Have you ever played two aside elephant polo? My gut feel is that you have not. In fact, after many years of playing three elephants on each side, a recent visit to The Golden Triangle was the first time I had done so in a serious competition. In fact, our match was ever more serious as we were being filmed by the Nikkei Asia Weekly crew for Japan TV.
The Elephant Story team took on the “Chefs”, namely Khun Tak who has opened a wonderful street side restaurant in Chiang Saen where we ate with the Nikkei crew the night before and Khun Phet who is a key ingredient in the success of the Four Seasons Tented Camp Nong Ya Restaurant. Khun Poy, who also opened a nearby restaurant to Khun Tak’s, rounded out the “Chefs” support group. Therefore, The Elephant Story faced the “foodies” who also brought champagne with them.
We had an extensive planning session to discuss the appetizers and the champagne.
It became obvious at the first “bully-off” that we would have to be moving up and down the field more than was usually the case as there was no defensive player at the goal.
Therefore, we ran harder and reached harder for the ball because we were without one-third of our normal force on the pitch. We were always mindful of the John Roberts rule that if you lean out below the head of the elephant, you are banned from professional elephant polo for life.
In case there is any doubt of the outcome, we enjoyed our victory with the wonderful food and champagne the Chefs brought and longed for the relaxing sport of three aside elephant polo.