So I just had that terrible experience of writing out my life story and then getting booted off my internet session, thus losing it all. I had just written quite a good blog entry too. Bollocks. Ok. Well here we go. Again.
It is my fourth day in Chang Mai and I think I am starting to get the lay of the land. I biked all over the city today in large wandering circles, on ridiculous adventures that took me nowhere but ended up showing me new parts of the city I hadn't yet seen. My first misguided adventure was out to the Chang Mai University to go swimming at the universtiy pool with a classmate of mine from the massage school. I headed out straight into the height of rush hour traffic and after an eternity of darting around the pressing traffic, choking on the heavy smog and suffocating in the oppressive heat I finally arrived at the university only to receive a text from my classmate saying that we couldn't go into the pool. They had turned her away saying the pool was for members only and non members couldn't pay a fee to use it. Bollocks. The university itself was quite nice though, with small quiet streets lined with delicate white and purple flowering trees and with some buildings sporting colorful and whacky murals. I didn't stick around long to appreciate the place though and soon was flung back out again into the open road madness. Now, for those reading who might not know this, the roads in Thailand are set up like the roads in England with the traffic driving on the left hand side rather than the right. This takes some getting used to but you savy up quite quick when you have to vie for space with the motorbikes, the tuk tuk taxis, the buses, trucks vans and cars all crowding on the road way hardly paying much attention the the fading lane lines. I soon found my way back to the moat surrounding the old city and by happenstance was flung onto my street. It felt like getting spat out of a turbulent mouth, and just like that I was on the peaceful lane where my guest house sits. (A small note of apology here for the parents: I'm sure you are just about fainting out of your seats while reading this but don't worry. I am safe now and I won't be biking on these more busy roadways again any time soon.)
I arrived back in my room doused in sweat and feeling like I'd rolled around the inside of an exhaust pipe so I booked it straight for a cold cold shower where I stayed for some time. After my shower I took my time getting dressed, preferring instead to lounge naked in front of a fan for another 45 minutes. When I finally did gather myself together to go out again I decided I would try to find a laundry mat and a supermarket where I could buy pizza makings for my classmates' birthday. She is Italian and just aching to eat a pizza so what could be a better birthday present than a personal pizza spelling "Happy Birthday" in red peppers and olives? I did not find a laundromat or a supermarket however and found myself slipping into wandering mode as I drew large loping circles along the boarder of the old city. I did find the heart of the tourist district, a street lined with bars, fancy restaurants and tour agencies, biked through the night bazaar and lo and behold ran straight into an Italian Restaurant! Now, whether I can get them to spell out "Happy Birthday" in peppers and olives is questionable but at least this made finding a supermarket less of a priority. I don't know if they even have super markets here. Instead I darted into a small convenience store, one of the hundreds that line the smaller city streets, and bought two packets of noodles and some sweet hot sauce for the stir fry I am going to make tonight. I then set course for one of the internet cafes on my street, aching for some air conditioning and stationary seat in which I could collapse. So here I am, pining about these ridiculous wandering journeys I seem to be undertaking today.
In other news, massage class is slow, rather maddening and I could just about throttle my instructor. My three classmates are just lovely though and they help to make up for the drawbacks. Simply put, Thai Massage is very different than any other type of massage I have studied so far. The flow is very different and hard for me to access and the energy lines it works on seem choppy and broken to me. It is like shiatsu in that it is very precise and you must press at just the right place and at just the right angle to achieve the desired effect. The result of this is that every 3 nanoseconds, my instructor comes around to interrupt my concentration and flow to tell me to sit up just a little higher to press more directly down, or to move my finger 2 millimeters to the left, or to press with my thumbs on top of one another rather than side by side etc etc until I could just about scream. I get immense satisfaction out of the times when she comes around and finds nothing to critique but this is rare. I am trying my hardest to remain open minded and remember that all the details are indeed important and crucial to delivering the proper pressure points but it is still maddening to be constantly micromanaged. The school itself is peaceful and quiet and sits above a murky but still rather picturesque river. Our lunch patio is lined with hanging orchids and potted plants giving it a nice atmosphere. I've included a few photos below to give some sense of what the place looks like.
More uplifting news, I've been doing some street performance which has been wonderful. Last night I went to the night bazaar and performed atop some steps above the bazaar and gathered quite a crowd. And the Thai people are so nice, they actually applaud at the close of each dance!! Quite an ego boost. These two sweet young girls dressed all in pink, sat transfixed at two nearby benches and whether they meant to or not they sat right over my bag, guarding it for me. I met a couple other traveling folks and even managed to get up the courage to ask one woman to film me hooping (vid coming soon). I could really use a travel partner who wouldn't mind playing videographer every so often.
Well I am about to run up on my internet credit again and my stomach is grumbling for stir fry so I am going to go home to cook. I bid you, oh internet world, goodnight!
A fiery fairy who has set off to explore Asia and discover new things about the world and herself. The journey is one to fully realize her strength and an unwaivering faith in her personal power.