Good morning, good yawning!
It’s been an eventful few days since we last spoke. The kids have been ‘working’ quite a bit and I’ve been mostly chilling (I don’t do gyms or swimming pools for obvious reasons) but we’ve also been out and about in Chiang Mai, seeing the sights, eating muffins and making friends.
On Saturday morning we headed into the old city for breakfast at a place called Blue Diamond Breakfast Club which came highly recommended from the Chiang Mai Coffee Culture website. It didn’t disappoint judging by the relish with which Boy attacked his (huge) pancake with maple syrup. Girl went for the frankly boring choice of egg and toast but she chose a beautiful looking juice to make up for it and then went a little bit crazy at the sight of sweet pastries on display and launched herself into a post breakfast banana and passion fruit muffin. She claims it’s the best muffin she’s ever had but my attitude is that the best muffin is always your next muffin.
Happy and full, we made our way around several of the old city’s famous temples (known as Wats). These are well worth a visit, impressive buildings with an air of serenity, beautiful architecture, statues of buddhas and, most importantly, lots and lots of (stone) elephants.
At one of the temples we made friends with a real life monk who wanted to practice his English with Boy (if he can understand him, he can understand anyone). He told us that anyone can be a monk, there’s just the small matter of following 227 rules! He didn’t tell us all of them (blatantly forgotten) but he did mention that the four most important include not killing, not lying, not having sex and not stealing. Worryingly, he told that us it’s very difficult to keep to these but he tries his best… at this point the kids started to look a bit frightened.
And then the monk asked the kids if they had any questions they wanted to ask him. Picture the scene, the kids are in a Buddhist temple in Thailand, one of the homes of buddhism, talking to a real buddhist monk with the opportunity to gain some genuine insight and wisdom. So what do you think Boy asked him?
Who is your favourite footballer?!
I have no words. For those interested, the answer was Cristiano Ronaldo. Jesus.
On Sunday, Girl did some research on lunch venues and led us to a place heaving with hungry Thais. After initial confusion as the kids attempted to work out how to order using the tick box menu system (great idea), they settled down to some Papaya Salad with prawns (nice), grilled pork breast (ok) and some grilled undeterminable part of pig (hmmm). We then spent most of the afternoon in our new favourite cafe ‘working’ and shivering under the ice cold air conditioning (sometimes it’s good to have fur).
While the kids were ‘working’, I contemplated the intrinsic meaning of ‘being’ and how insignificant we all ultimately are when compared to this infinite universe of ours. Only joking, I was actually just chilling 🙂
Later that evening, we headed into the old city again to check out the famous Sunday market that sprawls over many of the central roads and temples. Inspired by meeting a monk, I’m not going to lie, most of the items on sale at the market were pretty boring, just the type of crap that people collect on their travels and then desperately try to work out how to get rid of before they go traveling again. I’ll make an exception for the wonderful array of elephant-themed stuff. Thais love elephants, it seems, and so do I. We’re going to get on just fine. Where the market really got exciting was the food stall areas. Such variety of delicious, exotic and, dare I say it, risky delicacies exuding new smells, shapes, and tastes. To their credit, the kids did look at everything before choosing…. chicken schnitzel, chicken kebab and crisps.
We then tried to get a Tuk Tuk to take us home, but were quoted 200 baht! “Tuk off” was the reply from our fair lady. We got a much cheaper Songtaew in the end and survived the journey somehow without Boy falling out of the open door at the back of the vehicle..