A Travellerspoint blog

INDIA!!!

wow!

sunny 37 °C

Written on June 6...
First and foremost, I can finally see the veins on my feet again! yay! They still hurt when I walk though, but at least the swelling is gone.
Alright, made it safe and sound in India, despite a bit of a scare at the airport. Indeed, was I really supposed to understand that "you MUST contact the airline to reconfirm your booking" meant that I had to call them to get a place on the plane?? Yeah! hehehe
I remember reading and registering the info, then checking on the airport web site to comfirm that the flight was still scheduled and deciding NOT to call the airline co (it's kind of a bother to call in Thailand..ok that's an excuse, it's not that difficult, but still, I never do it!)...result: I arrive bright and early at the airport, only to be told that I don't have a seat on the plane and it's fully booked. I have to wait 2 hours (!!!) to see if there are "no shows" and maybe make it on! ahhhh! Well, I really had it coming, but still... I'm processing this new disturbing info at the counter, while the supervisor is making a call to see if they can find my name "on the list", when a girl (I think she was a girl) walks right over my luggage to go behind the counter and attack another airline employee!!! Litterally jump on her (it turned out to be a ladyboy, but still, I wouldn't have noticed had her hair not been rufffled by the fight!), hair pulling, throwing on the ground, the whole thing! They were very quiet though, so the whole area became very quiet!! Another airline employee tried to get to them, but a big fat friend of the "attacking girl" blocked her and started shouting something in Thai - probably explaining the reason of the attack.
Nobody is doing anything as these two girls (let's call them "persons") are wrestling on the ground!!! I'm kinda debating on whether to try to stop them or not...nobody else is doing anything at all, just standing there!!! Finally, a large white man steps in and tries to separate them for a good while, until he finally succedes!!!
There is then a verbal confrontation, where the attacking girl is saying...many things, with tears in her eyes, to the "victim". !!!
I asked the person behind the counter what it was about, and she started answering (literally said "well, she...") when the supervisor interrupted us to say that nope, I wasn't on "the list" and that waiting was my only option! Alright!!! I really wish I had got the lowdown though! nothing like a little drama!! hehehe
After 2 long hours, and no nails left on either of my hands, I get the ok to check-in! yay! They then told me that they would have had me go through Calcutta had I not made it on this flight (I kinda wished they told me earlier-would have been less stressful!! and actually, I would have been happy to go to Calcutta and make my way to New Delhi, but anyway!).
On the plane, I met a super friendly Indian guy, we started chatting and it turns out that he's a professor at a university in Northern Ontario!! Has been living there for 4 yrs. So anyway, we talked for the whole 4 hours of the flight and it was quite nice! He wa very reassuring with regards to my travels in his country, which made me feel good (a comforting departure from the surprised faces of everyone in Thailand/Laos/Cambodia I told I was going to India alone).
Have you ever wondered why cows are sacred in India??? Well, it's because that when a baby is born, the first thing s/he drinks is the mother's milk, and the second thing is cow's milk. So the cow is kinda like your mother. Would you cut your mother up and eat her?? Not the Indians! hehehe well, makes sense to me! hehehe
So we make it to New Delhi and I get in one of the "pre-paid taxis" (you pre-pay at a booth, but weird thing, there are 4 booths at the airport!! The first one -gov run (so they say)- wanted to charge me 400R...I then checked with the second one (just said "pre-paid taxi" booth), and they charged me 225R... the 3rd one looked like the 1st one, so I didn't bother and bought from the second place. I walked outside, to the taxis, only to find a 4th booth (looking like the 2nd booth), with prices on a board, charging 195R for the same ride I got!!! Sooo weird!!! Although, the price advertised may not have included the taxes and/or service charge, so it may have ended up at 225R, we'll never know!
I get in this..I'll try to take a pic of one... 70's looking car, kinda like a long Beetle... and we head off to the taxi police , which records the info of where we're going and stuff (was implemented following the rape and death of a tourist girl in a taxi several years ago!! scary?? yeah!!) Anyway, LP said that the taxi driver may try to have a second man hop on, a friend or whatever, and to strongly refuse that....Well, the mad who got on my taxi was the second taxi police guy (off his shift I guess....) so I was a bit worried, but he's the police.... had it been anyone else, I would have said a firm no...but I hesitated long enough that we were already going! And by going I mean defying death at every instant!!! Anyway, he got off a few minutes later and everything was fine... I remained scared for the rest of the trip, still for my life, not because of any fear of rape of anything, but definitely for a very real fear of hitting/getting hit by something! Wow! So far, the driving here beats any driving I'e seen anywhere (I though Bangkok was bad, but they are...grannies compared to Indians!!!! Yikes!!! I'll try to stay off the roads as much as possible!!! hehehe Let's just say the taxi driver knew the dimensions of his car VERY well and pushed them to the limit, that and some motorbikes drivers clearly have a death wish.
The front windows of the taxi were opened and it was a bit stuffy int eh back, so I craked my window open, only to be hit int he face with a breeze the equivalent to the first wif you get when open the door of the oven while it's cooking something! I promptly closed the window!!! hehehe Did I mention that June is THE HOTTEST month in India (certainly one of THE HOTTEST country in the world!!) That means it's hot, in the 40celcius!!! I have lived a day yet here, but I can say that it was roasting at 6:30pm...
I checked-in a hotel Rafale had reccomended, and I'm very happy with it (except for the price of 400R which is a bit stiff) 1CAD=38R
The best part?? Hot water FROM THE TAP!!!!! I haven't seen that since I left Canada!!! yay!! It's even better isnce the doctor had recommended that I put my feet in warm water,as it would greatly help my feet, but I didn't have hot water at the last place (I was using a shared bathroom) in Thailand, so I had not been able to do that. My bathroom here is equipped with both hot water and a bucket!!! yay! I already did a little "foot dip" and am looking forward to a few more! The room lso has a mini fridge and a TV (yay!!!). I was just watching CNN India (exactly like CNN, but with Indian people, about Indian people, for Indian people! in english). Even the commercials are exactly like the american stuff, but with Indian people (mastercard" price, price, preceless, car commercials, bathrooms furniture commercials, hehehe)
Well, overall, I'm very excited about India and I can't wait to go visit this part of town tomorrow. Imagine that: I went from a city of 6million, in a country of 64 million, to a city of 12million, in a country of over 1 BILLION!!!! Just plain crazy!!! Tomorrow I plan on buying 2-3 outfits typically worn by women here (not the sari, another one with pants and a sort of tunic), as 1: it's the most suited for the weather, 2: has been known to greatly help the people acceptation of you as a foreigner by showing your interest/respect of the culture, as well as reduce the incidences of groping that are apparently fairly common (mostly on buses and trains I hear... we'll see!)
Well, that's that! More news after my first day here!!

Posted by Mistrale 08:46 Archived in India Comments (0)

I fell in love!

with Thailand, somewhere between Mae Hong Son and Pai...

sunny 34 °C

Written on June 5...

Alright, last day in Thailand, and with some feet problems, I'm "stuck" walking as little as possible (too bad, it means that I won't see the Palace and a large Buddha...). Anyway, it's a great time to update the blog and pics and stuff.

First of all, someone told me that I make travelling seem easy (I actually get that often - that I make things look easy...weird!). Just to put things in perspective, travelling IS easy, except for the annoyances that keep creeping up. For example, I gained weight, and it's all fat, no muscle here!, I have had a mild diarreah for...well very long, I got massive food poisoning once, I may have a mild attack of fungus on my back (from the humidity) and for the past 4 days, my feet have been looking like those of a grand-mother (swollen at the ankles and the top of the feet). And I'm not alone, almost every other traveller has had some sort of mild or more severe disease that they carry around for a while (i.e pneumonia or nausea) and don't really get checked unless it gets worst. I got my feet checked because I could hardly walk and a turtle would have won a race against me. Turns out I have got an inflammation (rhumatisms or something like that) from the skipping at kickboxing ! Yay! F'in sucks to get old!!! So now I have to take a pill before meals and 2 after meals for another 2 days! I hadn't felt old in a while, but it really hit me when the doctor told me about rhumatism!!! and now the pills don't help (the feeling that is, they helped my feet tremendously! They are almost back to normal size after only 1 day of treatment! So that's that, travelling is easy, just not always that fun, and clearly hard on the body!

Back to funner topics (because the fun still outweights the bad), I will certainly miss Thailand. I realized that I had fallen in love with it on the local bus that I took to get back from Mae Hong Son to Pai, on the way to Chang Mai and BKK. I was the only white, sitting with all the locals -so friendly-, with gorgeous scenery, fresh air and just plain overall niceness.... If I ever was to move to Thailand, the north would certainly be where I'd want to live...ahhh

Alright, pic time:
True-Bee_k..ing_gym.jpg
This is the gym where I did kickboxing, such a great place, fresh air, mountains, breze, severe attacks of rhumatism...Aliya is still training there for a couple more weeks I believe.

Me_with_lychee.jpg
Me with my favorite fruit in the world! I misst it already (not so available down here, but mango is a suitable replacement! hehehe)

Rafting_-fig_opened.jpg
This fig was picked while we were rafting. The guide pointed at a tree and told us it was a fig tree (they grow on the trunk, as opposed to branches, I wish I had been able to take a pic), so of course I said that I loved figs (deh!!! hehehe) and he sent the other guide to go pick some! yay, fresh off the tree. They were not as good (not as sweet) as I expected, but still nice.

Rafting_-_..rfall_2.jpg
That's the waterfall that looks puny for the front (as you can see), but has great pools at the back. I'm in there if you can see me.

Rafting_-_..forest2.jpg
This was the walk to and from the tiger cave, bamboo forests are THE BEST! I will definitely plant bamboo in my garden one day (they actually grow in Vancouver, I doubt it'd survive in Qc...)

Me_climbin..ephant1.jpg
This is a great display of how impossible (for me at least) it is to gracefully climb on an elephant ! hehehe
Me_climbin..ephant2.jpg

Elephant_c..ng_legs.jpg

Me_and_Ali.._river2.jpg After the "frolicking in the river" bout.

On the topic of elephants, I forgot to mention that on our day visiting the surroundings of Mae Hong Son on the motorbike, we came to this:
Mae_Hong_S..e_road2.jpg
Elephants on the road!!!!!!! They weren't wild (had the chain on the ankle that normally ties them to a pole), but were definitely alone. I wonder if they got loose or if they were just allowed to walk around freely...another question that will remain unanswered... Anyway, they actually stayed on the road for a good 3-4 minutes, just sort of looking at us looking at them, trumpeded a little (aka made the whoooeeww noise), had a pee and took off on the other side of the road....wow, that was quite the thing and a tad bit scary. I kinda know what to do if I come across a bear, or even a moose, but not an elephant! hehehe

Longneck_K..aughter.jpg
A couple of pics of the longneck ladies and big ears. They actually live inthe same village (big ears have a large silver ring in their earlobes)
Longneck_K..ow_buy_.jpg
That little girls actually told me "ok, now buy" after I took this pic! hehehe, they are not very good as I felt pretty bad taking them for some reason..once again, that "animals at the zoo" feeling

Longneck_K.._ladies.jpg

Let's conclude with a couple of things of daily life here in BKK.
This first pic of a shop selling polos and all kinds of yellow shirtswhich the majority of Thais wear (specially on Mondays) to celebrate the king. They have the royal (I assume) emblem on them. Actually, a lot lot lot of professions/groups of people wear uniforms here, whether it's the students in school, or many young girls with a white blouse, black knee-lenght fitted skirt or other women in blue and white pants and tops combo. I don't know what these two last uniforms are for but I see people wearing them everywhere.
King_s_shirts_shop.jpg

There is also a clear obsession with white skin here, whit most products adversitins whitener (face cream, deodorant, etc). I had to take a pic of this one though, as it's something I had never even considered as potentially being a concern!
Cream_for_..nipples.jpg
Now that I think about it, my nipples are a little on the brown side! hehehe gees something else to dislike about my body!!! hehehe (just kidding!)

Let's conclude with another couple of realities, this pic was taken in the north, where everyone (it seems) works in or owns a rice field.
Mae_Hong_S.._fields.jpg

And finally, a pretty flower!
Lotus_flower.jpg
In Laos, lotus flower sees are a yummy snack item. I had it and it's not bad at all! I haven't seen it Thailand, so I guess people prefer to let them bloom here....

Well, that's was the last entry for Thailand! Next news from India ! (haaaa!)
Cheers

Posted by Mistrale 21:56 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

Mae Hong Son

Nice, but the town of Pai is nicer

sunny 33 °C

Written on June 2...

Wow, writing about the day "on the day of"! Who's finally caught up with her blog?! Iam Iam! hehehe

So I got here yesterday, and am not exactly impressed with the town. It's no where near as nice as Pai, but still fairly good. I started looking for a tour right away, to visit the one thing (I should say people) that I really wanted to see here, Longneck Karens.
There are 3 tribes around, made of people who fled persecution in Burma. They wear very distinctive jewelry; a ever increasing number of rings around their necks to elongate it (like women in some African tribes I believe). I figured it was worth the trip to see them.
Mae Hong Son town is almost deserted of falangs, as low season apparently hits very hard here! I walked around and enquired until a guide finally told me that he had one other girl who wanted to go and "two people, 1000B". I though he meant 500each, but he meant 1000each! yikes, big difference! His tour brought us to essentially every attraction in the area (a cave, a waterfall, a Chinese village, a Longneck Karen tribe, and a palace)
So anyway, I walked away and a few minutes later a white girl approached me and asked if I was the "other girl who is looking for a tour!" Out of the blue, right on the street! hehehe (that's how few falangs there are here - which is something I actually enjoy, but anyway!). So yeah, of course it's me. We talk a little, and I suggest to rent a motorbike instead and do our own tour, which is certain to be less than half the price of the "professional tour"-which often only consists of being driven around. Tourist info is pretty good here, with decent maps and "attraction booklet", so we decide to venture on our own.
We started early this morning, around 8:30, rented a bike, went to enquire about a bus ticket for me, from here to Bangkok, but it turned out to be 780B, while I can do the same trip from Pai for 420B (+70 to get to Pai). So anyway, that's the current plan, leave tomorrow morning at 10:30 and arrive in Bangkok the following day around 6am! yikes! That should be fun (sarcastic!!) Aliya bought my ticket in Pai, which I will pick up upon arrival tomorrow.
We then went off to the airport, as my travel mate wanted to buy her ticket (she’s flying to Chang Mai (1/2hour flight vs 9 hour bus - for triple the price - only- worth it in her eyes - I'd do it too if I wasn't so cheap).
Anyway, we head off to see the Longneck Karen tribe, pay the 250B entry fee to the village (we knew about it already), as they are refugees and can therefore apparently not work in Thailand (so they live off donations and selling stuff they make). The experience was, at the same time, quite different and exactly the same, as I expected.

It's essentially like going to see a circus. There is some info about them on a board (their background and more details on how these rings work and stuff - I will elaborate shortly -) but overall, the whole thing is that you're supposed to buy "way overpriced" stuff to take pics with them and talk with them a little. We were the only falangs in town when we got there, yet we still felt a bit weird/as intruders, but as we were about to leave, a group of at least 80 Japanese or Koreans barged in -with a guide who used a overhead speaker to talk to "his group"- and just made us realize how crazy this must be during "high season". The women might as well be in cages, as they are treated and looked and photographed like animals. I was just finishing a pic with one of the Longneck Karen woman (after buying a 10B postcard), when the big group arrived, and one of the asian women literally pushed me out of the way to take a pic with her as well, then the next woman, then the next! Wow, how freaking weird and inconsiderate!!! They obviously want us to come as it's their livelihood, but I still consider it my duty "as a guest" to be nice and friendly! It's apparently not everyone's philosophy!
So anyway, this was overall a "not so pleasant" experience, but I'm still happy to have seen them, as I must say that they are very pretty! Many of them had their own professional postcards, which was quite funny to see! (I obviously bought a few, as it was the only somewhat affordable thing there. Other artifacts included scarves, bracelets, little "Longneck Karen" dolls, pens, key chains, etc etc etc).

About these rings. They are made of copper, and are quite heavy (4-5 pounds). Contrary to popular belief, they are not rings, but rather a coil of the metal, and also contrary to popular belief, their necks don't actually get longer (some women got X-Ray’ed as part of a research on the topic), but these rings "simply" push their shoulders and rib cage bones down, giving the appearance of longer necks. They could apparently remove them and still be fine (their necks wouldn't break). So that's that.

We then head off to another village advertised for its weaving practice, only to not find anything clearly indicated as a "weaving area" - or whatever there. We were certainly not going to knock on doors, so we left and stopped at the Royal Handicraft Centre, where stuff made locally (honey, sesame oil, cotton scarves and handbags, weaved baskets, etc) are sold. This centre, along with a training centre was apparently created by the Queen in 1984, upon visiting the area and seeing overwhelming poverty. I think it worked as it developed tourism as well as giving women the ability to make stuff which gets sold throughout Thailand.

We then head off to a town called Ban Rak Thai, which was described as being 44km out of Mae Hong Son, at the very border of Burma and Thailand. This town is "worthy of interest" because it is where many Chinese people settled when China became communist, and one can see the Chinese writing, food and other customs things. I wasn't particularly keen on going there as I just came from HK, but my travel mate (who's name I can't pronounce - she's Dutch) wanted to go, so we went! What wasn't advertised is that, to get there, we had to literally drive up a mountain (the steepest road I've ever been on, and certainly on a motorbike with a passenger!!!) Wow that was an event!! The last 12km are all uphill and took us almost 1 hour (the bike doesn't exactly go fast in 1st gear up a crazy, twisty hill!!). Hehehe, we eventually got there - after a scare with the bike where it stopped responding in anything but 1st gear-, only to find an almost ghost town. There are a lot of rice fields and tea plantations around, so my guess is that the shop owners where working there instead of staying in an empty shop. We stopped for (Chinese) tea at one of the only place opened, which was nice, and started our journey back. There were much less uphill, and a lot of downhill, so the return was overall MUCH easier and faster!!!

We decided to skip the palace as it required branching off the main road (after going down about 1/3 of the way) and go all the way up again. F that!
We also decided to skip the waterfall, as even the guide had warned us that, at this time of the year, it was more of a water trickle than a waterfall.
We then head off to the cave called Fish cave, which turned out to be more fun than expected. A stream runs under the cave and a breed of carp fish lives there. They are massive, thanks to an easy life of several feeding by tourists (food available at the entrance of the site) and no predators! hehehe It was fun and I have pics that I'll post whenever possible.
We then came back to town, after using the entire tank of gas (mainly thanks to the uphill portion) and arrived at 7pm. Ouf! long day, but it cost us 365B each, as opposed to 1000B!!!! Yay!
That's that for that!
I'll post pics on my (probably last blog for Thailand) when I get to Bangkok in...way too long!
Cheers!

Posted by Mistrale 06:55 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

Trip to Mae Hong Son

sunny 34 °C

Written on June 2...

JUNE 2 !!! Fuck!
Anyway, my original plan of taking the bus to Mae Hong Son was drastically modified when the white water rafting co told me that they had enough people for a group to go. Yay!
So off I decided to blow 1800B on a 2 day, 4 meals, 1 night accomodation trip rafting down a small river, which connected to the larger Pai river. I already knew that the group was made of two couples, one Israelis and one Quebecois, only to find out on the morning of, that the last person was another Qc girl, and we were going to share accomodations with 2 French guy (who were on a 3 day trekking tour) and the Thai "girlfriend" of one of the 2 guys. Sweet! We unfortunately often had to switch back to english for the Israeli couple (although the girls (Isralei and Thai) barely spoke english...at all). The other Qc girl, Annie, told me that she had booked the tour, even though she had just got to Pai, when she saw all of our names/nationalities (aka clearly from Qc). After teaching in China for 10 months, so Qc action sounded too good to pass! hehehe, I agree!
So anyway, off we went, on the quietest river in history.. we slowly drifted for the entire first day, with rapids that don't even deserve the name (weren't even classified, so actually don't deserve the name) while chatting, burning in the sun and being periodically covered in spiders (whevener the guide felt like having us go through branches, which were ALWAYS covered with quite large spiders! weee, made for some good panic attacks! hehehe). Good times! hehehe The highlight of the day was certainly the waterfall, which looked a bit small at first glance, but turned out to have the whole "back area" with water falling down small pools and stuff! Sooo much fun!!!
I have pics and will post them when I get to Bangkok (2 days for now).
We then arrived at the camp for the night, a few huts built in the middle of the jungle, which was very very cool and well set-up. We quickly set for a 1/2hour trek to a cave called Tiger cave (there's apparently a tiger bone somewhere far inside), which turned out quite cool, except that I didn't go all the way into the cave (the first part -maybe 50 meters in, going down- was ok, but going further required some serious squezzing through crevasses (well, not crevasses, as the opening was horizontal), but the rock was barely more than 30cm off the ground, requiring some serious crawling to get through the next chamber. There are apparently 4-5 of those "squeeze under" bouts .... I'll pass thank you very much. Furthermore the Israeli girl was having a bit of a panic attack (the whole trip was clearly difficult for her), so I (heroically khe khe!) hehehe) offered to go back up with her to the surface. Annie decided to join us. This cave is apparently off limits during the wet season as it fills up a little and one must hold their breath to go to the next chamber, and it (obviously) gets dangerous/impossible). Anyway, this allowed us to talk a slow and easy walk back to camp, while enjoying the bamboo forest and clear fresh creek and being midly attacked by mosquitos and big red ants. Lovely! hehehe (really, not so bad at all)

Back to camp we got to "shower" in the creek and change into dry clother (nice after being wet/hot/dirty for a full day!!) We eventually had an ok dinner, and got to sit around a fire, have a few beers while some people played guitar and tamtams. Ahhh... alcohol, camp fire, no electricity, lots of bugs... classic "camping". It started pouring (which was really needed for the water levels to potentially allow some half decent rafting) and we slept in a very damp environment, but it was great to be in such "middle of nowhere" nature. On the topic of spiders, while I clearly didn't like the ones we faced during the day, I had a real scare that evening. There were several toilets (all the "Thai type" I posted a pic of a while back, except for 1 "Western style"). I quite happily did my "petit pipi" on the Western one, and must have jumped a foot and a half when I got up and saw a MASSIVE black (well, it was dark, so it looked black, specially off the white ceramic) spider, with a body of nearly 1 inch and very long asociated legs! AHHHH!! It was right at the rim of the bowl, less than a freaking inch off my butt!!! AHHHH! Anyway, poured water over it and it quickly crawled wherever else it went, and I made sure to no frequent that toilet again. Weeee!
On a funner note, we got to chat with the guides (ours and the one for the French guys), which is always fun. It turns out that Canada and Thailand are not sooo different from each other on the topics of relationships/marriage, divorce, some politics, and many others things that I (sadly) forget at the moment. I really enjoyed this chat.
Ona different but related note: I finally got my itenary for France set-up, thanks to a chat with the French guys. I look forward to it! The Pyrenees, french country side, Paris, les Chateaux de la Loire...yay!!

The following day also started quite easy (rafting-wise), despite the fact that the water had rose by 1-2feet just from the rain of the previous night! It was a muddy ugly new shade of brown though! hehehe. Same slow drifting and periodic spider attacks, until we finally made it to Pai river, and to a few half decent rapids, which made me decide that I definitely want to go rafting again (It was my first experience). The guide was also very good, often turning the raft off the "best line" (on smaller rapids) so we'd get wet and a bit scared. Overall, there's was only 3-4 really good ones, the rest were quite easy, but whitewater rafting is undeniably very very fun!
We stopped at some hot springs, which were a bit of a disappointment, as we all expected sort of a pool (not advertised as such, but was just somehow expected), as well as a mud bath (was advertised at the travel office), but what we got was 3 small creeks of tiny, almost boiling water, and no real mud in sight. We couldn't have gone in the water even if there had been a pool, as the water was 70 to 80celcius!!!! (boiling is 100 I think) You could barely touch the it! hehehe, now THAT's a HOT spring! Anyway, I though it was nice nevertheless.
We then made it to a cliff jump spot, where one can choose to jump (although this part of the trip is not covered by insurance, as we got told a few times! hehehe). The jump is normally 7 meters high, but because of the super low water levels (of the end of dry season-and rainy season hasn't really started yet here), it was actually 10 meters high, with less water to land in!
The low water level could actually be seen throughout the 2 days, and I could certainly imagine the experience to be a LOT different at the end of wet season (the toughest rapid we did was level 2-3, which, when the water is high, it's easily 4-5 - big massive difference!!).
Anyway, Annie, who weights at least 30-40 pounds less than me said that she actually went flat on her back at the bottom of the river when she landed from the jump (didn't get hurt, but still!). It really didn't look fun at all so I took on my chicken costume and passed (only 3 of 6 people jumped).
We still had a good hour of slow easy drafting before finally making it to the end of the trip. By that time I was glad to get off and looking forward to getting into some dry clothes!
While my teammates had a 2.5hour ride back to Pai on the back of those "jeep/bus" things, I only had a 15mins ride to Mae Hong Son.

Posted by Mistrale 05:46 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

Leaving Pai tomorrow

and other random notes

sunny 33 °C

Written on May 30....

It's lychee season up here and the lychees are the ABSOLUTE BEST I'VE EVER HAD!!! I know I say that to every fruit I eat, but lychee is my favorite fruit!!!
Just like everything else here, they're sold by the kilo, and cost 5-10B/kilo (that's 15-30cents) of pure fruity juicy goodness!!! The "pulp" (eatable part) is sooo tick and good! I don't hink I'll ever be able to eat lychee ever again in Canada...same applies to mangoes and well, I'm afraid fruit in general...
I've had at least 4 kilos already (no kidding!) and just writing about it makes me want to buy another one and eat it on the hammock in the garden of my guesthouse. Done, it'll happen for sure now!
The same applies to restaurants; everything here is served so fresh (i.e upon ordering a fruit shake, or meal of any sort, the owner regularly leaves the restaurant to go get the item in question (from the market near by) which was probably picked the same day, or the day before at the latest...Image that!

On a different note: I'm leaving Pai (which is an overall quite boring town, except for the kickboxing and some yoga) for the town of Mae Han Son, where I plan to spend a couple of days exploring what is called "the heavens of Thailand!" no small title! I ended-up doing only 4 days of kickboxing as it is quite repetitive (obviously, one has to practice until the moves come automatically - but for someone like me who has no plans of ever pursduing any kind of further career, it gets boring!) and a combination of boredom with the moves and what I think might be the beginning of stress fracture sin my feet (from skipping bare feet on concrete) made me cut the training short (still love, and will certainly miss, the intense workout though). Today I decided to take the "day off" and slept in my wonderful wonderful hut until 11:30. It felt great to hear nothing but birds chirping, the breeze and mangoes and coconuts falling on the ground. Ahhhh, sooo great and relaxing!

Aliya will stay here for probably another month, training and she "discovered" yoga today, which she plans to incorporate into the training schedule. I think it's a great idea and will work great for her (it helps that we took a "before" pic of her to do a little "before and after" picture show. It really seems to work as a great incentive for her, and I wish I had done that when I lost my weight a while ago... of well, at this rate I'll be able to do it once I come back to Canada and are able to traing regularly again (because the weight IS packing on!! arrgghhh!!). The yoga teacher is a beautiful, hippie, 59 yrs olf (60 on June 6) Thai ladie with long plack dreads and a lovely attitude. She does a Hata yoga that sounds like it's leaning toward power yoga, which is great! I can totally see why Aliya would love it, and it's a definite GREAT combo with kickboxing.
Well, that's that for that, more news whenever!

Posted by Mistrale 23:33 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

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