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Guess what....it's pretty!

sunny 34 °C

Written on May 24...
I just arrived in Pai a couple of hours ago (stayed in Chang Mai a day longer to get Aliya checked for her stomach problems, which by the way -note for her parents- she's ok). In any case, she knows that I'll come back to town right away if the situation change.

So, Pai is the exact equivalent of Chang Mai, but in much smaller scale. It's a lot more relaxed (Chang Mai is not exactly a stressed out city, but still!) and prettier (in a valley, surrounded by mountains). I'm interested in 2 tours, 1 elephant riding/washing/hanging out with, and the other is a 2 day rafting trip to the next town on my list of places to visit (so conveniently moving me along). I just need to check out prices, cringe a lot, think it over and decide to do it (or not, but I probably will).

Being slightly over half of my trip so far, and after just leaving my travel buddy for the past 4-5 weeks, I feel it's time for a bit of retrospection:

I wanted to start with "Things I'm happy to have done", but really the list would include almost everything I've done so far, so why bother, just read back the previous entries if you want to know, and I'll do the same!

Things I regret the most:
1. Not staying an additional day in Vang Vieng to tube down the river a second time (sooo muucchh fun!!!)
2. Not doing the home-stay that was pushed upon me
3. Not hooking up with guys/meeting a man! (hehehe, life IS tough, I KNOW!!)

Ok, the list is on the ligth side, but that home-stay one is quite a burning disappointment, and it doesn't want to go away for some reason - annoying!!!

Written on May 25...
Alright, drastic change of plans. I've tried and loved Thai kick boxing and will sign up for at least 7 days (maybe 10) - which is essentially the rest of my time here, after which point, I will need to rush back to Bangkok and hop on my plane to India.
The Thai kickboxing all started after I had just found out that the rafting was 1800B (it's 55B to get to the next town by bus!) and would not happen until a big enough group gathered and/or might not at all if the weather kept on being so nice and the river levels kept on dropping... hmmm Furthermore, the elephant trekking is 600B/1person, but normally with 2 people on an elephant, so they would have charged me 900 for the 2 hour ride "alone".... As I was walking, and deep in my "heavy cringing" phase, this hot guy stopped by and gave me a flyer for the Thai kickboxing school that opened a few months ago here in town. We talked a little and I said I would tell my cousin (Aliya), as she was interested in this, and I was leaving shortly (according to my original plan). Anyway, the course is 2000B for 7 days, 4 hours per day (2 in the am and 2 in the pm).
I went to see the school last night, and the clases are very samll (3 then, we were 2 students this morning) and there are 2 teachers (brothers), one of them being an ex "something something" champion. Their names: A and Bee. Thinking they simply made that to be easier for falangs, I asked "what is your real name, the name your mama calls you?" he said since they were kids, they were A and Bee (I'm not sure of the spelling of A, but Bee's name is on the T-shirts and all material) hehehe, talk about parents keeping it simple!!! hehehe

Side note:
In the North of Thailand, they call foreigners "Falangs" as well (just like Laos), while the south calls us "Farangs" and Cambodia calls us "Barangs"... same same but different! hehehe

Other side note:
It's funny to notice that everyone here is chubby. In Thai south, some are skinny some are chubby, in Cambodia everyone, and all animals are skinny (except for pigs and rats - I remember noticing when I saw my first rat "wow, it's fat!!") and in Laos, the poor are skinny and the richer are chubbier (the Laos official we met in Ban Na Hin was by far the chubbiest I saw!)

Well, aside from that I just got an e-mail from Aliya and she's coming over here, and might do the kick boxing after all! Furthermore, with her here, we might actually go on the elephant! (I strangely can live with 600B, but the extra 300 turns me off)
On my side, I just loved the experience this morning. The price is right (albeit a bit steep for my budget, but this town here is pretty cheap to live in, so I should be fine) and more importantly, my body REALLY needed it. I had a little debate with myself yesterday, where my head was "but we want to see the next town!! and elephant trekking/bathing sounds sooo fun" and my body was "I NEED THIS, look at me, notice how we feel! not good! fat! out of shape! getting worst!" (glimpse of Mistrale's weird mind/body conversations hehehe). So anyway,, oh gotta go, the electricity has been cutting on and off doe a while now and the computer's UPS is starting to die as well!

Posted by Mistrale 02:11 Archived in Thailand

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