Wow. I really dig this place. As soon as the plane was about 10,000 feet above the ground, working it's way closer to the city on the descent I just felt that I would dig this place. Thailand's second largest city & totally surrounded by jungle, Chiang Mai is a pretty mellowish & very smiling little city. This is the culture I was looking for down south in the islands. But down there, you're merely a walking ATM machine; and they know your pin number...Singha! Anyway, even though I really want to get a good solid feel of the Thai culture, I was feeling a little homesick. So instead of seeking out a street vendor with some amazing Masamon, I went into an American-themed bar. Dark wood interior, sorta like a log cabin. Liscence plates, deer heads,plasma screen tv's playing country music videos and old retired rifles adorn the walls. It's like a cross between a TGI Fridays and some backwoods bar in Colorado. Just like being in the states with the exception that portraits of Thailand's King & Queen sit atop a gaudy, royal gold leaf shelf. That and the geckos crawling on the ceiling. I ordered a little Tex Mex from the drop dead gorgeous waitress and flipped through my guide book.
Everyone I've spoken too so far has been so friendly. The smiling is absolutely contagious. Anyway I'm off to the night market to do a little haggling. I feel that I need another flower print shirt. Then I'm off to Pai tomorrow morning.
Oh by the way, the Internet cafe has beer. Well, in Thailand, you can buy beer in a Internet cafe. And I don't mean in a paper cup either. They give you a glass of beer, like in a bar. Dig.