The Writers Island prompt for this week is the fork in the road. I could do the obvious and write about how my daughter is standing at a fork in the road. One side leads to a standard, mainstream kindergarten class with 35 (!) children and an excellent but very overworked teacher, the other side to a special needs kindergarten, with smaller class sizes, therapists, and support services, but special ed. I could tell you that I enrolled her in the regular one this morning, all the while knowing that it will most likely not come to pass but wanting to reserve a place just in case something goes wrong (or even better, right. That's not likely though. Sigh.). I could write how I bumped into the mainstream kindergarten teacher this morning and had to blink back tears when she asked if Maya would be joining her next fall. Or how after hearing my explanation she then reassured me that the teacher of the local "communications/language" kindergarten is very good, and told me that she has several children from there that come to her class two days a week. I could tell you how I die a little inside each time I think about putting an intellectually gifted child, MY intellectually gifted child, into a special needs class. I could tell you about how the experts all agree that this is where she needs to be right now, so that she can focus on advancing rather than on surviving, and then hopefully (oh god how I hope) return to the mainstream track for first grade.
I could tell you all of those things, but the truth is that I really don't want to dwell on them again this evening. I want to stick my head in the sand for a few minutes and think of other things. Simpler things.
So I'm going to tell you instead about the traffic circle in the road. Traffic circles are things found in roads, just like forks, so I figure that's close enough.
Eight years ago my husband and I took a trip to Thailand. (The best vacation we've ever had, hands down. I would return tomorrow if I could, but that's a topic for another day.) So anyway, Thailand...
When Jay and I travel we try to get off the beaten path and leave the teeming hordes of tourists behind, at least in between visiting the sites that have drawn all the hordes to them in the first place like culture-starved moths to a flame. To do this in Thailand, we decided to do something that very few tourists dare - we rented a car.
In most countries this might not be considered a major feat of daring, but the rules of the road in Thailand make driving a bit more challenging than usual. For starters, they drive on the left side of the road. Next, the roads are fairly narrow and filled with all manner of vehicles - from trucks and buses down to mopeds carrying entire families, to horsecarts, bicycles, pedestrians, and the more than occasional chicken.
Yes, right in the middle of the road stood a whole group of elephants. Elephants! In the road! No one told me there would be elephants in the road!!
I managed to stop the car well short of them, but really, elephants? Don't you think that's just a bit above and beyond?...
(They weren't actually wild elephants running loose through Ayuthaya. A second look showed that they were trained elephants getting ready to carry a bunch of Japanese tourists around town. Apparently, tame elephants and their mahouts don't follow traffic laws any better than anyone else in Thailand. No, this is not my photo (I was too busy trying not to hit them to take out my camera), and I don't even think it's an Asian elephant. It's courtesy of FreeFoto.com. It was free, don't be picky.)