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Chiang Mai Felt Like Home?

Sunday, March 19th, 2006


Have been here three weeks and Chiang Mai did feel like home for awhile…just long enough to get oriented and find the good places to eat. I spent all afternoon today in my room researching Mexico on the web and then decided to go out for supper. For about 10 seconds I was completely disoriented…sights, sounds, smells…all different than what was in my head…and added to that was the haze in the air that obscured the sight of anything more than 600 yards ahead. “Slash and burn,” Lonely Planet says. Reminded me of Springfield Oregon in the fall when farmers burn their seed fields.

For excellent western food go to The Duke’s on the other side of the river from Old Town. Tender and mild white fish stuffed with lump crab with mashed potatoes on the side. Well, it came with rice but I asked for mashed potatoes instead. And apple pie for dessert…a nice break from noodle soup! I am “im” (sp?) meaning “stuffed.” I said “arroy” (delicious) to the young waiter who looked at me like I was nuts. He had on a black t-shirt and really baggy pants. Oops, I thought…I had assumed he was a Thai or at least that he spoke Thai. Or maybe he just didn’t understand my Thai such as it is.

It’s interesting to travel alone. The other day I was having breakfast in a lovely outdoor garden setting and a 78 (looked 65) year old Dane joined me…spent an hour or so telling me his life story (Denmark seems to be considerably homophobic) and then recounted his many gay sexual exploits during his seven years in Thailand…more than I wanted to know.

A couple days later in the same restaurant I was approached by an older Brit…13 years here…who had walked the entire length of Thailand. Kind of dinggy but likable. They were both fluent in Thai and I got the feeling they didn’t often talk to English-speakers. Dennis asked me to post the words of His Majesty the King…which I did in my last blog entry. He loves the King. “It’ll rock the world,” he exclaimed. I just looked at him wondering how long it had been since he had been in Europe…or the States!


Wednesday, March 15th, 2006

Tired of the Night Market for tourists, this week I walked to the Warorot Day Market…a market for the local Thais. DSC00445.JPG

I bought delicious garlic flavored BBQ chicken for lunch with custard filled squash for dessert. Then crossing the footbridge over the Mae Ping River I walked back past upscale craft and fabric shops stopping for a mixed fruit shake at the Riverside Bar & Restaurant. There is supposed to be great live music there at night but I feel weird going by myself so I don’t.


Tuesday, March 7th, 2006
Yesterday morning I walked to the Post Office around the corner and down the street and then slowly swung a wide path through the city...dawdling in used book stores, Jonesing for all the quality crafts and household items in shop ... [Continue reading this entry]

Good-bye To Samui

Saturday, March 4th, 2006
On 1 March I said good-bye to my son Doug and his wife Luk and Ting Tong...their little Shimizu...and caught a Bangkok Air flight back to Bangkok (Bangkok Air built the airport on Samui so they won't let any other ... [Continue reading this entry]

Koh Pha Ngan

Friday, February 24th, 2006
Doug Luk and I took a break from Samui and put the car on the ferry for the two hour trip north to the island of Koh Pha Ngan for a couple days. Almost no car and truck traffic, ... [Continue reading this entry]

Coffee Yen

Tuesday, January 31st, 2006
Iced Coffee Stands Coffee Yen Coffee Yen 2

Street Food

Tuesday, January 31st, 2006
Eggs For Sale Eggs for Sale Soup Stand Street Restaurant BBQ BBQ BBQ2 BBQ 2 BBQ3 BBQ 3[Continue reading this entry]

Street Noodles

Monday, January 23rd, 2006
My favorite food in Thailand is one of the many varieties of noodle soup found on street carts. Street food is safe if you select a cart in early to mid day, when the food will be fresh, and watch ... [Continue reading this entry]

Lucky Luk!

Friday, January 20th, 2006
I called my son Doug yesterday morning. He had just returned from the fish market on Koh Samui with a salad bowl of large fresh gung (shrimp) with heads still on for $1.60 and had cooked up a traditional ... [Continue reading this entry]

A Christmas Gift

Monday, December 26th, 2005
After rack of lamb marinated with fresh oregano, thyme, garlic and olive oil; tender gratin of baby spinach in a bechamel sauce with snow crab and east coast clams; brussel sprouts braised with bacon and deglazed with cream sherry; ... [Continue reading this entry]

Yonah Schimmel’s Knishs

Tuesday, October 25th, 2005
Looking for a restaurant one afternoon on the Lower East Side, we happened by a tiny bakery with huge savory knishes displayed in the window...potato, kasha, spinach, broccoli, cabbage, mixed vegetable, sweet potato, mushroom...and sweet ones too. The glass window ... [Continue reading this entry]

Pierogis In Greenpoint

Tuesday, October 25th, 2005
Around the corner from Josh's apartment in an almost all-Polish neighborhood Bob and I found an authentic Polish restaurant. Blackboards behind the cashier list items in Polish and English. When our food was ready we carefully delivered it ... [Continue reading this entry]

Blue Ribbon Restaurant

Sunday, October 23rd, 2005
A call from Amy: Would you like to run into Manhattan with me to pick up Josh after work tonight? Of course, I said! Bob had already eaten stir-fry at home and preferred to watch the world ... [Continue reading this entry]

Bouley Restaurant Tasting Menu

Sunday, October 23rd, 2005
There are 13,000 restaurants in New York City and urbanites, with cramped apartments and schedules, often eat out...whether take-out, order in, pizza slices or, on special occasions, in one of the more elite culinary establishments. Eating out at one ... [Continue reading this entry]

Stories Of The Bangkok Street

Tuesday, July 12th, 2005
Ten baht (25 cents) for a motorcycle taxi gets me to the American educated dentist down the soi and around the corner in little more than a minute...scared to death that the trucks, cars, motorcycles, light poles, ... [Continue reading this entry]

“Oh New Shoes Lost Me!”

Monday, May 16th, 2005
1wXSp3CkNsDoJl3s0SgHmw-2006171163517229.gif After a flight from Bangkok on Bangkok Air, I have been enjoying my 26 year-old daughter-in-law on quiet Khlong Muang Beach in Krabi Province the last couple of weeks while my son Doug is ... [Continue reading this entry]

Trekking Northern Thailand

Saturday, April 2nd, 2005
gatQye8keZlS3vpnwrOvxg-2006186163905868.gif As soon as we returned to Bangkok from Bali Bob took a train to Chiang Mai for a trek in northern Thailand near Mae Son Hong. I stayed in Bangkok to have some ... [Continue reading this entry]

Not The Ubud We Pictured

Thursday, March 31st, 2005
DSC00068.JPG Ubud was nothing like I had pictured. Even though it's community members still adhere to traditional customs and the arts, crafts, music and dances support religious rituals and ceremonies, the village is not ... [Continue reading this entry]

Stamp-Out to Burma

Thursday, February 3rd, 2005
1wXSp3CkNsDoJl3s0SgHmw-2006171164904627.gif "Stamping out" consists of leaving Krabi Thailand at a border the case of Ranong the border is with Burma...and then "stamping" back into Thailand. To do this they went to the Thai immigration ... [Continue reading this entry]

Luk’s Family In Trang

Monday, January 24th, 2005
1wXSp3CkNsDoJl3s0SgHmw-2006171170004499.gif 100_2898.JPG We rented an SUV and drove to Trang, about 150 kilometers south of Krabi, to meet Luk's immediate and extended family. We were greeted with the traditional Thai ... [Continue reading this entry]

Kindred Spirits in Quindao

Saturday, October 30th, 2004
East China.gif Walking by the Foreign Language Bookstore in Quindao, just up the street from my comfy clean hotel room that a tout from the railroad station led me to...80 yuan she says..that's about ... [Continue reading this entry]

Great Days Great Wall

Sunday, October 17th, 2004
East China.gif Video E found the website ( and the adventure offered intriguing the beaten track, away from the Chinese tourist groups that follow a guide with a microphone and colored flag held high ... [Continue reading this entry]

The Tajik and Olga

Thursday, September 30th, 2004
7yBXvp82X2gVlMeZe25DiM-2006198051115673.gif The Tajik and Olga In Irkutsk, when we find our seats on the train to Ulaan Baatar, we find a good-looking 40 year old Muslim man from Tajikistan in our cabin. He has studied ... [Continue reading this entry]

Forest Mushrooms and Vodka

Friday, September 10th, 2004
7yBXvp82X2gVlMeZe25DiM-2006198051115673.gif The night before we leave St. Petersburg, Elena and her childhood friend, Dula, breathlessly excited, bring home bags and boxes of forest mushrooms. Bob and I haven't eaten and we hope the ... [Continue reading this entry]

St. Petersburg Homestay

Monday, September 6th, 2004
7yBXvp82X2gVlMeZe25DiM-2006198051115673.gif A Homestay has been arranged for us by our tour company, White Knights, with Elena who lives in (and owns) a 3 room very cluttered flat four flights up in a poorly maintained government ... [Continue reading this entry]

Traki, Karaites & Kibini Pastry

Sunday, September 5th, 2004
Trakai, on the outskirts of Vilnius, Lithuania, is a small settlement placed in the middle of five large lakes that is home to about 350 members of the Keraites, a minority community originally from Mesopotamia (modern day Iraq) who later ... [Continue reading this entry]

Ruili China

Saturday, December 28th, 2002
YUqE3FCf1Hd9CjfG1qqmt0-2006171132705308.gif Coming down out of the mountains we were happy to see Ruili lying in the green lush valley below...a larger city than I thought...a Chinese/Burma border town with a mix of Han Chinese, minorities ... [Continue reading this entry]

Echo & Li…Competitors

Tuesday, December 10th, 2002
jWLtBzsBGHTUmbHjYHypj0-2006185073225366.gif Monday Dec 9 2002 In Old Town Lijiang, we are woken up by a knock at the hotel door at 8am. Two couples from Taiwan were on their way to Zhondian with a driver ... [Continue reading this entry]

Lijiang & The Naxi People

Sunday, December 8th, 2002
jWLtBzsBGHTUmbHjYHypj0-2006185073225366.gif Once in Lijiang, we dumped our luggage at the Shangira Hotel (Y80 or about $10 for a double) that was recommended by Echo. I suspect she was getting a kickback for sending tourists there ... [Continue reading this entry]

Zhondian aka Shangri-La

Thursday, December 5th, 2002
YUqE3FCf1Hd9CjfG1qqmt0-2006171132705308.gif Bob took a flight south from Kunming to Mangshi and then on by bus to Ruili near the Burma border. Jana and I left Kunming on a Yunnan Airlines flight to the village of Zhongdian, ... [Continue reading this entry]