Saturday, May 9, 2015
Waking up I was anxious about two things:
- My finals, that I obviously waited to the last minute to start. Oops.
- My journey to Chiang Rai.
But looking back on my day I really had nothing to worry about…
I EASILY got a cab to the bus station in Chiang Mai.
I EASILY found my bus and boarded.
Traveler Tip: If you are staying “in the city” near the clock tower/night market make sure to get off at bus station #1 NOT #2!
Ok, so I didn’t EASILY find my hostel, but with a quick stop in a coffee shop for free wifi and delicious coffee (Splurge Buy #1), I pulled up a map and then I EASILY walked the 2-3 blocks to my hostel.
When I was checking in at Happynest Inspiring Hostel, I realized that I had booked a room with a fan, HA. WHAT WAS I THINKING?!? So I upgraded to a room with AC (Splurge Buy #2).
Check out HOW ADORABLE THIS HOSTEL IS!! The decor is exactly what my dream house would look like 🙂
Knowing I needed to get down to business (to defeat the Huns), I set myself up at one of the many tables and started working on my finals (and my new post too…). I quickly realized the internet was not going to be my friend. The thing about online classes, and online finals, is that you really need good internet, and the internet connection at the hostel was just not going to cut it. So back to the coffee shop I went.
I think I arrived at about 2pm, and in 5 hours I…
- Had lunch
- Drank Coffee #2 (Splurge Buy #3)
- Drank a Coffee-Tea concoction, DELICIOUS (Splurge Buy #4)
- Finished one final
- And got halfway through my second final
I would have kept going, but the coffee shop owner kicked me out 😉
Hungry and needing a break from my computer, I headed to the Night Market. I am not sure if it was too early, or if it is because this is slow season, but the market was DEAD. DEAD. DEAD. There were stalls, and lights, and music, but no LIFE.
The lack-luster market put a damper on my mood, which made every food stall look absolutely boring and not worth my money. So I left.
Still hungry I was hoping to find something on my walk back to the hostel, but if I thought the market was dead, holy smokes the city was dead. Everything was CLOSED. Apparently when the sun sets, Chiang Rai shuts down. Eventually, I smelled something. I SMELLED GRILLED MEAT. Literally following my nose, I stumbled across some sort of bbq pavilion. Have you ever eaten Korean BBQ? It was like that where every picnic table had a charcoal grill set up, and people were grilling meats, veggies, etc.. Hungry and very intrigued I tried to figure out how I could get a table.
The “Man in Charge” knew some English and was able to show me to my table. When I told him I was eating alone, he essentially laughed at me. Well this is going to be fun…
Sitting down, I soon realized ALL EYES were on me. I finally understand the saying, “Fish in a fishbowl”. With no instruction and very nervous (I didn’t want to do something silly with everyone watching), I went up to the giant buffet table of goodies and picked out things that were recognizable…
and I started grilling.
I also got these AMAZING dipping sauces. Couldn’t even begin to tell you what was in them…but it was a PERFECT level of SPICY (the red was spicier!)
I really wanted to take more pictures, but I was being very self conscious with all EYES on me, so I eventually put my camera away 🙁
After a long-battle with chopsticks (I really wish I knew how to used them better) and enough meat to last me all of next week, I went to check out. The total was $258 baht (~9USD). The thing is…..
I only had $160 baht…
With my NO THAI abilities and their little to no english abilities, I convinced them to take my $20 USD bill and give me 200 baht back.
So yeah. Splurge #5, I spent $400 baht on dinner! About 4 times what I normally spend.
The day may not have been filled with sightseeing, but overall I had a great day (minus finishing my stupid finals) and my SPLURGES were totally worth it 😉
As my grandfather says, “Everyday you learn something new is a good day”. Today was a good day 🙂
Love always, Arianna the Wandering Pipette