In the sweltering heart of Thailand, in a cosy nook that Parichad and I call home, the most bizarre lottery strategy was about to unfold before my very eyes.
It began innocently enough. One sultry morning, I wandered into the kitchen, expecting to find Parichad and perhaps a refreshing drink. Instead, I spotted her in the back laundry area, looking down, engrossed in something. Approaching with my innate English curiosity, I was met with a sight that could only be described as... ribbit-ing.
There, nestled in the palm of Parichad's hand, was a rather sizeable toad. It lay on its back, looking somewhat like a patient waiting for a spa treatment. And spa treatment it was getting! Parichad was carefully sprinkling talcum powder on its belly and gently rubbing it in. The toad, for its part, looked positively blissful. It sure seemed to have a smile, and I swear it was grinning from ear to ear.
"Er, love... what on earth are you doing?" I managed to sputter, my British sensibilities teetering on the edge of bewilderment.
Parichad, looking slightly red (or was it the Thai sun?), explained the curious ritual. In a tale as old as time (or at least as old as the local lottery), Thais believe that if you treat a toad to a gentle talcum massage, it will graciously reveal the winning lottery numbers on its belly.
As the words left her lips, the sheer ridiculousness of the situation hit her. A toad? Talcum powder? Lottery numbers? We both burst into laughter, the kind that leaves you gasping for air and holding your sides. I mean, it was preposterous, but as Parichad said, "Worth a try, right?"
Alas, despite her dedicated amphibian massage session, our ticket to riches eluded us. But what we lacked in lottery winnings, we more than made up for with a tale that has left friends and family in stitches. The day the toad tried to tell our fortune will forever be etched in our memories, a testament to the lengths we'll go for a good chuckle (and maybe a few baht!).