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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.

Bangkok: A Recap (Travel Update)

On Konstantin

Jan 14th - 27th:

(Image: One of the first things I saw when I got out of the train from the airport. Protest site: Victory Monument, 6 a.m.)

So, here is my problem: When I started traveling around Thailand I was very busy with … well … doing the things a tourist would do. Experiencing the city. Finding a new guesthouse every night. Socializing with a few people.

But looming in the background would always be this blog thing. I wanted to write one, wanted to share the things I experienced. So I began occasionally making little notes of things I wanted to publish later on. These were mere scribbles or things I promised myself I would remember to write down “when I get around to it”. Thoughts on how utterly ridiculous the protest is displayed in western media. Fragments of conversation about the fascinating details I was told about the great king of Thailand. My experiences eating insects from a Chinese street vendor. Rants about the Thai taxi and tuk-tuk mafia.

And so notes and scribbles kept piling up, while getting around to editing all those into a publishable format came further and further out of reach. I say enough! Screw all of that. I'll just summarize so that at least SOMETHING ever gets on here.

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