Entering the Thai community
Today we concluded our thai lessons in Chiang Mai, giving our lovely adjaans (teachers) fruits we bought at the market. We danced toa song that goes like this:
apun apun apun (apple)
malako malako malako (papaya)
gluay gluay gluay (banana)
som som som (orange)
apun malako gluay som
"The hip movements and pelvic thrusts were key to the essence of the dance." – JD
We got really into the moment and although we were sad to be leaving, we were elated by the pending scavenger hunt all around Chiang Mai! The i-team gave us 180 baht, guidelines to what we were looking for, maps, and the freedom to roam around the entertaining and diverse streets of the city. We spent time in markets, wats and even electronics shops to find prices on TVs. We met vendors, random locals, and monks who all helped us slowly join the Thai community. We had a conversation with one monk who invited us over to his university tolearn more, since he is a student, and we are students. He gave ushis number, his smiles, and the opportunity to learn from each other.
It seems as when you make an effort to connect with the Thai people and indulge in Thai conversation, the actions are reciprocated beacuse people express their concerns for your comfort and enjoyment.
Our tasks thorughout the scavenger hunt included: buying sarongs, finding quotes for hotels around Chiang Mai, lighting an incense in a temple, circling a wat three times, and posing in front of monuments. We also even surveyed the traffic in streets comparing the number of cars, motorcycles and public transportation in the area.
Once we concluded our tasks we hit the markets for dinner and even more shopping. Now we are all yaking and watching the fifa game, ARGENTINA! So far, after spending a few days getting used to Thailand, we’ve started to become more comfortable with ourselves and consequently with the rest of the Thai communtiy. Making the effort to surmount language barriers and making friends with the locals, we have found that there is more to travelling than tourism. This makes us even more exited for our upcoming commute to Mae Hong Son were we will go farther into local communities and trek along the Thai borders.