The thing i’ve been thinking about this past week is mostly whether ‘everything happens for a reason’. Its become a mini debate in my head, whilst I juggle trying to not to think about the past or the future, and be all ‘present’ and such.
It’s tough work this travelling stuff. Lots of time to think, and you’re constantly being told that the secret to happiness is not to!
In fact, I need to write up my meditation retreat properly; plus there’s my 24 hours in hippy ‘paradise’ Pai, so that’s all to come… but for now, here’s my 2nd mini update. I’ll try to keep it snappy:
Relaxing day in Ayutthaya with my Croatian friend from London.
We hang out in our dorm, then go to the backpacker area (which is just one road with some guest houses and bars on it)… drink shakes. Tea. Eat. Talk. Then head back to hostel and hang out in our dorm. Sleep. Tati’s Thai motorbike friend ‘X’ ends up heartbroken as he doesn’t get to see her again.
I also read the final few chapters of my ‘novel’. Yeh, that one I was supposed to write when I was out here which I haven’t quite gotten to yet? And it’s SHIT. And loads of it isn’t there anymore. I must have deleted it at some stage. For being rubbish, probably. Feel sad. Writing confidance crumbles.
I start thinking about my weird meditation experience from the other day. I heard a voice telling me ‘go straight to Chiang Mai’ just after I had made a decision in my head to go to Burma. And I had some weird visions come to me. What did it all mean?
Then I realise that Myanar (Burma) isn’t likely to happen. Visa takes a few days to process (online) and costs $65. Or I’d have to go back to Bangkok to sort it out. Am running out of time it feels like. Plus the ‘voice’ told me to go to Chiang Mai… so, uh, is that what I should do?
Cool train ride from Ayutthaya to Don Muang (the old Bangkok airport) – its a nice and breezy 45 minutes, with Thai ladies walking up and down the aisles offering a range of typically indescribable Thai snacks.
Flight to Chiang Mai, and i’m drinking a glass of wine by 9pm at Kafe on Moon Soi 5 after a street massage and walk around the buzzing Sunday night market. And i’m feeling very happy!
LOVE CHIANG MAI. Write this:
I am so freakin happy right now. I am completely on my own for the first time in weeks, don’t know a soul. Have loved the company I have had to date, but here I am totally solo in Chiang Mai and I love love love it! The other day on the meditiation retreat I asked the universe whether I should go to myanmar or chiang mai sinc ei was running outta time and dollar, and actually I decided on myanmar but then when deep in meditation I heard a voice, no joke, and this is a totally new thing for me…. tell me to head straight to Chiang Mai. It just came totally out nowhere. Divine intervention? God knows. Or buddah. Or the universal conscience or whatnot. But here I am. And its goooooood.
Wake up and decide I need to stay somewhere cheaper – I walk down the road and this place called Rama draws me in. Beautiful garden, two people are having massage lessons, sold. I get a twin room for 600baht as that’s all they have. I take a walk round all the little lanes in the old city of Chiang Mai, and converse with a passer by as he asks ‘are you ok, do you need directions?’ and I joke ‘nah i’m cool, just tackling life’s biggest questions… do I go left? Or do I go right?’ and he laughs.
Later back at Rama I meet Ward (pronounced Vart – I had to be careful not to say Fart) a Dutch air steward who has been ill and is debating whether his trip has come to a premature end, after three weeks of his month off travelling. The owner of Rama is Noi. She’s a chatty, beautiful Thai lady who is probably in her 40s and has a wealth of worldly experience having lived all over the world and speaks multiple languages, even though her English is a little tricky to follow sometimes. Especially throughout intense philosophical and spiritual conversations, which she was prone to enjoying, particularly with me I think.
Nai is responsible for hooking me up with The Master. Read more about that HERE. Results in slightly awkward energy between us after she tries to charge me 2000baht for the most excrutiatingly painful experience of my life. And I refuse to pay it. I’m charming though, of course (did you doubt me?) and everything’s fine as I settle on 1,000baht. It’s totally fine.
My Dutch friend Ward heads to ‘Monk Chat’ an overnight experience with the Monks of the Chiang Mai University – you pay 500baht and get to spend 24 hours ‘chatting’ to nominal English speaking Buddhist Monks about life, the universe and well, Buddhism. I wanted to go but Nai said it would be quite basic for me, given i’m now a meditation ‘pro’ 🙂
I find this super cheap amazingly tasty well cooked delicious local restaurant with no name and sit in there for an hour eating Kao Seow (Chiang Mai noodle curry that has these crispy bits on top) and fried eggs, drinking Chinese tea whilst I chat to a nice lady-friend of the owner who spoke good English. These two super cute Australian/Thai 18 year olds also chat to me and its nice to meet some friendly people.
EVENING. ATE THE BEST PIZZA MEAL I HAVE EVER HAD IN MY LIFE. Dukes. On the river, north of Taipae Gate. 699baht (about £15) it wasn’t cheap but was so so worth it.
I have a shit night’s sleep, my bathroom stinks of something really really awful (nothing to do with me), and so I move into Ward’s room to room-sit for the night. He has a king size bed AND pays 100baht less than I did in my single bedded twin. Result!
Another bad sleep. I wake up and think I need a little luxury.
I google ‘cheapest best hotels Chiang Mai’ and it comes up with Amora Taipae Hotel, and I remember the two cute ozzies I met in that local restaurant as they were staying there. I walk in off the street and book two nights for around £38 per night. Widescreen TV, amazing view on the 11th floor, and a proper duvet!
View from my new bedroom at the Amora Hotel.
I rent a motorbike and pop around town whizzing past temples and ruins.
I go to this Art Illusion Exhibition place that I find a flier for – it’s called Art in Paradise and you can find out more about it HERE. There’s a picture of the Mona Lisa there, and it freaks me out because in my weird meditation with the visions from the retreat, had the mona lisa painting in it. I think i’m on some kind of spiritual quest and wander what’s going to happen next!
WEIRD. Just WEIRD.