February 1st, 2005

(no subject)

I finally managed to meet up with Jeff Bobish from Celera. Unplanned, we were both at the Grand Palace at the same time. We spent a few hours exploring that and Wat Po, before I caught a 15 hour overnight train to Chiang Mai ($13). I had a beer and a nice albeit struggling conversation with a thai gentleman who was returning home after visiting his family in the south for 3 weeks. A good reminder of just how little thai I speak, and how horrible my pronunciation is.

I'm staying at Juliet Guesthouse. Last night I had a private room and bathroom for $3 a night. My first private room of the trip. Today a bed opened up in the dormitory (6 people in 1 room). For $1.50 I will have a bed and hot shower down the hall. That will be my first hot shower since the USA. Met some folks, mainly brits, heading to Laos. Spent the afternoon sitting on the roofdeck as they swapped songs on a guitar. Later we went out for 9 bouts of Muay Thai kickboxing ($2?). Afterwards a bar with 2 more folks who were sitting near us and friendly.

This morning I'm taking it slow. A nice western breakfast (scrambled eggs with ham, toast coffee and fruit), then bid those bound for Laos a good trip. Shot pool with a guy, and taught him to play 9-ball. We were well matched for skills and must have played for 2 hours. Now catching up on emails with a monk in full robes siting next to me, also working online.

This weekend there will be an annual flower festival in town. I'll stick around in hopes that it may provide some nice photo ops, then down the Mekong River and into Laos.