A definite plus point to life in Chiang Mai

A definite plus point to life in Chiang Mai

We are settling into life in Chiang Mai very nicely and a routine is starting to emerge. It goes something like this: we set the alarm for 7am and Kirsty gets up and microwaves a cup of tea and coffee (although I haven’t been having my coffee for the past few days since my visit to the dentist but that’s a different story). You may wonder why it is Kirsty that gets up and makes the tea when I am the lazy sod without work, well two reason 1) I struggle like anything these days to get straight out of bed when the alarm goes off (I always used to be able to get out of bed straight after the alarm had gone off) and 2) (and this leads me to the next part of our routine) I have the job of going to get fresh croissants from the bakery coffee shop across the road. By the time we finish breakfast it is 8.15am or thereabouts and we then head to the gym for an hour on the machines. I have never been to a gym before, preferring running, mountain biking etc, but it isn’t too bad although the room doesn’t have air conditioning so it is only a matter of minutes before we are sweating like a couple of pregnant nuns. After this we head to the pool and relax for a couple of hours and around mid day head down and shower etc in time for Kirsty to start her days work. She is then working until 7pm. What do I do??? This and that is an honest answer, go to the printers for Kirsty (well I have done this once), go and order lunch if we take it in the room etc. Sometimes I go for a walk or simply wander around a shopping centre, sad I know but not for me as I haven’t been able to do this for several months and the air con is great! Sometimes I head back up to the pool but what I would love to do is head down to the bar/corner shop in our hotel and join the regular old boys for an afternoon of drinking. The hotel is very sociable and there is always someone to talk to in the bar but I know this would be the start of something bad so to date I have avoided it. Although I do sometimes head down around 6pm for a quick one before Kirsty finishing work and heading out for dinner. We often head to the night market for dinner where you can get a dish each and a beer to share all for under a 100 baht which is less than £2. Various summer 09 035BWe also eat in the hotel where the menu is limited but the food superb and from Friday to Sunday (our new extended weekend) we head further afield; down to the tourist area for example or to either the Saturday or Sunday walking street markets where you can eat on the go so to speak. Last weekend we went to a ‘All you can Eat’ buffet where you cook it at your table (bit like a Mongolian BBQ) which cost 130 baht each (about £2.50). Friday is our big night out and we give the gym a miss on Saturday and have an English breakfast.Various summer 09 036

Back to the hotel bar run by a great old guy that everyone calls ‘Papa’ and busy with locals including Charlie who has lived in the hotel for 3 years, Gary, the resident drunk who hails from the States originally (we often see him at the gym as well but he is not as regular as us and whether he turns up or not depends on the night before!). We also know a nice guy from Azerbaijan (now living in Canada) and an Iranian (who now lives in America). The “worse” thing about the bar, which makes it even harder to avoid it, is the cost of the beer. At 55 baht (about £1) for a large bottle, an afternoon session is hardly going to break the bank. Papa plays ‘Puff the Magic Dragon’ and plenty of Country and Western as people give him CDs of their music and he plays them on a continuous roll. Bored with the music already may “do him a tape” as we used to say.

So all in all life is pretty good here; the Thai people are fantastic and so honest, polite and respectful (for example I left Kirsty’s brand new, not even out of the wrapping iPod on the shared taxi today and some nice woman called me back and handed it to me), the food is incredible and the beer very cheap. In the 3 weeks or so we have been here we haven’t managed to do any sightseeing yet but that gives us a great opportunity to come back soon. We are trying very hard to not compare life here with life in Kathmandu but it is hard not to. For example, here the pavement is for walking on, dogs don’t bark and cars don’t honk their horn for no reason. I have added song writing to my already long list of talents. Sing along to the tune of ‘The Wheels on the Bus’ (flaming is the polite, editable version by the way)

The dogs in Kathmandu bark all day
Bark all day
Bark all day
The dogs in Kathmandu bark all day
Bark all flaming day long
The cars in Kathmandu honk all day
Honk all day
Honk all day
The cars in Kathmandu honk all day
Honk all flaming day long
The men in Kathmandu gob all day
Gob all day
Gob all day
The men in Kathmandu gob all day
Gob all flaming day long
The tourist in Kathmandu pays double the price all day
Pays double the price all day
Pays double the price all day
The tourist in Kathmandu pays double the price all day
Pays double the price all flaming day long

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