Chiang Mai Week 49: 14.10.2013 – 20.10.2013 On the whole this week was a quiet one – apart from the noise of the rain on the roof. It rained…..a lot! Apparantly Chiang Mai was being clipped by a Japanese typhoon and boy was it wet. Willow took to sleeping in the wardrobe for extra comfort but this weather kind of suited me as the temperature dropped and it forced me to stay inside. I clocked up a few movies over the
Week 49: 14.10.2013 – 20.10.2013
On the whole this week was a quiet one – apart from the noise of the rain on the roof. It rained…..a lot! Apparantly Chiang Mai was being clipped by a Japanese typhoon and boy was it wet. Willow took to sleeping in the wardrobe for extra comfort but this weather kind of suited me as the temperature dropped and it forced me to stay inside. I clocked up a few movies over the week. There’s something rather nice about being ‘allowed’ to watch movies all day! I also got to use the electric mosquito swatter – with rain comes mosquitos!
I visited Dream House a number of times to see how Waew and Art were doing. The restaurant idea they had been considering had been panned and now they were pondering the merits of running a small post office on the ground floor. The room bookings had been OK but everyone was bracing themselves for next month and the high season.
The week didn’t start too well. It was the first day in a while that I’d really ventured out on the scooter. I wanted to buy some organic veggies and so took a trip away from town. I got pulled over by the police! I was wearing my helmet so why was I “invited” to park up? I wasn’t carrying my driving license or passport which was a no-no. I would have to take one or the other to the police station and pay the on-the-spot 500THB fine! I admit it – I was pissed off. I think the tourists here are an easy income and 500THB for not carrying ID is a nice little earner. I questioned why the fine was so high and that I didn’t have 500THB on me (I really didn’t). I opened my wallet to prove it. I had 400 and something. I was offered an alternative. I could pay my 400THB and be on my way – no paperwork! The transaction took place under the policeman’s clipboard. Not sure if I was more or less cross by the deal that was struck. I got back on my scooter, and as I no longer had any money, turned back for home.
On the way home I, metaphorically, bumped into Waew as she was taking a tuk tuk back from the market. She told me she’d bought me a few things and followed me home. She unloaded my bounty which turned out to be 10 fresh coconuts, 2kg of avocados and 2kg of bananas. The generosity is overwhelming and becoming a little too much. I wasn’t even sure I could consume that much food before it’s use by date. Certainly 10 coconuts is not only a lot to drink but I’m not so skilled in the art of machete use to open them.
The evening had two critter related events. 1, when I put out the bin a rather large cockroach which had been lurking in the bottom of the bin bag decided to crawl up my arm (particularly yucky as it happened when I was outside in the dark), and 2, when I had just settled into bed, Willow sprang up, sprinted across the room and did a huge flying leap at the wall swiping a gecko off onto the floor. She chased the gecko to a corner, and although I couldn’t see anything, could hear the sounds of her chewing. Sadly I think that was the end of the gecko – I’d check on the scene in the morning. Willow swaggered out feeling pretty damn proud of herself by the looks!
Needless to say in the morning there was no sign of the gecko. I had a further session with Marian that day. They were starting to pay off and slowly my energy was returning. The treatment went well and was a combination of acupuncture and some homeopathy meds. I felt like I’d had a good nights sleep afterwards. I’m so grateful to have these wonderful people around me and to have the opportunity to experience alternative therapies at a fraction of the cost they’d be back home.
I continued my daily mini workouts adding something new every now and again, just mix things up a bit. They were also helping me regain some energy and I felt better for them. One day I even added hoovering and dusting to my routine. My god, did I just do housework!!!! Not only housework but I swept the road outside the house……Twice! (Avoiding the rather large millipede!)
Walking trips to Tops, the supermarket (but you know that by now, right!?), got me out of the house between the showers. On one of those trips I met with Taywin and he treated me to a pizza dinner. He told me about a Muay Boran show he was doing and invited me to go with him to one. I would have loved to have seen him but the show was nearly 40 kms out of town and started at midnight. Too much for my little body at the moment. Actually who am I kidding, that’s not appealing to me …ever! He also told me he was going to China for a month to teach Muay Thai – he was just waiting for his visa to be approved then he was off. For a Thai man, Taywin is extremely well travelled and his expertise in Muay Thai has taken him to many countries. He’s also quite famous in China, as he had a small role in last year’s hit movie there, ‘Lost in Chiang Mai’ – this is also one of the reasons why there are so many more Chinese in Chiang Mai this year. The movie has inspired people to come to Chiang Mai for a visit.
On one afternoon I sat upstairs on the top balcony, making sure only the screen door was shut, and watched out into the trees. If you sit quietly it’s amazing how much you actually see going on out there. I saw a brown and orange pheasant like bird, which made the most amazing whoop whoop sounds (at first I thought the sound was a monkey in the tree) and the little squirrel like creatures. There are three kinds; a small black one, marginally larger red ones, and a larger black one with a bright white tummy and tail. They jump about in the trees eating the bean-like seeds. So many small birds and insects it’s hard to keep up.
As the end of the week approached I met with Leo at the Mall. Her theatre group where putting on a play, ‘The Laramie Project’ in the theatre on one of the upper floors of the Mall building. I had no idea there were 11 floors to this place.
I got to go into the theatre to look around and ended up helping on the door. The tickets were going like hot cakes and it was more than a full house. They needed to bring in 20+ extra seats. I left at the interval and headed home after picking up some groceries.
The weekend was a good one. My energy was good and just as well.
On Saturday the phrase ‘when was the last time you did something for the first time’ kicked in. As Leo was part of the theatre group she’d been given the nod that there were auditions in Chiang Mai for extras for a Hollywood movie called ‘The Coup’.
Leo and I, and Odd, went along to the posh hotel which was hosting it all. Even though I have no acting experience I thought I’d give it a go. I’m not sure what I was expecting but we were measured; height, hips, waist, bust, and personal details noted down (not the really personal ones, just age, occupation, etc), photos were taken and then we were recorded doing a little scene where we had to say a few lines – very few! – and actually act. I’m not sure I’lI get a part as in the short time I was speaking my line I was told NOT to look into the camera. It’s hard when it’s right there in your face. I was a tad nervous but what a buzz. You never know! High on the happy vibe we went for lunch at a riverside restaurant. With all the rain the river was considerably swollen and the two outdoor seating tiers were under water. I had a blissful burger – my first for a loooooong while. The we sat and chatted the afternoon away.
In the evening Marian and Irene had invited a few friends over for a movie night, and I was one of them. I met Matt and Christine and we sat around to chat, eat nibbles, oh and watch a movie. Lovely to be included in such events – it’s the kind of thing you take for granted at home.
On Sunday it was my turn to see the play. It was a matinee and the last of the shows. I saw Matt whom I had met the night before and sat with him and his friend. The play was two and a half hours long and pretty intense. It’s based on true events and it’s worth a watch if you don’t know of it – as long as you’re happy to have your thoughts provoked.
I helped the crew dismantle the stage set and tidy away the props. I was also asked to not only the ‘post performance party’ but the ‘pre post performance party’. I skipped the pre post party as I wanted to change and I had Willow duties to perform. Once scrubbed up, including (get me!!) make up, I set off for the party venue. A place called the Sangdee Gallery. It wasn’t too far so I walked – sometimes finding somewhere new is easier on foot, as on the scooter you’re too busy watching the road and you whizz by. There are so many little places packed into a small area that just blink and you’ve missed one.
The party was in full swing when I got there. I felt very welcome and chatted to some of the theatre group. Free food and wine was on offer (I bought a beer) and there were a few impromptu versions of the monologues from the play. There are so many little expat communities here. Each with their own niche – this theatre group was inspiring.
These were the pissed and uncensored versions so they were new to the audience and I think to the actors themselves too. There was also a small boy there (maybe 4 or 5 years old), the son of a friend of one of the actors, who stood up and completely unaccompanied sang the Michael Jackson song, ‘they don’t really care about us’. He was a great performer and had a captivated audience. It was awesome – much respect to that little boy!
By the end of the evening I was pooped. Luckily I didn’t have to walk home. I got a lift home on the back of Leo’s scooter. I was home in ajiffy! What a way to round off the week.
Thank you, and good night!