Saturday, April 01, 2006

Dispatch 10: I Hate Chaing Mai AKA We Were So Spoiled in Laos

So I find myself in a city that EVERYONE says that I will love. Meanwhile my body goes into shock on driving into the centre with all the lights and people and it makes me think that Chaing Mai is to the 20 year old backpacker what Pattaya is to the 50 year old male ex-pat. I do have to realise how spoiled I have been in Laos, where the builidings are beautiful, the food is great and cheap and most of all the tourists are quite and few and far between. Everything in this city screams backpacker and really these are a breed of people I have kept away from. Not to say that your average backpacker is someone I would have nothing in common with, just that to have no else around when you go hiking and swimming in waterfalls, kayaking or cooking has its perks. Plus the Laos people themselves are just more chilled out.

The thing is Laos is a communist country right. And that has its advantages. No major corporations, no sales billboards. The governement won't let multi nations in. Even though they have all these minerals they refuse to let Americans into the country. They finally let the
Australians in, with the understnading that they had to hire Laos people. And if there was not a skilled Laos person they had to train them and replace the Aussie once training was complete. when you go to a market or a store the people making the stuff are right there. They are not screaming at you to buy. But here "BUY BUY BUY I make good price for you . . ." so much junk. Its overwhelming.

We have made a good go of this city and found what it has to offer us, including Maui Thai, which is the Thai kick boxing. Which we sat through 3 1/2 hours of it yesterday and got our selves all riled up. we might even take a class. And today we went to a cooking class on this organic farm. I will leave this city will so many great experience while hating it all the while. Strange that.

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