water fights, thai whisky, home home home....
I am now in Chiang Mai as I write this. I have to rightfully say that I love the South if you want to party hard and I love the North if you want to keep your wallet in reasonable shape. I missed the 30 baht ($1.50) meals at road side stalls, 100 baht ($4) rooms and majority locals population. And now I am getting to experience it again! I would have to say that overall Chiang Mai is my favority Thailand city that I have seen. It reminds me alot fo Victoria in population size and large beautiful trees.
It was Songkran festival for my first four days here. It is baisically a huge city wide water fight and no one at all escapes the buckets of water being thrown around for four days. There is a large man made square moat that takes about an hour and a half to walk around that most people get their water from. I met a German named Jan who was staying at my guest house and we decided to go out and throw water around. The action is focused around the moat, so you stand at the moat side, throw your bucket into the water, haul it up with the attached yarn and throw it at other moat people or motorbikes, cars and tuk tuks driving by. As the say goes on it gets more and more crazy and the moat road gets jam packed with people. Jan and I eventualy hoped into the back of one of the many trucks full of drunked Thais. We drove around and experienced it from the cars point of view and eventualy changed trucks, joining more drunked Thais in the Buddhist New Years celebration. The water fight ends at night fall, so we went back, changed and walked to the night bazzar. Along the way we ran into Jan friend Sam who was on acid so we hung out with him until 1:30 or so, drinking beer and eating bbqed meats and sticky rice. I had just taken two over night busses in a row and had almost two weeks of hard partying in Ko Pangan so I was extreemly exhausted to say the least by the end of the night. The next day we went out again for songkran. I got seperated from my friends around four due to a failed meet up plan so I walked around the moat, chucking water on people and being drenched. As night began to fall I got a tinny bit worried because I could not remember where my guest house was, the name if it or anything about it. I decided to sit down and dry off my feet and put on my foot bandages again (bad shoes). As I was sitting there, two hammered Thai women came up to help me. It was ones 25th birthdayand the other was her 52 year old mom. They invited me to drink whisky with them in celebration of Songkran and her birthday. I sat with them behind a road side food stall and drank whisky. The birthday girl could not speak english but she got her mother to translate into english for me that she was my friend, thatshe has a good heart, that she loves me, to not worry...about 10 times within the first ten minutes of sitting with them. The mother had her arm over my shoulders and was saying to me'your my baby...dont worry about anyhitng...I'm your mom...your my baby" over and over...at which point I decided that I needed to slam my whisky on rocks drink to fully apreciate the drunk love vibes! I eventually left after a few hours, when it was 9 pm. I walked down the road hoping to run into something I recognized and I came across a temple where people were doing religous things. I was interested, thinking about my 10 day meditation retreat in a few days, so I entered the temple, quite drunk from the Thai whisky. I did the prostration three times on my knees to the Buddha and sat there after looking around me drunkenly. When I left the inside of the temple I came across a woman that traps little birds in little wicker cages and gets people to pay her to set them free. I think this is cruel so I bought some birds and set them free. I came across the night market and thankfully ran into a few people who I knew. They were quite amused at my drunk lost self so they took pitty on my and helped me find my hostel after hanging out for a while.
The next day I went out, ate bad food and got food poisening and a stomache bug to boot. I puked and now a few days later I am feeling better after taking some medications.
On the 20th (now it is the night of the 17th) I am going to go up to Wat Dio Suthep to do my to day advanced meditation course. It will be at the same temple as my three week course so I will get to practise with the same teacher. When I am out of there I will catch the night bus to BKK and then the next evening I will be on my FLIGHT HOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am so estatic to be home so soon that I have had to buy sleeping pills (non adictive ones!) because I can't stop thinking about being home finally! I have really loved my time here in Thailand but I will be so so glad to get back home where Dave, my sister, mom and friends are! People look at me like I am crazy when I say how exited Ima to be home so soon but maybe they just dont have something so good to go back to like I do.
In the mean time before I go to my retreat in a few day I am going to indugle in what I love to do so much: read and eat cheese cake. I am curently working on three books so I have lots to do!
I am very greatful to have come to Thailand and experience some of the world. I have learned heaps of invaluable things by being out here in the world traveling solo. I have gotten to make my own choices of where to go, what to do and when to do it. To tell the truth, I have predictably caught the travel bug. I may be prone to getting sick, scar easily from bug bites and have a terbile sense of technical direction but my heart is definalty in for and made for traveling. I have created so many special memories for myself here that I will get to keep for a life time and I will always look fondly on my first experience traveling in the world. I am very glad I kept a travel blog, so other people can know what I have been up to, but mostly so I can look back on it too. Sort of like a word photoalbum.
I will need those sleeping pills.