there was a moment when i was riding behind Chet up a mountain road to a temple when i realized i'm living in the moment. at some point i made the shift of rushing to finish whatever i was doing to relaxing and enjoying where i am. i like this.
wondering down the street i Chiang Mai i found another westerner staring at a street sign. she said she was going to the Women's Correctional Institution where they offer occupational classes for the women. They have a restaurant and school for teaching massage. That's what we were really interested in - massages on the cheap.
finally i tracked down a Chinese fortune teller. he spent over an hour charting and reading cards and telling me of my future. now i check that off my list but i may look for another one in Mongolia. if i ever get there. i kinda already have a bad taste in my mouth about China and i'm not even there yet. i went by the Chinese Consulate in Chiang Mai to get a visa for visiting China. they have a sign posted with pricing. it goes like this US $130 any other country $30. deep breath - ennn and ouuut.
i hardly know what day of the week it is or what the date is but i've been in Asia for over a month. i was crossing the border from Thailand to Laos and reflecting back on my expectations, concerns and ideas about Asia before i came. the people i have met have been friendly and respectful and i t makes me wonder about the experience of foreigners coming to my country. safety was a huge concern yet i have have not had a moment of concern since i arrived. even in Chiang Mai with the streets on fire. i was more concerned for my safety the night i spent in Memphis, Tennessee. there were some things that seemed scary and hard when i was at home reading my lonely plant guide. like the border crossing to Laos. i took a bus from Chiang Rai to an intersection 'bus station' in Chiang Klong where i took a tuk-tuk to the river and checked out at Thai immigration then took a long boat across the Mekong to the Laos side where i filled out the forms and paid for a visa [same cost for all countries thank god so i don't have to get pissed off again - deep breath een and ouut] and i'm ready for lunch. yes, it sounds like a lot and really complicated but it wasn't. i left Chiang Rai at 9:30AM and i'm lunching in Laos.