Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Enveloped in smog...

I’m moved from the guesthouse into a condo on Huay Kaew Road. Much bigger than my old room and with fridge, tv etc. Got a nice balcony up on the thirteenth floor (or 12A floor according to the room numbers) overlooking the city. Not that currently you can see much due to the farmer burning all the lands. Not just in Thailand but in Laos, Myanmar & China also, enveloping the North of Thailand in a thick smog. Hopefully there will be some rain, in fact the experts were flying around in helicopters trying to “seed” the clouds for some rainmaking, but the humidity is low and it doesn’t want to rain then it doesn’t want to rain, and the last rain in Chiang Mai was way back on the 12th October! Not helping matters is the fact the Chiang Mai sits in a geographical bowl and the low weather system sits on top stopping all the smog escaping. Still the weather people say it will be better this week with some winds to dissipate it.

Before all this icky smog arrived I had cycled down to Huay Tong Tao a few times. A pleasant lake area with simple wooden shacks dotted around the perimeter. I was there before 10 a.m. and it is pretty much deserted although I’ve heard it’s a popular picnicking spot with the Thais at the weekend.

I decided to have some toast, which was all going well with the bread, the butter, and the toaster all working nicely, however first thing on my shopping list is a knife…Speaking of food, I met up again with Dieuwke (who I met in India) she was here doing a massage course and we went for food at the huge moo kata restaurant where you cook you own food from the buffet. They were pouring out baskets of mangosteen which were disappearing almost instantly, people taking handfuls at a time. All the food you can eat for 100b not a bad deal as there is a great selection. But very hot there, we drank 4litres of water between us!

Still doing the Thai language class in the afternoon, if I want to get some lunch before I had to leave home around 12:00 and if I return on foot I don’t get back until 16:00, so half the day vanishes, leaving me barely enough time to loll around :) In the class there is quite a mix of people. A 19year old Japanese woman, a 70 year old Japanese man, a Greek Buddhist nun, an American, German and a Dane. (walk into a bar…)
Either the teacher speaks too fast or I listen too slow, as I have a hard time following along. I’m always the one in the class that doesn’t understand (wheres my dunce cap!) I think I might repeat the same class again, as plenty of people do. The German guy has been coming to AUA on and off for twenty years and he’s still on the second class! Still he at least speaks good Thai (and then forgets it again.)

Recently went along to watch the Old Firm game at the Irish Pub, showing in a small corner while the majority of people watched the English FA Cup game. I had some Irish Stew for dinner, not bad. I was the only one that jumped up when Rangers scored, so I guess the other people weren’t Rangers fans. Can only watch some of the early kick off games over here, unless you stay awake for a 03:00am kick off! I’ve got a DVD player in the condo so I joined a rental shop, and got my free gift (free with the 169baht membership) a stylish plastic clock adorned with teddy bears. I rented out The Banquet, another Chinese film. I’ll save you the bother of watching it, everybody dies! Speaking of films, after speaking with Sly I turned down the Rambo part, creative differences you see… (Actually I never heard back from them after applying to be an extra!)