I saw the dentist yesterday who verified that my wisdom teeth were indeed coming in (had come in) and that they were problematic; I have a “very very very small jaw” and the teeth are “quite large” and coming in “transverse” – “very problematic”. There is no question that they have to be removed and, given that I’m going to have a series of infections until they are removed and suffer the pain – the sooner the better. Normally, the dentist told me, he would be able to do the extractions – but my case was “so difficult” that he referred me to a dental surgeon.I saw the dental surgeon for a consultation this afternoon. The dental surgeon took a look at my mouth and winced. He looked at the… Continue reading
I wake at dawn to do yoga on a mountain top. Mist rises in the valley below as the clouds float into the sky above like a curtain peeling back.I sleep in a mud-and-straw hut with a thatched roof. Orange curtains, the same color as the monk’s robes, hang in front of the fine blue netting which covers the windows.
Cooking classes commence once we’ve all gathered in the Coffee Shop each morning. The Coffee Shop has, technically speaking, neither walls nor corners. There are a woven mats covering the floors, two long low benches molded from the same earthen clay as the floor and counter, shelves of books in both Thai and English, bamboo curtains, pillars… Continue reading
[Various excerpts from my journal… Bit fragmented, sorry!]
I can’t manage to slip my gaze past the valley without it getting caught. I find myself staring off into the view, which is nearly omnipresent. (I find the other guests – even the other residents – doing the same on a regular basis; to say that the view is distracting would be an understatement.)There are more shades of green on display than I had imagined existed.
The peaked roof of a Buddhist temple stands out, as do the red-tile roofs of the larger houses. Rice fields form a patchwork quilt, held together by various crops and decorated by random trees. Untamed patches hover at the sidelines; palm trees fill the… Continue reading
“Hey Noelle, yee’alright?”
Ruben starts all conversations this way – he says it’s the Isle of Man’s equivalent of “What’s up?” (He also says that he’s Manx, not British and not Irish) but it still startles me each time I hear it. Particularly this time, given that I’m calling because I’m not all right.
“No, actually… I got robbed last night. I need a favor… can you give me a ride to the Embassy and the police station? I’ve only got 80 baht left and that’s not enough for a tuk tuk driver and it’s probably close enough to walk but I’m afraid I’d get lost and – the got my passport, my camera, my credit card – yes, everything – no, no, I’m fine they didn’t hurt me – this motorbike
Playing solitaire for two hours accross the street from the US Embassy makes the guards incredibly nervous.
It wasn’t Martin Luther King Jr’s birthday and it was, indeed, one of the two days of the week that the Embassy was open to the public – but when I arrived the Embassy was, nonetheless, closed. I’d slept later than I’d intended to, slowly pulled myself together, asked around the hostel for directions (no one knew how to get to the Embassy or even the river, but I did get 100 baht – after having dinner the night before I was down to 60 baht – from two Canadian guys who took pity on me), tried to walk it, gave up and got a tuk tuk (50 baht).
Only to find it was lunchtime.
They say (the proverbial they being, in this case as in all cases while traveling, Lonely Planet) that Chiang Mai doesn’t have much of a nightlife. And, to be fair, it might not have the shining neon, triple-story giant clubs of Bangkok or the endless dusk-to-dawn partying of the beaches in the southeast – but they have music here. And the music is wonderful. A good helping of classic rock (I hear “The Wall” at least once per bar any given night), enough reggae to keep the Caribbean happy, indie-alternative (with more bass) and the occasional hip-hop. A Norwegian music producer (ex-psychologist who decided to pursue a happier life) brings new cds to Bohemian’s every few days. Every third place has a live… Continue reading
“I figure it out,” he told me. “Your next president is Britney Spears.”
He’d asked me, the day before, whether I thought Hilary or Obama would win. After explaining that they were both on the same side and that, in my opinion, neither could win a national election due to the American culture of repressed racism and sexism (not to mention the Electoral College), I’d refused to hazard a guess as to the next American president.
“Your next president is Britney Spears, no? This is why I see her so much on the news? She is winning, no?”
I didn’t hear him correctly at first. It took a moment. And then there was nothing to do but put my head in my hands and groan.
Gal, along with his girlfriend Sai, owns and runs