|The flight arrived 30 minutes late to Chiang Mai, but thank goodness there was still a man standing there holding a little sign with my name on it. Pretty sure I've never had anyone stand at an airport holding a sign with my name on it. Ok well maybe they were there, but not at the same time I arrived (because I usally miss a flight or end up arriving a day later than expected...)
I throw in my backpack and hop in the back of a small pickup and sit on the bench. The sides and back are open so I can feel the hot humid air, and smell all the exhaust from the other vehicles. It's a bit of a ride on big highways, little roads, teeny alleyways, and finally thru the white gates of Baan Hom. I'm introduced to Christopher, whom I have been emailing and he is exactly what I expect. He shown's me to the room I will be staying in, and points out different points of intrest, such as the steambath rooms and pool, and building where classes are held, and the 'dining room'. Everything is so lush and green and alive. It's not as cool as I had imagined, a lot more humid and warm. I'm wondering how I will make it at night with only sreened windows and a fan to keep me cool...but it sure is pretty here.
I meet Holly (from California), an intern staying at Baan Hom, Gabby (from the UK someplace I forget), who has been here for a while, Sayaka (from Japan) who has been here almost a whole month, and Lydia (an American whose been living in Costa Rica) who is starting the course with me tommorow, but will only be staying for a 5 day course.
I'm invited to join the girls who are going to walk to the local market and check out the goodies. Why not. I'm not jet-lagged yet. Let's go. Ahhhhh I love local markets. First stop: Chai iced tea. Um pretty sure they put crack in it. Super deeelish. I'm already an addict. We walk around and i make my first purchase in Thailand....an alarm clock! It's neon orange and I'm sure its made in China. But for $1 usd the guy puts a battery in it and puts it in a bag for me to take home. We walk on and I find all kinds of fun impractical stuff. We finally find our way home, and grab a quick steam bath. Gosh that is hot. I've been sick so when I walk in and smell all the fresh herbs and spices? it sends me into a coughing fit. No matter, I hang as long as I can and then decided it was time to get showered for dinner.
Which is mostly spicy and vegatarian. No biggie. Except for the spicy stuff....that just doesn't hang well with me so we shall see how this is gonna work out. I get to meet Hoprang, and she too is everything I expected. More about her and Christopher and their story later ;)
Off to bed and gratefully I notice that the temps have cooled off a tiny bit and seems as if I will get some good sleep after all.
Whew. Almost unreal....I'm really in Thailand, and I'm really going to get to learn Thai massage like I've dreamed of for years. It's happening, and it's not just a dream.