overall, thailand is suiting me quite well. i’m loving the food; the people are enchanting; being able to wear skirts pretty much all the time and never having to be concerned about bringing a jacket out are pretty awesome things. but after a month here (one month anniversary was on friday!), I was sort of craving a bit of amerikuh goodness.
enter chiang mai, complete with burritos, sandwiches, shocking amounts of English speakers, and starbucks. ohhhhh, starbucks. I didn’t realize what a shameless consumerist I’d become until I saw the starbucks here and squealed.
we (maddy, ally, tahsh, and i) left suphanburi around 3:30 pm on Tuesday and, after an hour+ long van ride (100 baht/~$3) and an expensive, equally long taxi ride (~80 baht each/~$2.90), we got to the airport to pick up our train tickets. since we bought them online, we had to pick them up not at the train station but the airport. logic completely escaped these train ticket sellers because 1) they didn’t put the pick up desk at the train station, where the trains ACTUALLY ARE 2) they put them at the airport, which is an hour away from the train station in half-decent traffic 3) not only were the tickets at the airport, but they were at a random cargo station, which is a shuttle ride away from the regular part of the airport where normal people put pick up desks.
whatever. that story’s probably not going to come off nearly as confusing/hilarious as it was in person, so just trust when I say it was a crazy time. we finally got our tickets, made it to the train station, and hopped on our overnight train. maddy and i took some sleeping drugs and slept like babies on the way up there, and when we finally pulled into the station just after 1 pm, i felt completely well rested (though i was starving--shitty breakfast food on the train. whoda thunk).
we checked into our hostel ("a little bird," it was called. i highly recommend it) and the first item on the list was food. western food, to be exact. we'd heard about the delicious western food all over the city, but even so, when we walked across the street to a burrito place, we nearly fainted when we saw the deliciousness of the food. OH MY GOD I'VE MISSED BURRITOS.
on thursday we woke up reallllllll early in the morning to do the gibbon experience, which was a 15-platform zip line thing through the jungles just north (i think) of chiang mai. phenomenal. the pictures tell better stories (but don't judge me...harnesses make everyone look bad).
the rest of the trip was punctuated by tons of shopping, lots of delicious (if expensive) eating of solely western food (hence the title), gallons of coffee drinking, and lots of hanging out with friends from the north. these names won't mean a thing to most of you, but we met up with nancy, brian, brian's friend joe, markus, and cindy, and i was overjoyed. it's weird how close we became during that orientation week, and how much i've missed this people in the three weeks since i've last seen them, and how comfortable i felt with them. thailand friends, you're pretty neat.
this won't be the final chiang mai trip, not by a long shot. i just want to exist in coffee shops there a lot more.