No, this isn’t another blog about my getting a haircut. I just wanted to draw to your attention the Thai love for artistic pruning. I already knew about this because in 1981, Sheila and I stayed at the Railway Hotel in Hua Hin. The main pathway to the hotel entrance took you beneath the legs of a life sized elephant, sculpted from bougainvillea.

Today, I went out cycling around Mae Sot and decided to visit a little park which I pass each time I go to work. I was delighted to find some topiary elephants, smaller than those at Hua Hin, but impressive, nonetheless. There were well-trimmed bushes around a temple, very neat and tidy. Also there was a massive bull elephant, constructed from fibre glass, and anatomically correct. I didn’t take a photograph of the Thai couple sitting in the shade provided by the elephant – I must be losing my chutzpah.

But the most bizarre thing about the park was the array of painted plaster roosters. These ranged from a metre tall, to 15cm, nestling in the grass. Apart from the Thai love of cockfighting, I have no idea why there should be so many park ornaments featuring roosters in these manicured gardens. Any ideas, anyone?



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