(This email is dedicated to all of the Thai people (and there were a lot of them) who helped me to find my way despite the fact that I speak not one lick of Thai and they spoke very little English and I had only a vague idea about where I was going and how to get there. May I be so generous.)
Hello from Chiang Mai
Sorry I dropped off the radar for a while. Strange as it may seem, there are no Internet cafes at the Bangkok bus and train terminal, although you can buy just about anything else you want (and I mean anything- cantaloupe flavoured milk, whole roast chickens, brand new cell phones, and high heeled shoes.) I think I am adding that to my list of facts that do not fit with the way I was led to believe the world behaved- along with southern African's obsession with Mexican soap operas and the fact that Cairo, as a city, has an abnormally high number of lingerie shops.
I took a night bus from Bangkok to Chiang Mai. It started off at 8:30 PM and got in at 5:30 AM. It was a rather strange experience. Several times they walked down the aisle serving us all drinks (including steaming coffee) from plastic Dixie cups that they carried down the aisle on a tray and there were the requisite bad American action movies dubbed into Thai. It was a little surreal. It's amazing how independent I become when I travel on my own. When I travel with other people I think I have an annoying tendency to abscond from my responsibilities and follow them around like a puppy. I can be amazingly responsible when I'm on my own (although it isn't
nearly as much fun.)
I hadn't had a proper night of sleep or a nice shower in several days (I've lost count- that's how bad it's gotten) so I took a long shower as soon as I got to the guesthouse and I'm looking forward to a good night of sleep tonight. I met up with Miah and I think we're going to have a fun time. I thoroughly impressed her with my ability to click (the language I learned in the Peace Corps has clicks which act like letters of the alphabet.) Chiang Mai is a moated city and we're staying near the moat. Later in the week we're going to the night market and we're thinking about taking a Thai cooking class together. That's all for now. For those who care (mostly my parents) my new phone number is the Thai country code + 0879884643.