It is the morning of July 5th, the air is humid, the birds are singing away, firework residue and beer cans do not clutter the street. But thats not to say Pai didn’t celebrate independence day. I watched a set of fireworks light up the sky just before heading to bed last night. And walked the street amongst different bars celebrating America which was odd. But homey none the less.
My adventure to Pai was well quite the adventure. I road a bus that took approxmately 3 hours to get up here, with 700 curves I am informed of. Easily believing that, we twisted and turned and climbed elevation the entire trip. Probably the sketchiest bus ride ever. Besides a greyhound I took to Spokane, that was pretty sketch too… Anyways I arrived in Pai about 4pm. Along the route you see a lot of locals living in the most amazing structures and markets that populate the street every few kilometers. We stopped for a break and I had my first experience with a Thai public restroom. First off; you pay a donation to use any public restroom here about 3B. Second, if you want TP you have to purchase that as well ( I learned the hard way) Thank goodness for mom giving me sanitary wipes for my purse. 3rd; there is no toilet seat, and you do not put the toilet paper in the toilet. There is no flushing, and from what I gathered, you stand on the edge of what appears to be a toilet and squat. Reminds me of the things I take for grandted back home.
As we climbed the hills to Pai I began to observe the culture I was about to be engulfed in. Hippy town to say the least. You can see a difference in a thai person from Northern Thailand versus a thai in Chiang Mai. Darker skin, less accumilated to city life. I was picked up on a motor bike with a side cart for my bags and brought to Pairadise (my guest house). Bungalows surround a swimming pond, with private verandas and hammocks. Ahhh serenity. I dropped my stuff in my gorgeous room and laid in my Hammock for a bit. Decided to venture into town and explore. I also knew some people that were here that I had met at the meeting Friday night.
The receptionist showed me a shortcut to town walking down a dirt path and over a bamboo bridge that crossed the river and took me straight into town! I took lots of pictures. I walked the streets resisting the urge to buy things, talking with vendors and tasting the town of Pai. I am learning how to live here without being a producer or consumer except for necessities. Its difficult when everything is so cheap and foreign and tempting! I tried some raw sushi from a cart, a sesame dough ball, and best of all a freshly juiced veggie drink! I felt right at home. The stands in the markets sell raw meat for the locals (beef, lamb, chicken, roosters, squid, fish) It just sits on tables in the heat while they fan away the flies. Not quite accepting of consuming that yet…This town is small, reminds of Manzanita beach in Oregon. Quant, simple, full of happy hippys. I met up with the guys from the meeting last night for dinner after walking around lost for a couple hours :). There was 8 of them, 2 of which rode their bikes to Pai which is insane. They are all in a recovery house in Chiang Mai on their second phase of treatment. And one is like the house manager. He takes them out on adventures all the time even though they are in treatment, shit he brought them to Pai which is known for their drug scene. How freeing, and open for a treatment center to do that. Back home there is so much ego, and control you dont go out on adventures like this. We had dinner at a place called NA’s kitchen I had delicious green curry, it was perfect! I asked about females in the treatment center and they said there is a few, one was sick which is why she didnt come here with them. We walked the town after dinner, sharing stories, talking recovery their ages ranged from young to old. An aussie, a guy from Morocco, one from the UK, and I didnt get the rest of their origins. We stopped at a bar to play pool, and made plans to all meet in the morning for the hot springs!
I headed home, in the dark, in the jungle. That was an intense walk. I forgot what I had walked through to get to town. Only to arrive at the bamboo bridge crossing the river unable to see much in the dark. Once across, the creatures were stirring many unfamiliar noises. Bushes were moving, things were hissing, and whistling, and chirping a plenty. (Sound like night before christmas) haha. SHOOT! I was in the jungle walking, in the dark. All I could think was please dont get bitten. I made it home, safe and sound, no bites, I was totally fine.
Some things I am learning about traveling solo:
-I make new friends easily when I allow myself to get uncomfortable.
-I really am struggling to just be, I feel like once I get to a new town or meet new people I have to do everything. I feel I am in Thailand I dont want to miss a thing.
-I am already future tripping in my head
-I feel more connected with my creator than I ever have
-I allow faith to guide me and am beginning to trust the process
-I spend to much time on social media to comfort my ego…
PS. I met a girl from Australia who lives in Pai now, I asked her how she got here to live. She shared that her and some friends came up here after a full moon party, her friends went home, and she stayed here. I was so inspired.
Mom and Dad: I have not run into drugs here yet, nor do I expect to I just have to be weary of cafes that sell magic mushroom pancakes..lol You can tell they are in the atmosphere but you have to be seeking it. So dont worry 🙂
Jer Gun! (See you later)
Kop Khun (Thank you) I think I was saying it wrong…