Let me explain how I got here, and once again, apologize for
not keeping this up to date – I’m really trying!
After getting back from Laos, I had to say goodbye to
everyone at Isara, which was very sad, and I miss them terribly, but I got on a
night bus to Chiang Mai.
The van/bus itself was very nice, but I was not in any sort
of position that I could sleep comfortably, and ended up staying awake for the
entire 12 hour red-eye journey… fun.
I arrived in Chiang Mai at about 8 in the morning, and not
knowing where the guesthouse I was supposed to stay at was, I did what any Canadian
backpacker would do… Aimlessly wander and occasionally look at a map; I did
eventually find it, but gave up halfway through, sat down and read the Hobbit.
Once I arrived, I was greeted in the early morning by the
Friends for Asia staff – the organization in which I’m doing the medical
internship with. They showed me to my room, got me to fill out some paper work,
and I spent the rest of the day sleeping, eating, and meeting people – it was
very chill, and much needed after the long bus ride.
The next day I woke up for the weekend training project –
designed to jump start all the new volunteers into their respective projects.
There were 6-7 of us, and at most times, I was the only non-Dutch person in the
group, but it means I got to practice as much Dutch as I know – which is Dank u
vel, ich hab hunger, and ich vill vater; something like that.
We spent the morning going over administrative things,
looking at the different projects, and learning some new Thai words – including
our names in Thai (which is now on my facebook page).
After that, we headed out to this all you can eat buffet and
got some lunch – a mix of western and Thai food, which was really nice. After
stuffing ourselves with veggies, meats, and cake, we jumped into the tuk tuk
and took off for the City tour.
The first stop were a few Wats (temples) around Chiang Mai.
It’s kind of sad, but their beauty I’ve kind of gotten used to from being in Thailand
so long… but I have no doubts that you the readers will find them amazing. Some
of the bigger ones are impressive. We learned lots of stuff about Buddhism and Buddha,
Wat Pha Lad by far was my favourite place though. It took a
while to get there, as it was on top of a mountain, but I dare say it might be
my favorite place in Thailand. It is a temple located on top of a mountain,
with lots of rocks and a waterfall going through them – you get an entire view
of Chiang Mai, and there is just an incredibly peaceful atmosphere there – I wanted
to stay forever!
After that, we headed back, chilled for a bit, and went to a
dinner and a cultural show, in which we were approached by peacock ladies
(Jennifer would have loved it) and some sort of sheep that tried to ask for
money, and we were the only table in the entire restaurant that didn’t give it
any. Way to go Farang.
The next day was very similar to the first – we had a lot
more learning Thai to do, and a lot more administrative things to cover – but we
did get to head out to see the Tapae Gate Market – which was really awesome. We
were taken around the market, tried different Thai foods and deserts, and
eventually ended up chowing down on some deep fried crickets (which are
actually pretty delicious – they’re really salty).
Then, to make a good day great, we went to see the Hobbit…
but that’s another story for another time.