We visited the big city of Chiang Mai again this week!
And the big city is busy. We went up for meetings, but did our best to squeeze in visiting friends, shopping, doctor visits, and delicious food.
We enjoyed some wonderful food and enjoyed the shopping. We managed to find a bookshelf at half the price we’ve found in Mae Sot, as well as some handmade hooks and photo frames. We found a few English books, which I always love, and a few didn’t-make-export-quality (but we approve) clothing items.
Oh, and I stocked up on grains and seeds and spices that we don’t have in Mae Sot. Our lives are quite simple here, and I’m fairly excited to experiment with my bread, bagels, and granola bars.
The most significant & purposeful aspect of our trip were the meetings, and there were quite a few. We first met with the new teams & volunteer coordinators and officially ended our previous role at Partners and fully embraced the next stage! We’ve been balancing multiple roles for the past couple months, so we’re excited about this. Stephen also met to discuss more plans for file sharing & organization, security, and communication between all of our offices and staff; and he met to discuss his photography and media roles.
We also saw a movie in the theater, which is always a highlight. Unfortunately, I was looking forward to seeing Hunger Games for weeks. I was so excited that we’d be traveling to Chiang Mai while it was playing and I had geared Stephen up for it. But apparently Thailand decided Avengers would be a little more popular, and it was playing in six of seven theaters. The last theater shared four movies I was clearly not interested in.
This was more of a disappointment than I’d like to admit. It led to a discussion of how it’s the smallest, weirdest, silliest things that make you frustrated to live here, and this was one of mine.
We also visited a couple doctors while we were in town, including the dentist. I determined the low point was not receiving a new toothbrush at the end of the visit. I went out to purchase us some new ones today, since we earned them for going to the dentist; and I dropped Stephen’s on the bathroom floor last week, so we’ve been sharing. Stephen thought the high point was not having small talk. It’s a little hard to chat about where you live and where you work while there are two pointed sticks and a mirror in your mouth. But when you’re operating in second and third language, silence is much more socially acceptable.
While it was fun to spend a few evenings out where restaurants are open later and movies play past midnight, we’re glad to be home. Every time I’m there, or any big city, I suddenly appreciate that most of the town of Mae Sot is closed by 8 or 9. I can appreciate the slow, quieter pace of this little place.