Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Chiangmai: This Isn't Goodbye

This afternoon I'm flying to Singapore, and I absolutely don't want to leave this city! I think in order for someone to fall in love with a city, it has to have many elements that might make you happy as a person. So, for me, Chiangmai has so many. 

There are the mountains. These preserved giants of serenity and mystery, and THESE mountains are dotted with hidden temples, where you can pop in and have a quiet moment with your Maker, with your inner self, and think about your life. 

The motorbikes are so convenient, and quick. I'm so impatient, and who really likes public transportation anyway! You can buzz right from your house to any store, in no time. And you get to scoot to the front of the traffic line,too. 

Thai people seem to keep to themselves. It's known as the Land of Smiles; but they don't walk around with unwarranted, over exerted and forced faces full of teeth. But, if you give any indication of a smile combined with direct eye contact, their faces LIGHT UP, like no return of a smile that I've ever seen. And then, suddenly, I understood the phrase.

There's a small city! Full of life, with everything you need. There are poor parts, there are rich parts, and it's all so close together. Quaint, convenient. 

And, well, the weather. I don't mind bug bites, I don't mind humidity. I love the tropical weather. All day, any day. 

I know I like it here because, well, I don't think I've done a single thing that friends have recommended to me. I'm only doing things that feel organic, with some help from Google. 

The jet lag bug hit me hard again this morning. At 3am, in trying to force my circadian clock to adjust to the time zone, it would have none of it. I discovered the Nong Huak Hard Park last night, when taking my soothing laps around the old city on my bike. I decided I was going to go for a run in it this morning, but I knew it opened only at 8:30. I happened to read that older people practice tai chi in it during the wee hours, so at 5:00, I headed over and sure enough, all of the main gates were locked, except for a small two-foot section of gate where they would slip inside.

I parked, in the wrong spot, and figured a lap of the park was a little larger than a track, and decided to run 12 laps. Wow! I've never surfed, but I was absolutely as slippery as the waxed bottom of a board when I was finished. 

I headed back to the coffee shop that I visited yesterday morning and talked to my Mom for about an hour on WhatsApp, swinging away on my hanging bench, singing to the pop music playing overhead, and planning our return trip here next year. 

At 7:30 I headed back to shower and was the first customer at Rustic & Blue, which I had scouted out the day before. I mean, eggs benedict, what??

I'm going to attempt to get these nails done, pack up, return the bike (in tears) and head to the airport! 

See you in Singapore! 

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