Thursday, February 24, 2011

Run off my feet ... with work

I definitely feel like I've been living in Chiang Mai during the past month. I've done very little that a tourist might do. I would like to have spent a couple of days trekking, visited some of the "long neck" villages, and flown with the gibbons on the flying fox through the trees. Instead, I've been visiting the dentist at regular intervals and trying to stay on top of my workload without having a meltdown.

I was very lucky to end up staying here at PJ's Place, which is small and homely. I've enjoyed getting to know Peter and Jiab, and long-term residents Mike and Dom, a little. Dom has run with me around the moat in the early morning a few times. It was his birthday this week and he took us all out for dinner to Chilli Mango. I also enjoyed meeting a friend of theirs, David, who lives in New Jersey.

Dom and Mike headed in a hire car to Lampang today for a few days at a resort on a river near a national park. Dom has just got his car driver's licence and was designated driver. Mike called earlier to say they had arrived safely. He sat in the back of the car. I don't know if he wore the motorbike helmet he had planned to wear. Peter and Jiab also went out of town today, to a village near the Burmese border for the funeral of a young guy (25) who had previously worked here and died suddenly this week.

My friend of 33 years, Chris, and I have been talking all week about our plan to meet in Alice Springs, in Central Australia, in July for a bit of a bush bash/camping holiday in his 4WD. I've never been out that way. Looking forward to it.

Tomorrow I'm taking the train to Lampang, where on Sunday I'm taking part in a half marathon to raise funds for the Lampang Pony Foundation. Notice that I didn't write "compete in" or "race in". I'm so undertrained it's not funny, but I'll enjoy the time out from work.

I've been in Asia since mid-November, so it will be a complete change now to head for Europe, where it's just on the verge of spring, so still quite cold. I have lots of great things planned (as my dad says, planning is one-third of the fun), including meet-ups with some fabulous friends made since I started my travels last May.

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