Saturday, January 31, 2009

Shock to the System

I just had the most wonderful meal, here at the Vegetarian Restaurant. Catchy name. I passed by this place last night on my weary way to the Night Market. It looked nice. Turns out it's affiliated with the Elephant Nature Park, where I'll hopefully be headed Wednesday.
Their menu was about 25 pages long. Incredibly varied. I had red curry with some sort of yummy brown rice and a side dish of fried mushroom cakes with a dipping sauce. The first bite of the curry caught me by surprise--immediately yummy and then wham! HOT. But I got used to it without too many tears or a runny nose. This was the best meal I've had yet, though my breakfast burrito and mocha at the Art Cafe was damned good.
My body thinks it's 1am still.
I've been walking all over the place. It's just a little bit hot in the sun. Just a bit. In the shade it's perfect. Very different from last time, when we were all just melting.
I took a long and wild tuk tuk ride to my dental apt. I thought the driver was trying to over charge me at first, but then it really was a long way. The problem with the tuk tuks and even the songtheaws is that they're hard to see out of. At least if you're tall.
As we careened throught the chaotic streets I became more and more nervous about my dental apt. I always do that. Put off the worry until the end. Not sure if it's better that way or not, but I can't help it.
The apt was indeed a shock, despite my research and all. Because the xrays showed that I'll most likely need two root canals on two back molars. I suspected I might need one. So that was bad news. Not just because of the pain and extra expense (hey, the more I spend the more I save!) but because it means lots of extra apts. Seven in all, counting today, where she mainly just took impressions of my teeth.
So much for all my jolly sight seeing plans. I'm going to be here in Chiang Mai pretty much the whole time. Which is fine.
Last night I was trying not to go to bed too early, so I walked over to the Night Market, trying to find the outdoor food area where Krista ate her famous bowl of HOT soup. I have a great photo of her eating it, sweating like crazy. Didn't find it, but did look about in the shops and night market stalls.
I'm not all that into shopping. But this experience is staggering. I was especially caught by the bags, dresses, and coats made out of Hill Tribe fabrics and sewn together in very creative stylish ways. One woman's stall in particular grabbed me. She said her sister did all the sewing (and designing). I'll probably bring some back.
The big problem with Thai clothing though is that all the sizes are too small for us Jumbo Size Americans.
I just noticed this is getting pretty stream of consciousness here.
So I'll just mention what I discovered about the Taipei airport. Our flight from SFO got dumped out into the old section of airport. It's smelly. And kind of grungy. I had time to kill, so I put my heavy bags on a cart (they're always free in other countries) and went for a long walk down the seemingly endless corridor. Finally I did see the end, or so I thought, and decided to go all the way. But there was a corner and then another and viola! I was suddenly in the NEW section of the Taipei airport, with floors of shiny polished granite and an art exhibit, a kid's playground area, and best of all--an area set apart with bamboo in planters, with pretty lanterns overhead and eight massage chairs. The really good ones that even do your calves. And they were for free! I went through two cycles, about 4o minutes I think. Oh my god.
Oh, and there were free internet stations all along the way.
Not such luck in the Bangkok airport. Big and modern and clean, but no freebies. Even the seats in the gate areas were metal. C'mon. Metal?
I hit bottom there. I desperately needed to eat, but all the food looked horrid. Warmed over airport food. I ate a Cliff bar and a carrot and felt awfully shaky until I did some tapping.
Anyhow, I'm here and I just used up my free internet. Gotta go.
love and hugs,

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