The train takes four hours longer than scheduled due to an accident on the tracks and we arrive in Chaing Mai after 2pm. Thai time!
We sit for most of the tail end of the ride in the dining car, a bumpy mess of foreigners chain smoking, enjoying nescafe, admiring the pleasant views of bamboo, rice fields, enchanted mountains. The train dining car staff is occupying one of tables, wearing peach colored smocks while preparing food with raw hands, tasting each mixture after the addition of a bit of more chili, lime, whatever Thai ingredient is called for. This seems less unhygienic than India and I question whether I have some personal bias to pan out. Hmm. Perhaps I will ask Buddha for clarity.
Smoke fills the car as plates of greasy eggs over sticky rice (publically massaged in great lengths by one man) and fried vegetable rice. The menu is not observed nor are the prices. The lead chef so to speak, is peeling the pith from a pommelo and wearing the skin like a Jewish yarmulke. I want to rub his belly.
At the friendly Chaing Mai station we hop into a red taxi truck, one that resembles an old-fashioned police car (sans the color) and ride to the SK House hotel, a gorgeous residence with intricate carved wood, fresh flowers, Buddhist altars, many goddess portraits, mildly clean pool, overpriced/intermittent wifi. Perfection.
The Sunday market is bustling and alive, vendors selling countless homemade treats, different noodle dishes, sautéed vegetable plates, sticks of pressed meats, tiny brightly colored gummy-textured candies, sushi, exotic fruits, fresh smoothies and blends, the infamous Thai iced tea…jade jewelry, brass ornaments, decorative fabrics, silks, tapestries, massage tables, live music, the list continues.
I taste it all with reverence and then decide to splurge on a Thai massage, a $5 per hour extravagance, where a plump Thai woman rubs and tugs at my body. She kneads my rear well as she sits on my back. It truly feels like lazy man’s yoga. She serves me tea and a big smile.
It is understandable why so many run to Thailand and never return, why it is a place for many expats to retire…the universal emanation of Buddhism and peace, kind people, gorgeous sunny weather, fresh cuisine, colorful everything, ELEPHANTS! It will be challenging to leave for sure.
(And the sex industry of course.)
Jackie and I will split for a couple of days, she desiring to go on a tour and I to a Buddhist meditation retreat at a local temple. We will cover more ground, spreading our wings afar!
Let us live in our hearts, in our bliss, in alignment with our authentic selves. We are all here to spread joy, to radiate light, to be in service. Although we may come into this incarnation with different karmatic contracts this is seemingly our true purpose. Every path is possible if it is in our highest good and in the vibration of love.
Join me on this journey at any time.
We are one.