I’ve been here just over 3 months now and I still absolutely love Thailand.
2 years ago today, I was at the zoo in Barranquilla, Colombia with my friend Kären. It was a Tuesday and we had the day off of work because of las velitas festival. I had drunk too much with Yoyi the night before, and then we broke up that morning. I was frustrated and angry, in an unpleasant job, an ugly uninteresting city, with food that I didn’t like, and my relationship had just ended. Kären, the animals, and my mattress were the only things making me happy in Barranquilla.
Today is December 8th and a Thursday, I am in working and living in the Chiang Mai countryside and this was my morning view:
At school, I taught a reading comprehension/vocabulary lesson of the Loch Ness Monster, read Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox, and watched my students present a play on Echo and Narcissus. It was delightful.
We bow in the morning to the Buddha and sing songs. I had delicious breakfast –jok rice porridge with the vegetarian fixins, and Thursday means delicious vegetarian lunch. I love my job. I live in the countryside outside the amazing city of Chiang Mai. I’m not in a relationship, nor do I have a permanent place to live, and I’m still looking for a home for my dog, and these are about the only things making me unhappy. My life is pretty darn good here.
A man from Barcelona told me there was a German bakery nearby. Tomorrow is the day with the fresh bread, but he suggested that I could ride my bike there before the sun set tonight. I got directions and was off down the rural roads of Thailand. I passed by what has been called ‘the Thai mini Grand Canyon’ and it is quite spectacular. I continue on to another rural road, canal road, and eventually the bakery. It was about a 20 minute bike ride.
One thing I’ve learned from my travels – always trust the German bakery. Germans know bread. There seems to be German travelers and expats all over the world and so in the most unlikely places the German bakery appears. Jo’s bakery was no exception. Jo was out of bread, so I bought a stollen (some people would scoff and call this a fruit cake, but I love it), Manchego cheese, lamyai honey, and quark that was homemade and about the most delicious thing ever.
Cycling home was so pretty. Although I sometimes worry about dogs, I stopped at a small roadside market looking for fruit and butter, and I had a cute little poodle type dog attack me with kisses. I need to learn the word for butter.
Although I don’t have a proper kitchen, I was able to make a salady concoction of tomato, capers, quark, garlic, a pinch of salt, olive oil and Manchego for dinner – yum. Stollen, quark and honey for dessert, with a glass of red wine to top it off, also lovely. I am pleased with my little adventure after work today. I need to do some more exploring and some more figuring out how to live here. It will come slowly. I’m very thankful for so much here.