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Ally’s Travel Diary

Sunday, 11 Mar 2007

Location: Chiang Mai, Thailand

MapHelllllo one and all,
so I thought I would start off filling you crazy kids in on what I've been up to..... To say this is one of the maddest things I have ever done is an understatement!!! so here goes:
Was pretty nervous the whole day on Tuesday, but more because I kept panicking that I hadn't sorted everthing I needed to .... and knowing me I probably hadn't. Became strangely calm in the car journey to the airport, but I guess my thoughts were - "well i have my pants, passport and money, too late for anything else." It was a very strange sensation waving those last few farewells to ma, Pa, Gary and Tara and the moment they were out of sight the OH Shit (sorry mum for swearing :-) ) factor set in. Soon had to get over it and Concentrating Ally came into play - yes it does somethimes happen. (just a side note did you know that you have to take off your shoes these days to go through the x-ray thingy).
So got on the plane and ended up in one of the worst seats - in the middle of the middle bit, beside this annoying 18 year old that thought it was ok to use his mobile on the plane, and was going to Thailand to meet some mates and have it large - help. Anyway after a fairly uneventful flight (except when the 18 year old was told that he wasn't allowed any more beer) I landed in Bangkok.
Ok first hicup - UMMMM this isn't the airport that I was meant to be in- I had flown into the new airport that hadn't been ready when my lonely planet or tickets for that matter were printed soo uh oh. Just ended up getting a taxi from the aiport to the train station with my cab driver who was also call Mr Hair Oil .... (told me that if i came back to Bangkok to call him and he would cut my hair, wasn't sure if that was a compliment or not). Anyway..... got to the station and on to my train.... the train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai was crazy. I was sat opposite a Thai lady who couldn't speak English, but not to worry we did have a little chat, then at about 10 suddenly a man comes round and turns all the chairs into bunk beds, Thomas and Ciaran would have loved it, it was like a massive sleep over. Because of the time difference I didn't sleep too much but kept waking up and being like he he - there is a monk in the bunk bed beside me - How surreal!

14 hours later.... I arrive in Chaing Mai. I take my first Tuk Tuk - which I throughly enjoyed as Chaing Mai is a beautiful city and I got to see alot of it on that first ride. So arrive at the centre where I am doing my Tefl.
My apartment that I am staying at is really lovely, pretty basic but has amazing views of the surrounding mountains. I floated about the first day as I was pretty jet lagged and a bit over whelmed by it all. That night walked to a local eatery place, it was outside and filled with loads of Thai people so thought it was a safe bet. Asked the girl who was serving me what she would get - so I said I'll have that - turned out to be fish with a type of phai tai and rice yum yum, and all for only 30B (45p).

Wow just realised that I have written quite a bit, I apologise now but I know going forward from here my entrys won't be quite as detailed.

Next day (friday), I met my new room mate Stan, small lizard that has been hanging out ever since. I got up and headed into the centre of Chaing Mai. The old/main part of Chiang Mai is surrounded by a moat and an old wall that gives the place a really old cultural feel (if that makes sense). I had a walk round the city and went to see two of the temples, Wat Chaing Man (the oldest temple) and then the biggest Wat in Chiang Mai. The second temple was amazing and there were loads of monks walking around as I think it is also a school and training centre for them, there were some even playing foot ball. The detail of the states and paintings on the walls within the temple were beautiful and walking round the compound you couldn't help but just feel calm and content. That night I went for somthing to eat in a place right beside me but was a bit dissapointed as most of the food they did was western but hey ho had missed having a potatoe :-)
A lovely girl called Nok served me and everytime I walk past now she shouts hello.

On the sat I went in the evening to the night market .... imagine Camden x 10 and at night. It was brilliant. And wait now this might be the shocker for some of you - I've found a type of shopping that I actually like, the whole batering thing is great fun! Found a little irish pub that night as I wanted to watch the rugby, but blimey a little too close for my liking.

And here we are on sunday, I'm about to go meet the rest of the people doing the course with me as we have an orientation afternoon which should be good.

Hope everyone is well :-)
Take care.
love and cuddles to all of you.