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Point B


We’re spending our first Chiang Mai days at the Nine House, a guest house in the north-west corner. The proprietor thereof, Mr. Tin, served a fine breakfast this morning (eggs & toast, pork & noodles, fresh mango, excellent coffee!), and showed us a small handmade book written by a Western friend of his about Thailand travels. Somewhere toward the city center we hear a school band playing slow, labored warm-up scales. From our room’s east-facing balcony is a mist-covered mountain, and on its western slope, between clouds, the spires of a temple. Word is: it’s reachable by scooter in 20 minutes.

[Note to self: rent a scooter this morning.]

The old city is wild: every street is packed with buildings, with no discernable zoning. Streets are lined with dwellings, shops, cafes, schools, (many) temples, stray dogs (all friendly, and--so far--disinterested). Scooters abound. We walked around the NW quarter yesterday afternoon, and the rush-hour traffic is dizzying. Chiang Mai drivers appear (a) fearless, (b) to hold loosely and lightly things like “rules”, and (c) operate chiefly on intuition. Stopped in a music store (hoorah!) and yours truly heaved a sigh of relief at the abundance of instruments and gear.

Last evening in fairly heavy rain, we walked 'neath umbrellas to the east side (the city is roughly 1m square) to dine @ a eatery / drinkery whose name now escapes me. We’ve arrived near the end of the rainy season, and are told that when the rain is truly heavy, you don’t carry an umbrella: you stay in.


On Tynan

When you're on the road for this long you get good at rationing. In our case, that applies to batteries and to food. I just last week ate a vegan food bar that I bought in LA in the beginning of March.

We don't plan far ahead, so we never know exactly when we'll be able to buy acceptable food. Batteries are the same way. We're on a 32 hour train ride that spans two nights from Saigon in South Vietnam to Hanoi in North Vietnam.

It's the second night now, so it's time to burn off my batteries which I haven't really used much of yet.

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