd was egging them on, much to the bemusement of assorted Japanese and Korean tourists who were sitting around us.
The show was lovely, and Moppet cheered and clapped along with the crowd, and varied it a bit by occasionally poking the lady sitting in front of us.
There was plenty more to do, but we were all pooped. Moppet, literally. So I changed her in Thailand's Best Public Restroom. No, really! There was actually a sign outside that said that. I wonder if there is a Thai Office In-charge-of Lavatory Excellence Testing that certifies these places?
We left the cool confines of Thailand's Best Public Restroom all cleaned up, but really tired. And sure enough, within 5 minutes of hitting the road, Moppet was fast asleep in her car seat. With a smile on her face.