A letter to my friends from Chiang Mai
I am still in Chiang Mai and I am happy to be here. Lelaxing. Involving in massage and meditation, chilling out, meeting interesting people and being very socially active. I feel that my level of energy has seriously increased. I’m smiling to strangers, greeting people and feel friendly and open. I actually found my self singing and dancing in the streets of Chiang Mai more than once over the past week.
Somehow I naturally remember to stop a few times a day and thanks the universe for my good fortune for being able to travel, for being safe, for being able to receive teachings, for being happy and for having a life that offers me so much opportunities. I am grateful for everything that I have.
lelaxing or the Thai Massage Course
The massage course is quite amazing though don’t get your hopes so high with regards to my capacity as a masseur. This thing is quite difficult for the body and not easy to perform.
The people in my class are simply wonderful. It is a multi national class and out of 14 students we have representative of 11 nationalities: Thailand (of course) Taiwan, Italy, Brazil, Argentina, Ireland, Canada, Belgium, Austria, Russia and of course me – the Israeli. Because we have two weeks we actually have time to develop relationships with each other and not just pass through as most travelers do so I am having loads of fun with the course, the massage and the people.
Two interesting points regarding this group are
1) out of 14 people in my class 7 practice Vipassana. That may sound ok to you hence we are in Asia traveling but it really is surprising as Vipassana (for the non practitioners) is considered to be a (sometimes extremely) hard core practice. At least three of us are dedicated regular Vipassana practitioners.
2) An other anecdote is that 7 of us also dance Salsa. Now that you must agree is really strange.
Being a resident of Chiang Mai
I realized that whenever I travel (now and in former traveling) I keep running into the same people over and over again. And so every morning when I cycle to the massage school I pass on my way at least three people that I know who wave at me.
And on Sunday I went to the night market just to pick up some food after a long and exhausting day when I was picked up by two people I met and I mean this is a busy market. I mean tens of thousands of people in narrow streets and yet…..
So It’s a nice feeling but also strange – I’ve only been here for ten days and there are at least 250,000 people living in this town.
Even more bizarre was occurrence happened on Sunday when I went on a road tour with the Russian girl from my class whom I named “the Russian queen” Ira. We were on our way to some temple on the mountain – where my Vi-passana teacher was ordained as a monk. So we were driving out of the city and by the exit this Thai woman whom I met last week when I was searching for a place to stay waved at me from the near by motorbike.
I mean, besides the Thai massage teacher and the manager of the my guesthouse I don’t know any Thai people in this town of a quarter of a million residents. Well, she recognized me and offered us to follow her to a small village which was on our way. After a very short hesitation we decided to go along and so we ended up traveling in one of the most beautiful country side areas of northen Thailand, a place where probably just a few fallang (that’s the Thai name for foreigners) has passed. We were also invited to a home made lunch in a Rural Thai family and were served with fresh and delicious meal. We ended up not going to our original destination as it was pouring rain and we got soaked by four o’clock so we decided to go back to Chiang Mai. We had a completely unplanned beautiful day.
Important lessons of last week
1. I learned the difference between a mice and a rat (the big disgusting mice that carries a lot of diseases with it.
2. I also learned to never corner a rat as it will bite you. So guys, the next time you cross a pile of junk in the middle of the street just don’t corner it.
Future Travel Plans
I will probably continue my tour on Saturday or Sunday. The plan now is to either travel to the north most part of Thailand to a place called Me Honson and trek by foot to a small village called Pai – that should take me about five days. Later I will continue to Laos for a week or ten days and by the 17th of November I plan to fly to Nepal.
If not trekking I may join these two Israeli guys on a road tour to the golden triangle which is the border between Laos, Burma and Thailand. The plan is to rent a car for a few days and just drive around – should be interesting and quite off the tourist or backpacker route so I kinda like the idea.
A Different sense of time
The last thing I want to share with you today in the sense that every day passes really quick but every week feels like a month and although I’ve only been traveling for three weeks now I feel as if Ive been here forever and my former life seems really far away. Strange. I suspect this feeling would change once I start to seriously meditate – than each day would probably feel like eternity and every week like ten minutes has passed…
That’s it my dear friends. I am grateful for having you as my friends and please don’t hesitate to write – I promise I answer each mail separately.
With a big smile and a sense of gratitude from Chiang Mai,