When I was taking some color pictures using the Leitz 90mm Elmar f4 LTM (see: Leitz 90mm Elmar LTM in Color) I spotted this blue vase with some Baby’s Breath in it. I was going to take a picture of it with the background out of focus when I noticed the statuette in corner. This just about summed up its sad history and I decided to focus on the statuette instead and throw the foreground out of focus.

Many years ago my wife was in Thailand and bought a statuette (there’s a picture of it in The King and I“>The King and I) in a market outside of Bangkok. She really wanted two examples (so that she could put them up on one of our walls – not doubt framing some other object). Unfortunately carrying two such obects home from Bangkok was too much for her so she settled for one.

As it turned out I also went to Thailand soon afterwards so she asked get get a second one. When I got to Bangkok I asked a Thai colleague where I could get such a thing. She didn’t even seem to think that it was Thai. Maybe it was Cambodian? I was running workshop with participants from all over East Asia so off we went to a participant from Cambodia. No it didn’t look Cambodian. Maybe Laotian? Off to the Laotian participant. Not Laotian either. Maybe Burmese? According to the Burmese participant it wasn’t from her country either. Eventually another Thai colleague suggested that it was, indeed, Thai but from Chiang Mai in the far North of Thailand. Somewhere that I was not planning to visit.

I knew that I would be returning through Thailand soon afterwards en route to India and Nepal so my colleague suggested that she get hold of the statuette and that I pick it up on my next trip. This sounded good.

Shortly afterwards I was back in the airport in Bangkok where I met my colleague who passed to me a rather large, blue golf bag with the statuette inside it. It was significantly larger than our first one and nowhere near as nice. The first one was rather delicate and looked old. This one looked as if it had been made the week by inexperienced artists. I also realized that I would have to lug it to India and Nepal before I could return home with it. Anyway off I went to my flight to New Delhi where Indian customs asked me what was in the bag. I was completely flustered and merely said “It’s my luggage” immediately thinking that this was a stupid thing to say. Strangely, however, this seemed to satisfy the customs official who let me enter.

Eventually I got it home only to find that my wife didn’t like it. It was relegated to an out of the way part of our house in Briarcliff Manor. When we acquired our lake house it was taken there, put in this corner and almost forgotten (except when I vacuum and have to move it).

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