Posts tagged ‘chiang khong’

the golden triangle

This computer is horrible! Every character i type takes like 3 seconds to show up and correcting my mistakes by erasing is truly annoying. I saw this little 8 inch acer laptop for sale and i’m considering buying it. It’s light and small, only it runs a light version of linux so i’m not sure if skype will work with it… if there is no skype i don’t want this computer and the amazon reviews don’t really discuss this for the linux version.

I spent the last 2 days in a town called Mae Sai, on the border of Burma. It was a small place with not much infrastructure for travelers. Sure there were guesthouses, but there was only one internet cafe, no place to rent bicycles, no maps. There were hardly any foreigners either. I could count all the farangs i saw yesterday on one hand, …that is until nighttime when i finally met someone i could speak to! It was so nice to talk English with someone who is familiar. And then the strangest thing, this morning as i was walking backpack on and all to the bus station i met a guy i know from Pai. He was doing a border run to Burma here.

The interesting thing about being amongst strangers is that i can’t escape my environment. So i end up focusing on them, their gestures, tone, habits… because i have no english speakers to distract me. It’s a valuable experience, although it does take getting used to.

Now i am in Chiang Khong which is separated from  Loas by the Mekong river. A 3 minute ferry ride and i’ll be in Loas the day after tomorrow (what day is today?) Chiang Khong is livelier than Mae Sai, and i look forward to going around the town tomorrow on the broken down bicycle i rented today. There are many foreigners but most of them stay only one night and leave early in the morning to Laos. Once i am in Laos, i plan to take a boat to Luang Prabang. This will take two days and will include a stop in Pakbeng. Sounds good?

One of my impressions of Thailand compared to America is that America is sterile in comparison. I have mixed feeling on this, although in a large way i prefer the unsterility. I should describe what i mean by sterility…

I don’t mean dirt or danger. I mean that there is less obsession with maintaining control over the environment in some ways. Dogs on the street, markets and eating and massage parlors outside, farm animals roaming, people talking to one another all the time, traffic rules not completely enforced (drivers rely on predicting the behaviors of the other drivers), and many others that i can’t recall now. It’s chaotic but in a very wholesome, amiable way.

Although i must admit, that i’m a sucker for 7 eleven. I’ve come to love them. The predictability of the things they carry (ha!) and prices is a welcome treat for me… although this is the only chain i patronize.


September 18, 2008 at 9:37 pm 1 comment

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