This weekend, I set off to explore Chiang Mai, the first step of which (of course) was to get lost down small alley ways and back streets. I’ve made a name for myself on my own little Soi (alley) as the fruit girl, making fast friends with the best fruit lady (she’s even tried selling her son to me!) and espresso lady on the street (you must have those basics covered where ever you go!). Chiang Mai is a city surrounded by pieces of an old wall and a mote that was used to protect the city from invasion. This means you can’t get too lost without bumping into a gate or wall that helps re-orient you and bumps you back in the right direction. If that doesn’t do the trick, then the million little temples scattered along the way and tons of helpful smiling Thai people should keep from wandering indefinitely! I successfully located the Sunday Market street, where vendors and stalls set up selling everything from clothes and jewelry to food. I wandered around chatting with vendors and learning the ropes of Thai bartering. There is just something challenging and invigorating about bartering that makes every purchase just a little more satisfying! I think I could become a bartering addict…hmmm
I also found a superb running trail in my neighborhood in a beautiful little park that makes me feel like i’m running through a mountain jungle filled with lions, tigers and bears! (more incentive to run faster) I scored my first sunburn of the season, getting rid of the last traces of the Korean winter blues! Woot!