1.08.2010

Chiang Mai: I dub thee City of Golden Friendlies


For your traveling pleasure, we have put you in an adjoining cabin to a charming British- Ukrainian family. The husband is a restaurateur in London and the wife a teacher and they will shower you with stories of Russian and British aristocracy (and cocktail offers).
 
You arrive at 9:30am and you decide to walk the mile into town from the train station since it is cooler in Chiang Mai and you are looking forward to stretching your legs. You are also a bit proud to walk past the frey of tuk-tuk drivers as if you actually have a destination and know how to get there...You take a picture of some flowers because you like flowers and the color orange...but you know, and the flowers know, there is a lot of gold in this town...

So without further ado...here are some of the Golden Friendlies of Chiang Mai (queue music sanctioned my the King of Thailand, who is now 83 but was very handsome in his youth)
 

On the second day, after a wonderful morning or yoga, meditation, peaceful eating and slow wandering you hop in a red truck and head up the winding 15km road to a Wat at the top of a steep hill called Doi Suthep. Your driver's name is Chia and he is 75. During the Vietnam war, when he was 24, his job was to halp the American soldiers relax and have a good time spending their money in Thailand. He said he was trained in how to administer medication in the case of too much drinking.

After you arrive, there are some magnificent stairs you get to climb (and are pleased about how in shape you are compared to the gasping Japanese school children).


You arrive at the top and the view of Chiang Mai is lovely and you look exactly like Cat with short hair and that is a bit weird but the monks near you don't seem to mind.

 
And so you wander around this hill-top Wat and find many more golden buddhas 
You even decide to sit down for a while in a courtyard and read because it is so pleasant and a little cat comes up behind you and walks across your bag and into your lap and you pet it quietly while you continue to read. Then you think it would be nice to have a picture with more than just your head (because your arms are not abnormally long) and so you ask some japanese women who do a very professional job and you thank them. You also go speak to one of the monks about living here for a few days and meditating and find out that there are only 10 rooms and they are booked at the moment but may be free in 1-2weeks and you think about coming back.
Finally, as you are entering the center of the city with Chia again, he offers you a fruit you have never seen before. He says he grew them in his garden and starts handing you a whole bunch of them. You thank him profusely and say your goodbyes. You sit by the river and try one.


The shell is like a smoother,more delicate and larger peanut shell and inside you have strings (like in an orange) surrounding a fruit that tastes like a candied date around  several very hard seeds. You like them!

3 comments:

Emma said...

I like you, and I like Thailand, and that is a wonderful description of the start of your trip... so I love you in Thailand!!

Bill said...

From googling.....The Sweet Tamarind is one of the signature fruits of Thailand. It’s an ancient fruit that grows pretty much all over the country..... It is normally eaten raw but there are some who prefer to combine it with rice and eat it as an appetizer. To eat the fruit you must first crack the pod, throw it and the strings away and only eat the pulp. The seeds are put in a pan over medium flame for about five minutes, their shell is cracked and thrown away and they can be carefully chewed. Love, Dad

Chris said...

do blog some more, please!
Chris