After one month in Thailand

After one month in Thailand

When people ask how many Southeast Asian countries have I seen in one month, they can’t believe when I say – one! And it’s Thailand. I travel slowly. Time is on my side and I’m not rushing anywhere.

I was two weeks in Bangkok. I should be in the Guinness Book of Record, right? But I lived there with the American-Thai married couple, who brought me into the “Thai” world. Living in a totally non tourist street, they showed me where to eat, what to eat (coconut pancakes, my love), I didn’t know what double pricing is and I learned how to navigate through city and manage the money in local currency. I was prepared for all possible scams. It was a perfect start.

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Smoothie Lady of Chiang Mai

Smoothie Lady

“What do you want to have today?” – my “smoothie lady” asked me every day while already pulling my favorite fruits from the refrigerator.

“You choose! I trust you” – I’d tell her and be delighted every time.

“Let’s start with passionate fruit, your favorite”.

“Sit and smile”

Because of this woman, Jirawan Chaidoungkaew, and her magical smoothies, I will remember Chiang Mai. Visiting her fruit stand in front of her home became my favorite routine while staying in the city.

I stumble upon it accidentally, when leaving the Thai massage salon run by the former female prisoners just across the street. I needed refreshment and saw the sign “Sit and smile”, as well as the names of the fruits I’ve never heard of or even tasted before, like passionate fruit and dragon fruit.

Not that I was just buying refreshing and healthy smoothies for 30 Baht, but  I was always greeted with a smile and no money can buy the feeling of being  truly welcomed.

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Night train to Chiang Mai

Night train to Chiang Mai

– Hi, I am Fred. I’m Canadian.

His shirt was green as our bed curtains in a night train to Chiang Mai.
– Hi, I am Ivana and I am from Croatia. Do you know where that is?
– Oh, I know. I’ve never been in Eastern Europe though – Fred said.

Stranger in the night

After two weeks in Bangkok, it was time to leave. The Road called me. And the Road knows. When the boat started moving, my heart started blossoming. I was waiting for some kind of excitement but all I could acknowledge was calmness. Bangkok wasn’t the place that could silence my longing for what never quiets – the wanderlust. Will Chiang Mai succeed in this game of taming, I asked myself.

“I love to travel – Fred started talking. – But I won’t be able to sleep. Trains, buses, planes.. I never sleep”.

His movements were slow. Gracious. I could see that his eyes have seen more than he remembers, whilst his skin was touched by the places I can still only dream of.

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