Wednesday, June 26, 2013


Last night Daughter #1 asked me to do my impressions of the Tokay Gecko and the CheeChuk lizard. Sounds crazy but I think I impressed her boyfriend - S.L.

Growing up in Southeast Asia, these tiny dinosaurs were in every room in every house and we took them for granted.

On a recent trip to Belize, I was inspecting a property with the client and a CheeChuk fell out of the rataan blinds over the window. The client - a Creole aristocrat - took it in her stride. I didn't bat an eyelid either; but I'd almost forgotten these ubiquitous reptiles we shared out living space with.

Everything in the Orient is tied to good luck and karma. Here's the deal: when the CheeChuk or the Tokay starts growl - the preamble to it's bark - everybody goes silent, to count the barks; odd number good / even number bad.

To this day I remember one time in Latin II with Mrs Gatti - the hardest teacher at the International School and to this day my hands down favorite - and the Tokay started with its introductory growl: "G-r-r-r-G-r-r-r..." EVERYBODY SHUT UP - even Mrs Gatti. We were counting the barks: five - GOOD.

The common name of this little fella is Cheechuk Lizard but in Thailand they are called "Chinchuk."

Another time in Mrs Gatti's class a CheeChuk fell on my head. THIS IS THE BEST OF CHOK-DEE - "Good Luck" - I have had good luck and good fortune in my life ever since.

"That's my story and I'm sticking to it!"


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