it's a horrible feeling, the first time in a new country, not knowing the language, not even knowing where the heck you are. i wanted to take a bus into the city, but i didn't know the schedule and i couldn't figure out the stop. finally i gave up and ended up taking a taxi for US$3. the whole trip the driver was trying to steer me to a handful of guesthouses (which will probably pay him a commission). i just told him to dump me by the eastern city wall, where there's the highest concentration of guesthouses. i ended up going with a place that's US$9/night, fan only, and no tv. at least the water's hot. i want to switch guesthouses, but i'm only going to be here in chiangmai for so many days, it's not even worth it.

it's my first time in thailand, and i can't get over how modern it is. not even a single dirt road! and people seem to obey traffic rules! thailand is an easy place to love because it's so similar to so many other modern countries. there's some kind of street fair tonight, with people selling handicrafts and food for blocks and blocks. i sampled some street food, 10-25 cents a serving, you can't go hungry here. but the people, so many! i started to get a headache from the crowd. maybe i'm just too used to the sparse settlement of laos and cambodia. if bangkok is worse than this, i will hide inside my guesthouse the whole time.

i found a vendor that sold fried insects. i bought a bag of crickets and a bag of mealyworms for 50 cents. i plan on trying them out tonight, late night snack on the balcony, listening to the geckos.

floating buddha cone

walls with murals

oldest profession?

fried mealy worms

sunday night market

to get to chiangmai i have two options: the boat, which takes 2 days and 1 night, or the plane, which takes less than an hour. for the sake of getting my thai action started early, i'm opting for the faster (albeit slightly more expensive) transport. i bought so much souvenir last night, i only have enough cash this morning to check e-mail and get some local noodle soup for 60 cents.

the next time i write it will be from chiangmai.

noodle soup lady

guesthouse in the distance