Sunday, February 20, 2005

Today In Chiang Mai

Waking Dream: I am seeing the luminous face of a woman I know very well. I know I've met her before but I can't remember where. Her face has the bright glow that I described when I first met Jude on the Kanchanaburi Trek. I try to write down the features of her face because I know I need to remember it. I wake up here and the face is still strong in my vision, like the Oriental Vision I described in another Blog post.

My sister asked me to show her what Chiang Mai is like. Do you see elephants in the city? What does your Hotel look like? Let's take a tour together...

That's the bathroom in my hotel room. What you see on the wall is an electric heater. It heats the water for my shower as it comes out of the hose; and it works very well. When I turn the bathroom light on it acts exactly like that scene in the movie 'Apollo 13'. Remember when NASA has the astronauts turn the lights on in the capsule after being off for 5 days. They sputter to life and make a ping sound. That's the lighting here. "okay, yes, Houston, the light is operating. Tooth Brushing is commencing..." I already solved the mystery of the toilet flush so let's move on...

this is my bed. It is hard and has just the one grey sheet. I have a fan in the room to keep me cool at night. Sometime early in the morning, Chiang Mai cools down enough that I need to turn off the fan and use one of the red blankets.

This is the door to my room. I knocked on 203 but then I remembered it was the wrong city. Sorry Judy. You notice the second, padlock. I bought it to give myself security in my room. No one ever comes by to clean the suite. The ants like it that way. I lock my door, forgetting my key. When I come back with one of the Hotel staff, I meet two woman just coming downstairs with their packs on ready to go on a trek. I'm in a hurry to get on with my day so just nod to them and head downstairs.

Then it's downstairs and a five second walk next door to my favorite breakfast place: 'Nice Kitchen' where I eat my usual; scrambled eggs on a croissant with a slice of ham and Thai coffee. I hear the sound of Sitar music in the background and smell sandalwood suddenly; and then it's gone. I look over and there are the two women I saw upstairs, sitting at the table next to me. I don't know why I seem to need to meet them but I say hello. I learned from reading 'The Celestine Prophecies' not to take such meetings for granted. Or maybe it's from seeing too many episodes of 'Joan of Arcadia'. Anyway, we talk for a moment and they tell me they are here from Bavaria. I don't know what it means. I'm just the reporter.

Then I head one door over to read my email and answer my fan letters; well at least read my email...

Then Dennis shows up and we head out to do some shopping. On the way we pass by 'Mikes' which is the local hangout for Americans and Canadians who get nostalgic for the greasy food back home and for the political satire that bashes the Bush administration.

I keep looking for the brand names and so I bought this shirt from a sweetie at one of the shops. 150 baht. She wanted 220. I told her she needed to sell to me because I was her first customer today. "Ist customer Lucky" I reminded her.

Chaotic shopping and in it's midst, beautiful Thai Temples, all swirling together as one community.

This face reminded me of the link you made on your site for me. Namaste'!

We were getting hungry so we headed down the street to 'The Salsa Kitchen' where I had a bowl of Cuban Black Bean Soup. As we sit eating, we listen to twangy country music droning in the background: "...that's all it took for me to yurn for your embrace..."

Dennis had the chicken but couldn't remember the words (which was a blessing).

In the afternoon, Dennis rode off to the Train station to take the train to Bangkok. We will meet up on the 23rd to head off to the Islands for some well deserved R and R after our gruelling time here In Chiang Mai.
I went for dinner at a smorg that serves 'steak' that you fry yourself and all you can eat for 95 baht (less than three dollars).

The interesting thing about my trip is that no matter where I go, I seem to have some Soul to watch out for me. In Bangkok it was Sanga. In Chaing Mai it has been Dennis. Now that I'm alone for a night I find that this little dog walked around the whole restaurant while I was eating and settled down right beside me for a sleep.
I meet John McCoy, who has a bookshop called Irish Rover, just down the street from my Hotel. just as I'm writing this entry. He's been here since July of 98' He says he moved here and met a woman who he had a beautiful boy with. Now she's gone and he's looking again. Please send your proposals to the Blog. I'll pass them on. John has invited me to go to a Jazz bar that starts at 10pm so off I go.

As a footnote: As I write this post, I met John, who I then added to the Blog right as we talked. Meanwhile, as I'm talking to John and uploading pictures and writing this Post, Melissa is back in Ontario, reformatting the pictures as I'm adding them. Meanwhile, Kathy from Calgary is chatting with me on Yahoo Messenger. Meanwhile I am already receiving comments on the Blog I'm working on, from people all over the world who are reading it. This is the Chaos that is my life. And I love it. Oh yes! I forgot to mention the elephants! Maybe next time Meliss...

15 comments:

~~ Melissa said...

Thank you, Stevie. I guess no elephants were used in the making of this tour....

pmelissa said...

Those of us here in the snow are chuckling over your 'must deserved R & R' remark. Green with envy, I am.

Anonymous said...

does John Mccoy like older women? Is his book store well stocked?
J.P.

B$ said...

I am really enjoying your trip. I am amazed at the amount of people you meet. I have been in this city for almost three years and have only met a hand full of people.

ps- Love the pictures

Angie said...

Dad.... You look so good on your bike, i wish i was there with you. Have fun and be safe, love you and miss you.

somsoc said...

What fun to see your haunts.

Anonymous said...

hmmmmmmmmmmmmm man with a bookstore ...in Thailand... looking for a woman...

you're right Steve... I'll throw some things into a bag and be right over...
and it was nice talkig to you this morning...evening...or whateverit was...

Kathy

Steven said...

P.Melissa: But the good news is, no elephants were harmed either...
Yes, we need a break after this gruelling adventure. Eat this, walk there, see that Temple, have that esoteric experience...I'm frazzled just thinking about it ;}

Steven said...

JP:We'll add your name to the Lottery. See John? Advertizing does work. I think I'll leave the 'well stocked' line alone though...

Steven said...

b$: I'm amazed too. Why don't you hop on a Plane? There's plenty of people left to meet. Sound like a plan?

Steven said...

somsoc: Thanks for all your encouragement. And for your letters. You add a lot to my journey by your presence J.

Steven said...

Kathy: Make a list of the books you're looking for. John will be happy to accomodate. It was great talking to you last night too. Besides you are my excuse for poor grammar in this piece. I was too busy talking to you to pay attention. Now wait til you see Sukhotai. I'm here now Kathy.

Anonymous said...

Good picture John!! The one I've been waiting for...and you never sent...any news from Ms Lewin?

c.a.

Anonymous said...

Denis, shave that beard off, it
makes you look old! PeterP

Steven said...

Actually Peter, you should see the women he is attracting with that beard. I'll post a picture of Althea from England, tommorrow. I think the rest of us should think about growing beards. He is a chick magnet. All I meet is Buddhist Monks.