Back to Basics

So a week has gone by of sunrise after sunset after sunrise. The thai people are a fairly late night people. They are hard working people. The are up late running the pharmacy, running the foot massage shop, running the night market, running the food stands. They are up later, they open shop later, each day seems to laxidaisically ease into one another.

There is a basic trust. An understanding. At night, there are no doors to the market, there are no shutters on their shops. . . they tie the blanket over their table, they cover their goods, but there are few locks here–and the ones you do find are quite janky from being old and not often replaced. They tie up their shops. . . could you imagine a full market place in nyc the length of several city blocks. . ¬†with no walls, no windows, no locks and stuffed full of goods. . . do you really think it could preservere . . . for centuries? It definitely makes me think.

Humans are human but Humanity varies greatly.

Many people here work 7 days a week from 10 am to midnight, 1, 2. . . never complaining, never moving too fast, but smiling all the way. . . and we in america think we work long and too much. . . i see the same people working all day every day, selling their vegetables, selling their herbs, their scarves, their coconuts. . .everyone is selling something. So many markets. Markets are a way of life here in Thailand and especially here in Chiang Mai. You have the night market and bizarre. . . which is every night, then you have the day markets. .. which are seve

ral buildings, with several stories, for several blocks full of full on markets every day. Then you have the Saturday walking street market. . . and then you have the Sunday walking street market. There is no shortage of things being sold-expensive or cheap, haggled or not, Chiang Mai is a full on market place almost every hour of the day. Its a way of life. Everyone has their job to man the table, wash the goods, cook the fish, grab the trash, massage the feet, paint the wall. . . everyone and every thing no matter age, race, or color seemsto have something important to do and that–for the most part— they enjoy doing. People revel here in the day-to-day. It seems there could never be too much.

Chiang Mai is an old city with an old heart. Roads that link together through hour glass shaped bricks, the old city surrounded by a moat and the wall they built to fend off burma in the 12th century sits humbly around the city like a old shawl. Mopeds buzz up and down the streets 3,4, and 5 people deep. .. sometimes thier dog too. The animals roam freely and are loved by all. To cross the street you have to just go for it. . .its all a give and take, its all a constant friendly negotiation. . .the ebb and flow of a timeless place.

There are all the elements present in our everyday lives here. They cook on the fire right on the streets, the earth is our floors, the mountains, the manicured and blossoming trees, the water is in the moat and seeping through the bathroom walls. . . the bathrooms are so watery. . . so different than home. The shower and the toilet all in one place with a bucket to clear the bowl rather than a flush. . .in some places we went there were the most beautiful outdoor/open air bathrooms with vines hanging down from the ceilings and growingdown the walls. And Air.the air is in yourface, the air blows the plumeria blossoms down from the trees, cause the bouganvillas to flow brightly back andforth, to blow the mosquitos away from your flesh.

Thailand is a spiritual place laden in ritual, in buddhism, in principle, in conservative dress, in mountains, and incense, and prayers.A place where you walk in a circle three timesto set your intentions and always take off your shoes every time you cross a doorstep.

Whimsical with classic charm Chiang Mai is bustling with community — studious immigrants, pagent queens, floral creativity–Bustling with its culture, an asian melting pot swirling at your feet.

In the morning we move forth to our next destination a few hours north: Pai. A lazy town with waterfalls and faeries and maybe some thai hippie communes too*

xo -=ali*