Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Thailand day 2- Chaing Mai

After stuffing myself silly with an extravagant hotel breakfast Jurij and I set out for a day on the town. I saw my first lizard half a block from the hotel, some sort of anole like creature. I was very excited. Its very hot and humid here and we need to consume a bottle of water for every block we walk or else we might pass out. The streets are bustling, lots of concrete and dirt. It reminds me vaguely of the Bowery or Canal st. in New York City where you can see piles of products stacked everywhere inside the open store fronts and that are bursting out into the street. I'm fascinated by the "telephone" poles along the street. Hanging from them are more than just the one telephone wire that we are used to in America or Europe. The wires hang like hair knotting and bunching around each pole. Again I feel like I'm in some distopic blade runner scenario.

Its strange to be in the minority as a white person. It makes me want to yell hey bro! Hey sis! every time I pass a white person on the street. There's this awkward dialog we say to each other with our eyes while we pass, "ya were tourists too and were white too but this doesn't mean we have to be friends, be friendly and start a conversation". Perhaps I'm just unfriendly

I'm still amazed by everyone wearing loose flip flops riding motorbikes. I'm surprised that there aren't lost flops littering the street.

Jurij and I walked the streets, saw a couple of Watts, or Buddhist temples. We had a bite to eat at a restaurant catering to an international crowd. On the menu next to the Pad Thai and curries was a club sandwich.

At on Watt you could talk to monks. They like to practice their English and answer questions about Buddhism. We talked to 2 young monks in their early 20's. The one said to me that one of their purposes is to spread the teachings of the Buddha to the common people. When I asked him what the major tenants of Buddhism were, he just smiled and said um. Then a gust of wind tore up our conversation and that was the end of that!

There was a garden by the Watt with sayings tacked to the trees, like Time and tide wait for no man and good to forgive, the best to forget. Sometimes I thought ya totally dude, other times I thought the saying were complete crap...like its good to forgive and best to forget!

We could here the monks chanting from the garden. I think I might have even like had something like a spiritual experience. Its very peaceful here.

In the evening we walked around the night bazaar. Carts with goods line the streets from 6 to 11pm. Its mostly tourist crap selling the same stuff, knock off purses, stupid tee shirts like the one that said "i pood" and a picture of someone on the toilet listening to music. But every once in awhile you would find a real artisan or artist selling there wares and that was something to look out for.
We went to sleep early in a city that never sleeps. The 7-11 on every corner is open 24 hours. Businesses are open 7 days a week and all night long. Not like Germany where everything closes at 8pm and on Sunday!

Jurij is still sick. I think he has the flu. And our room number is creepily 911.

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