Extensive travel with your partner can certainly be trying from time to time. New surroundings, new cultures, unexpected hiccups can be intimidating and make for some tense moments. Living quarters (read hotel rooms) restrict the freedom to escape you feel in your home where you can just go to another room or the garage to get lost in a project. Adventure to far off destinations is not all a bed of roses and finding the balance that makes for peace and calm is an art form to be mastered. I especially get anxious being on my own exploring but then when I finally leap, I always enjoy myself!
My partner was still not quite recovered from the jet lag (or at least that’s the excuse I’m giving him) and I could feel his angst about my need to be on the go but not quite going in the direction he wanted. I swear it really is as if we speak two different languages a lot of the time! My attitude of “We came all this way, there’s so much to see, come on don’t waste time” mixed with my “I don’t care, whatever you say goes” sentiment was grating his nerves so I dared myself out of the room early on my own to start the weekend. I dropped off some laundry so we could have enough clean “skivvies” for our first adventure upon landing in Chiang Mai. 80 baht a kg and only half that price in the north, not to mention our own washer/dryer in the condo, made me drop off only the necessities. My chat with the young proprietor at Sawadee Massage on Soi 22 (where laundry, massage and salon services are all offered) was fun. There is freedom in being alone that cultivates more discussion. This young proprietor shared with me her excitement about working “maybe 3 months more, go America”. She explained she would be moving to Vegas to join her boyfriend there and be married. She was so excited about the freedoms this would afford her. I became excited for her. The American Dream is still alive and well with those who seek our country for their new home. What we represent to others is almost incomprehensible to us.
The Emporium was my next destination. Walking for exercise was still a priority but I needed a break from the heat. What better place than a mall? This mall spanned both sides of Sukhumvit Road with 3 buildings, nine floors each. This made for a great exercise compound as well as a feast in people watching. I actually used exterior walkways a couple times to get warmed up in my wandering!
Meandering outside I discovered a great park tucked just off this main road and giving access to my route home via Soi 22 so I wandered through finding a haven for tranquility within the city. My honey and I would return here to Benchasiri Park the following day to absorb the slow pace and marvel at the surrounding skyline before catching our flight out of the city.
Ruanthapthim. Excellent traditional Thai and air conditioning! Our culmination of this day was a sporting event at Ambassador Hotel. Boxing in an unusual format that made for great fun. There were eight fighters on the card. 4 matches started out the single elimination bracket. Each fight consisted of three rounds. The first was USA boxing rules, second was Thai Boxing rules and third was MMA rules. Last man standing was the winner. Now we are out of the city and on to adventure riding the Mae Hong Son Loop and discovering life in the mountainous jungles of northern Thailand. Happy Valentines Day my friends! I’ll catch up with you again when we return to Chiang Mai and move into our condo for the six week stint.