Driving in Chiang Mai

Tuesday, September 16th, 2008
People on Trucks from Nik's Blog

People on Trucks from Nik's Blog

Yesterday, Nik and I spent some time driving around Chiang Mai simply to drive around Chiang Mai.  We have a love/fear relationship with it because it is fascinating to see things here that you would never see anywhere else, but because of these things it seems to be extremely dangerous.  Nik has done a great blog post and below is a video that we took that Nik has added some music to so that you get the jist.

Nik’s Blog: Sitting, Driving, Watching Chiang Mai Traffic

8inch Pizza on Huey Kaew Road

Monday, September 15th, 2008
8inch Pizza on Huay Kaew Road

8inch Pizza on Huay Kaew Road

As soon as I stepped in this little Chiang Mai pizza restaurant, I could have sworn that I was in San Francisco.  More specifically, I felt like I stepped into the San Francisco kitchen that I dream about.  High ceilings, great work space, casual seating, and good pizza.  The proprietor was very friendly and even turned on the AC and closed the front door after she saw us slapping at early evening mosquitoes.

I just realized what this place reminds me of!!  Ken’s Bakery in Portland, OR on Monday evenings.  (They might not be twins, but maybe distant cousins)  You see, Ken does great wood-fired pizza every Monday, and Alex (my Portland roommate) and I would go from time to time and have two pizzas, a ceasar salad and two glasses of red wine.  8inch doesn’t have the ceasar salads or wine, but it has the potential!  Alex, if you were here, we would be friends with the owner of 8inch.

From my Thailand Apartment

Friday, September 12th, 2008

Believe it or not, Nik and I aren’t always on the go.  Many of our days over the past two months have been spent in our Chiang Mai apartment researching, reading, writing, drawing, eating, cleaning and playing.  At a minimum, we start every day around 9:30am with the breakfast of champions: bananas, sometimes mangoes, coconut yogurt and muesli in the bowl, and hot coffee with Non-fat milk in the cup.  This meal is our one constant western indulgence, and it is the ideal way to start the day.  Our mornings are usually pretty quiet, and the only distractions are the ones that fly through the sky, bark or ring a bell.

In Chiang Mai, the commercial airport is very close to town so no matter where you are, you can see and hear the planes.  Luckily, our window looks out towards the primary flight path, and being the 5 year old that I am, every time I hear a plane I run to the window!  Nik used to laugh at me because I wouldn’t realize the planes were passing until they were almost gone, and then I would get mad that I missed them.  I think my reaction time has gotten better though because I started taking photos.

Sometimes they fly low and look like they might hit the apartment building across the street, and sometimes they fly high and the clouds are so low that we don’t see them at all.  Most of them are basic commercial planes, but occasionally we will see smaller prop-planes.  And on clear mornings, we see fighter jets taking off from the air force base.  These guys typically fly in pairs, but once we saw 5 take off within 5 minutes.  Pretty nice!!

The other distractions occur at street level.  In the mornings, there is this lady that walks to work with her two dogs.  This sounds normal enough, but only the lady walks. The dogs ride in this little push cart, and make a raucous barking at all of the neighborhood dogs.  I don’t know how the woman can stand it every single day!!!  Recently I have noticed her walking home as well, but on the way home, the dogs don’t bark.  Strange.

Then there is the ice cream cart!!!  Around 11:30 every morning, we start hearing the bells of the ice cream cart.  I think there are two or three local guys that work in our neighborhood, or perhaps it is just one super busy one!  He used to walk in front of our apartment building, but about a month ago, he changed his route so that now he turns the corner.  I was super bummed when this started happening because I liked looking down at his rainbow umbrella!  (Sorry for all the exclamation points, but ice cream makes me happy!!)

Also, the window next to our desk looks west over the vacant lot across the street towards the mountains.  I often find myself staring out this window daydreaming while I watch the clouds.  We have seen a few great sunsets, and it is always fun to watch the storms role in.

Our first apartment together has been wonderful.  I will miss it, but at least I get to take Nik with me!

Nik’s Blog: Our Chiang Mai Apartment near Wat Jet Yot

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