About 10 days in Thailand and 4 massages later… I finally visited a Temple. Since its my third time here, I haven’t been really motivated to do all the touristy things. I mean, yes, I have eaten a lot of papaya salads and gotten massages, but I haven’t rode an elephant or gone to aw cooking class. I haven’t been adventuring out and trying to find new things.
Have I become a lazy tourist?
Probably, its almost been one year since I’ve been “working” as an engineer. I set my own schedule, and when someone asks if I want to do something, I look at my schedule and do it. Anything that I had planned, I push it to the side and figure it can wait.
My Top 5 thoughts about Thailand right now:
- I still hate mosquitos. They still love me. Its a love/hate relationship.
- Wintertime in Thailand = Awesome California like conditions around high 70’s to low 80’s with low humidity. Love it
- Food Game is Strong. Bonus- Food is extremely cheap. Lunch for three people – $10. My biggest splurge so far was a burger with fries and a drink for $8.20 (converted from Thai Baht).
- Massages cost less than $10/hr. Being American- I always tip at least $3. I constantly fight my American urge to tip. Anytime someone hands me change, I want them to keep it.
- Thai People and Ex-Pat vibe is generally positive. I don’t get that Venice Hipster “Im so much more fabulous than everyone else” vibe here. I could be wrong, but people seem generally happy. Not as much “I hate my life” vibe going on.
My Airbnb accommodation in Chiang Mai has been out of this world. A modern condo building with a nice lap pool (that no one is ever in) and a OK gym. My apartment is a one bedroom (almost like a studio with moveable walls), large flat panel TV, washing machine, AC in both rooms, patio only costs $32 a night. I thought I snagged an amazing deal. Then I found out one of the locals pays about $350 a month for her apartment.
Odd Thought of the day:
I chatted with my local friend here about wages. I wondered if our tourism was taking advantage of the massage therapists and if they were “slave” labor. Then he told me about his favorite massage therapist. She works everyday from the time the place opens till midnight. She takes one lunch break a day. After a few months he goes to get a massage and sees a bandage on her face. Did she get abused? In a fight? No. She proudly states that she saved up enough money to get a nose job. She wanted to higher nose bridge. What does that even mean??? Well, look at an Asian face and you find that its flat at the nose right between the eyes. Now look at my European descent friends.. its like a mountain between the eyes. I’m digressing.
But the moral of the story is that she couldn’t possibly hating her life and slaving away at some sweatshop massage place if she was able to save up money for plastic surgery. Right?
I felt better knowing they like what they do, and I like paying them and tipping them. Speaking of which- I think I will go get a massage now.
Here are some photos of my one Temple I visited while in Chiang Mai- Wat Suan Dok. ( I went to Doi Suthep last time…)