I find another hotel to crash, half the price, a few doors away. The new place is equally adorable with thatched bamboo huts and a giant cockaroach-esque creature, the round and bubbly owner with magenta eye-shadow also generously offering to teach me how to cook traditional Thai cuisine.
Exploring the day markets, cruising the streets, observing the methodical dance of street cleaning by all, I float in Pai with LOVE.
At Wat Luang I sit for a midday meditation and am mended in my sitting and hand positions by an elderly monk. Private instruction. He clearly has extraordinary years of experience as his hips are as flexible as noodles, sliding effortlessly into a full lotus on the bare wooden floor. I am amazed.
I organically walk in the path of my friends from the bus as well my brother from the stars from my meditation retreat, one I have also crossed in the city of Chaing Mai. We decide to plan a tour to the Lod Cave together for the morning, an exploit that is more challenging than tours to other surrounding destinations for one apparently needs to pay for a ride to the cave base (a distance away up a windy path) and then for the bamboo canoe driver and the gasoline lantern used to light the exploration. We negotiate eventually with a humorous and seemingly stoned tour operator before embracing the vivacity of Pai nightlife at an outdoor music/cocktail hut.
With new friends from England we play, sharing about how we met and about the Buddhism/retreat. It appears we look like a couple despite us both having boyfriends. Soul siblings!