Friday, January 29, 2010

Getting to know Pai

Thursday night Christina and I did indeed manage to have a meal without pork. When I got back from the internet cafe, I found Christina talking to man named Andreas and he joined us for the evening. (Aside: Christina asked where he was from and then said that she wanted to guess. She guessed either Germany or the Netherlands and Andreas laughed and said that he was born in Germany, but was now living in the Netherlands. :-) I never woulda figured that out.) The three of us walked to the nearby night market for dinner and then found a bar to chill out in while we played cards. One funny story: Andreas asked how the breakfast was at our guesthouse and Christina said it was good. I commented that all she'd had was toast, how could she judge just based on that? Then she went into her reasoning - three pieces of toast instead of just two, butter that was not too cold and perfect for spreading, and all the jam she could eat, not just a little portion of it. Well! She told me, didn't she? I don't know, it's probably not funny to read it, but the two of us were cracking up and poor Andreas was just looking on like, "huh?" It was an early-ish night because Christina had a 7am bus to Chiang Mai.

Friday morning Andreas and I had breakfast before I got my own bus to Pai. He'd been asking me a bunch of questions about India because he's thinking of taking his kids there, so we exchanged information, I told him to check out my India blog posts, and I gave him my email address in case he had any questions. I don't think he'll email me because he says his written English isn't very good, but hopefully my experiences and writings in India will be useful to him. My bus to Pai left at 10:30am and took about 3 1/2 hours. The road is just as windy and curvy as the road from Chiang Mai to MHS, but this time it was daylight, so I actually got to see it! The countryside really is beautiful and it was a nice trip.

I arrived in Pai at about 2pm and immediately set out to find lodging. I'd heard from Christina that there was a reggae festival happening this weekend to coincide with the full moon. I was worried that this might mean it would be difficult to find a place to stay within my price range, so I walked away from the center of town, thinking rooms would get cheaper the farther away they were. This didn't exactly turn out to be true - the first place had a room for 400B, but the fifth place had a room for 1000B (WAY out of my budget). After about an hour, I was back near the center of town at a place called 1095 (1095 is the highway with all the curves) with a room for 300B. I was hot and sweaty with all that walking with my pack on, so I changed my clothes and went out in search of something interesting.

I walked a few blocks and was approached by two British girls, Marina and Rhian, who had just arrived. They were loaded down with bags and asked me if I had any recommendations for cheap accommodations. Since I had no agenda or plan and since I totally felt their pain after having just walked an hour myself to find a place, I told them that I'd show them a place I went to first that was right in town. It had been too expensive for me, but they were two people so it would be cheaper for them. Now that the introductions were out of the way, lol, the three of us decided to explore a bit and we spent the rest of the day together. We were joined later by Gabby from Switzerland, a girl that Marina and Rhian had met in Chiang Mai. (Another aside: Randomly running into people that you've met in other places seems to be the norm these days. Remember my two run-ins in India? Well, yesterday I was absolutely sure that I saw Wolfgang, a guy I met at a CS party in Istanbul. He was riding off on a bike, so I didn't get to stop him to see for sure, but I will be on the lookout for him today!) The four of us seemed to do a lot of eating and walking last night, apparently a favorite activity for us all. We had noodles and rice and omelets for dinner, banana and chocolate roti for snack #1, and black sticky rice with black sesame for snack #2, plus there were a couple of beers and sodas in there, too.

Gabby leaves tonight - to go to. . .Laos? Chiang Mai? I can't remember - but Marina, Rhian, and I will all be here for the next few days, so I imagine we'll catch up with each other again. Today the plan is to take it easy and take a lot of pictures. Pai is very photogenic!

No comments:

Post a Comment