I write to you from Khaotha Cafe in Pai, Thailand. I have not seen this many people with dreadlocks since I walked through Haight-Ashbury. Our journey from Bangkok to Chaing Mai, and finally Pai, has been an evolution of cultures the likes of which I had never expected. Bangkok was bustling with business and shopping, Tuk Tuk’s and pimps, flashing billboards and half empty shopping malls. Ayutthaya had history, and some decent coffee shops. Then I got to Chiang Mai and I found myself much more at home. The western world has certainly had an impact on the northern portion of Thailand, but if you ask me? That means the business’ are run better, both in regards to the quality of products and the quality of customer service. From Chiang Mai we decided we would go to Pai, and then make our way to Laos. We had been told Pai was a hippie town, but nothing could have prepared me for what I witnessed getting out of that van yesterday (a sea of dreadlocks and handmade jewelry).
To get to Pai from Chiang Mai requires taking a road with 762 turns. It’s famous, look it up. The van ride was terrible, yet tolerable. There is no arguing that the best way to get to Pai would be by motorbike, but if you want to come and don’t have your own transportation, taking a van (during the daytime) is a good option. The driver of our van flew through those 762 turns like a bat out of hell; like he got paid per trip, and not by the hour. We left Chiang Mai fifteen minutes late, and arrived in Pai on time. If you come to Pai by van, I would stay for at least a week to justify the extreme journey. I am just rambling now, probably because I am full of cappuccino.
Jo and I have decided we want to go to France soon, and so we have been writing letters to hostels throughout France attempting to secure accommodation in the form of work-trade. We are coming to realize it’s not going to be as simple as securing work at The Green Tortoise, where literally anyone can show up without identification and work, but we are still hopeful. First we targeted hostels in Paris, and now we are targeting hostels in Bordeaux. I will obviously keep you updated on the situation. At the present, I am thinking it’s time for lunch…or at least some sort of snack. Jo is writing in her journal a rather impressive amount of words…I wish I had the stamina to write that much. My patience is developing though. Remember, I am hoping to write a book, possibly several books someday, so patience is a must. I am getting there. Okay. I have no idea how many articles I have written on my travels that I haven’t posted, so who knows when you will see this, but I will try and get it live on my blog asap. Peace! Until soon. (I edited it right away! Nothing to it!) Post edit: The time is 12:56 and the sun is high in the sky here in Pai. The date is January 22nd. Last night was the full moon. Did you see the eclipse? We weren’t able to see it over here.