Thursday, June 16, 2005

I see Tiger!

Another entry from my journal...

I never knew how amusing my name sounds when spoken with a British accent.

I've been holding off on writing about Thailand. I don't want to bring it to a nice neat conclusion in my head. The longer I don't write about something, the more the ideas and memories swirl around. But as soon as I write about it, construct that perfect concluding sentence, the thoughts don't come as quickly- it's put to rest in a way and my mind can relax.

But I wasn't ready for that right away. I wanted to dwell in that chaotic mess of ideas- it felt like being back there in that incredibly confusing, foreign and beautiful country.

But I realize if I don't lay Thailand to rest right now, I won't be able to fully appreciate or take in all that Australia has to offer.

We get together Saturday night for a group meeting. Yao, our guide, hands out a few packets of information about the trip.

5 Brits
3 Aussies
4 Americans

An interesting mix.

Packets of info- what you'll need to bring etc.

A sarong? I need a sarong?

"Two days intensive trekking"
"Porters will carry the food"

Porters...didn't the porters in that Dave Eggers short story die?

I'm in over my head

I had thought the trek was some side activity- like visiting the temples, just a short excursion to fill the hours.

Damn it.

I'd read the brochure a hundred times, how had it escaped my knowledge that hilltribe trekking was the cornerstone of this entire tour?

I know how...I'd get to the word elephant in the description of the trip and I'd get so excited I'd skim over the rest.

Thanks to my preoccupation with the elephants, it's now time to reshape my idea of what this tour is going to be...And somebody needs to teach me how to tie a sarong!

We take the overnight train the next night. It takes longer to get from Bangkok to Chiang Mai than it does to fly from LA to Sydney...wrap your mind around that.

We arrive in Chiang Mai- the second largest city in Thailand, and it's 1/40 th the size of Bangkok- less crowded, less smoggy and we squeeze into the back of these truck taxis that have benches on either side.

We settle into our fan-cooled hotel and then get a jump start on seeing the sights. Yao is a wonderful guide- shows us the highlights of his city- 300 step temple, silk factory (after seeing those worms, I will never think of silk in the same way), the umbrella factory where we get some beautiful and cheap artwork done...

Get back from a day of exploring...exhausted and hot, take a dip in the pool to cool off- it's still incredibly warm and humid even though we're much farther north.

That night we hit up the Chiang Mai markets after grabbing dinner in this open food court that has Thai dancers perform every hour.

We begin to see more and more of Yao's personality as he teases Chris and tries to get him to hit on Thai women.

We end the night running around trying to find a taxi back to the hotel in the pouring rain...Give the driver the address yet we somehow end up at a weird sex club

"Yao leaves us alone for 5 minutes and look what we get ourselves into!"

Reach the hotel and have a couple Chang beers before hitting up our incredibly hot rooms. I take bottles of water from the minibar and put them under my armpits to try and cool off.

The next morning we start our trek...

12 people
2 guides (Yao and Anon)
2 Porters

A long drive up the hills

We're up so high- the tops of the hills are meeting the clouds. It's gorgeous and terrifying.

There is NOTHING out here

Suddenly I'm understanding why they took copies of our passports to give the police...A quick image enters my mind of my passport photo being flashed on the nightly news- Missing for 3 weeks now, suspected to have been eaten by a tiger -

I close my eyes and literally try and shake the thought out of my head.

I can't think like that.

As I begin planning out the guest list for my funeral...

An elephant! Out the window an elephant is just hanging out and eating in the middle of the jungle.

I'm instantly back on board.

Let them send a rescue party after me.


At 5:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is so exciting to read, I'm pumped, ready for our next adventure!!! I'm sitting hear drinking my coffee (decaf) thinking you should right a children's adventure book/story? What do you think, it could be like a short series or something? As I read "Spirited Away" is in my head?? This weekend we're off to Springfield to see the new Lincoln presidential library/museum. I'm really excited to see it! Don't think we'll run into and elephants, maybe at the zoo. How lame is that going to be for you to see after all this! Love & miss you.... amy

At 7:26 AM, Blogger Amy Boyd said...

so I used hear/here right/write??? many others... I feel very stupid doing that, especially with you, smarty pants. can't figure out how to delete it... anyway chalk it up to not being breast feed

At 9:50 AM, Anonymous Jay said...

Yay for elephants! Elephants make everything better (Eric says bacon makes everything better, but i will stick with elephants). Remember at the zoo when our moms would take us and we were allowed to get one of the wax figures? We didn't want to get the same ones, but the elephant was the most coveted. Whoever got the elephant was always happy! The other person had to get, like, an alligator or something.
You have been in my thoughts lately, because of, strangely enough, the Michael Jackson trial. Whenever i think of him at all, i think of haunted houses in your basement. To think that we thought the "Thriller" album playing on your Fisher Price record player would scare our moms! Well, that and some fake spiders and spider webs. And also us jumping out and yelling... we were pros. And whenever i think of that, i inevitably think of sleep over marathons and everything else. So, as odd as it is, when i think of Michael Jackson, i think of you. i am sure no one has ever said that you before.
Have fun,
Love you, Love, Jay

At 9:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some days it won't let me log in as me!!! Anyways, I loved the pictures of the elephants and even more I love saying that my sister was just in Thailand. I'm so proud of you! Pat told everyone how he received a birthday call from you and he loved his shout out too. We are having everyone over on Sunday to celebrate father's day...and by everyone I mean dad and the Sullivans. I'll give dad a big hug and kiss for you. He just lights up when he mentions your name. Enjoy evey minute of Australia...I can't wait to see the outback pictures. Say hi to Jeff. I love you! Krissy
P.S. I'm out of school so you have to email me at home:


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