Raining snakes and the Chiang Mai Squirrel Highway

Critics place your comments here. Best Place in Chiang Mai Cafe

Critics place your comments here. Best Place in Chiang Mai Cafe

After writing yesterdays missive, I was walking back to our room and about to cross a small lane when something green landed to my right with a splat. A snake had fallen out of the power lines, and tried to race across the road, only to get caught up in a guy’s motorbike wheel. He screeched to a halt, the snake disentangled itself, and as I stood there having my own personal heart attack, it wriggled madly over to a huge pottery jar on the other corner. I had gone cold all over and stayed like that for a full minute. I’m not sure who got the biggest fright – me, the motorbike rider or the snake… Like heck was I going to go and see if the snake was alright – wriggling like it did, it was obviously fairly alive anyway. I Did get away from the power lines in case there were more, and kind of slinked home hoping nothing else would drop into my life for a visit.

We scoffed breakfast and packed, and I fessed up about the tie dyed pink sheet. They were good about it, bless them. We gave them a few kids books and one of the ladies said she will donate them to the local school. We sat and waited for the 10.20am bus to Chiang Mai, which turned into the Late Bus to Chiang Mai, then morphed into the 11.30am Bus to Chiang Mai. We kicked our heels and watched a local cat sneak furtively past with what was obviously fish contraband and the local trams and open-air tour trucks cruising along slowly, plying their trade, then popped over to talk to a Dutch couple next door, waitng for the bus also.
It wasn’t as flash a bus as the last one. We nabbed the back seat, as nobody was on it and it meant we could spread out a little. Now that was a bit of a learning curve. turns out the motor is at the back, so it’s rather toasty,  I think what they consider to be air-conditioning is actually just an airflow coming out of a twistable hole in the roof, the seat was right up there in softness with the flinstone beds we slept on last night, and for some unfathomable reason, people will come and sit on the back seat beside you rather than on the spare seats further up the bus. I just don’t get that! First we shared the seat with a soldier and a tall, pretty woman who had huge feet and spoke on her mobile in bloke, then we had to share with 2 young women (yep – the real deal this time) and a couple of guys. For crying out loud!! (One’s sense of humour tends to dissipate in direct proportion to how long one has sat at the back of a bumpy bus in the heat). The whole situation was offset, however, by the t.v. screen at the front of the bus showing semi-naked Thai girls disco dancing to droning Thai house music or some such delight. Sometimes you just feel so lucky…Anyway, we finally landed and once again I laid glad eyes on the familiar sight of Chiang Mai City.

We shared a songthaew (sort of a ute with passengers seats in the covered tray) and got to Moonmaung Road Soi 6 to find that the place Gill and I stayed in last time was no longer. It is now a posh hotel with budget-busting prices. So Ursula had a seat with the Dutch couple and I went for a wee wander and found the Malak guesthouse round the corner with single rooms with fans and private bathrooms for 150 baht. Score! We now have a roof over our mouths once more. The rooms are exceedingly basic, but they’re somewhere to lie your weary head and that’ll do. To my disappointment, there were no geckos in our rooms, but Ursula did get a complimentary cockroach with hers.

Down the road for dinner, and we found the ‘Best Place in Chiang Mai’ cafe, which had testimonials on A4 paper stuck all over the walls from previous, international diners. And, as it turned out, the moniker is well-deserved. Their food was yummy!! The service was great too – very friendly. Ursula had a fried rice and I had Pat Si Yu – fried noodle, sweet sauce, chinese broccoli and pork. For 40 baht – about $1.80, I think. Might go back there for breakfast I think – after I buy my dragonfruit from the lady round the corner, which I promised her I’d do.

We hopefully meet with a local, Samart (otherwise know as Spicywildpumpkin) tomorrow and give him the rest of our stash of kids books. This is his message to me last night:

‘you can donate book to me for my school project if you want
im doing funraising to buy land and set up english school near bungalows maybe book might be needed
you are interesting to meet’

Interpretation: ‘Here’s my phone number, let’s meet and I’ll take those books off your hands.’

That’ll shift several kilos from both our packs and leave room for crucial stuff only, such as shopping. (Nods) One of the world’s biggest night markets is here, and you just know what’s going to happen, right? Thanks again to the Whangamata and Waihi library staff for donating these books and being very passionate about it. Your help is being appreciated over here.

After crashing out pretty early last night, I was out of bed at 5.45 this morning (yes I know Ayla, unnatural innit?), and up on the garden roof taking photos of geckos, monks and the squirrel highway a.k.a. power lines down below me. It’s already hot and no doubt we have some hard out shopping – I mean market research – ahead of us, so best we get a good breakfast down us.

Tattooed monk.

Tattooed monk.

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