Village Voice - March, 2006
Amy Salmon is in
I’m leaving tonight on the sleeper train to Chiang Mai, and then staying in a guesthouse there for twelve nights. For three days and two nights I’ll be trekking in the jungle, including an elephant ride, woo-hoo! It’s all very safe and I’ll be with a group and a guide, and the guesthouse in Chiang Mai is a nice one, catering to tourists. I’m very excited and looking forward to meeting some fellow travelers.
My first few days in Asia—
Yesterday I ventured out for a walk for the first time and promptly got lost. I have to admit that all of the streets look exactly the same to me—a blur of markets and people and clothes hanging out to dry or maybe for sale, grimy buildings, stray dogs and cats, and shrines to Buddha in incongruous gleaming gold.
As I was finally finding my way back to a main street, I passed a group of Buddhist monks in their orange robes, walking in the same direction. I frantically tried to remember the rules regarding women, especially Western women, and monks, but just tried to give them a wide berth so as not to do anything unintentionally insulting. They left me alone, and no one else said anything to me or gave me any dirty looks, so I guess I did all right. After that, on the main street, I flagged down a metered taxi, showed him the name of my hotel written in Thai, and he took me back safely where I had started, a whole five or maybe six blocks away!
Later that day I went to get my vaccine taken care
of at the
I’m also working my way up to Thai food…so far I’ve not eaten anything not Western! That’ll change soon enough, I’m sure, because I’ll probably run out of choices. But I’m riding this horse as long as I can. And so far, no stomach problems…coincidence? I don’t think so.
I’ll keep Daniel Vestal’s advice in mind, and
how much longer I’m in
Expect another short email with the info for Chiang Mai. The guesthouse there has internet access, too, so I’ll be able to keep in contact.
Till later, Amy
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