A last day by the pool

Day VII – March 25

And so very welcome! A hangover with these temperatures is no fun at all!
I’m sure I’ll have a few more cocktails here and there, but I will not be downing the way I was last night, in an attempt to forget the place I was, and to just roll with it. I can do that on my own perfectly well. I am prepared now.

This morning at 09.30 I meet up with Sit, who takes me to the bus station on the back of his motorbike.
On the way there he tells me how he has to be very cautious not to run into the police. Though he’s well allowed to drive a car, they took his bike-license when he was young and stupid, and drove without a helmet – like most of the locals do by the way – and never picked it up at the station, to avoid the 500b fine – which is about €12,50.
At the bus station Sit insists on paying the parking and does all the talking for me.
I get the tickets for Daniel and me to go to Chiang Kong and then Laos next week. Looks like we’ll be sticking together for a little longer. It’s nice not to be all alone all of a sudden and to have a friend to take that jump with.

After this little trip Daniel and I go out to find ourselves a hostel.
First we walk into Backpacker Chiang Mai, a boring, semi-clean, straight building with uninviting, empty dormrooms. So we look on.
We’re actually on our way to this place I found in Lonely Planet, when we run into this little internetshop with a ‘room for 150b’ add taped to the wall, Peaceful Hostel. We take a peak into it’s hippie-painted, cozy room and simple bathrooms and decide to take it. As we walk out we see the sign being changed to ‘room for 100b’. Off to a good start.

We meet Kate on the way and hop into this little livingroom-diner for some lunch.
Literally the livingroom: next to us sits grandma watching TV. There are a few sets of tables and chairs, but more than those there are portraits of that one family you see everywhere: the very popular royal family, always in yellow.
The food is cooked right in front of us and smells amazing – due to hangover I can’t handle too much of it though. And the sodas we order apparently aren’t in stock. No problem: the husband leaves and 2 minutes later the drinks are on our table.

Then it’s time for a first big goodbye, from amazing people I shared one hell of a week with, but might never see again. However, I hope I do, we all agree we should have a reunion once back in Europe, and make sure we all have eachothers contact information.
I am sure I will never forget them and this whole experience, even if it was just a tiny week.
It’s funny how time goes so fast and slow at the same time. A whole week has already passed; merely 1/11th of my entire trip though. Just 10 more weeks to go, and I can only hope they’ll turn out to be as awesome as this one. In other words; just one week has passed. But already so much has happened; it feels like it could well be 3.

Officially we have to leave the pool as we’re all checked out now but Dan and I sneak back in telling only a tiny white lie, just saying ‘yes’ when asked ”You stayin hia?”

Lesson learned:
DO NOT look up when you’re in the shower; there will be spiders and things, and you will not be able to run, being bucknaked and all wet in a hostel etc… Just, don’t look up.

[A little hindsight word on the G-Adventures trekkingThe fancy hotels that were included, in my opinion, didn’t fit in with the trip. It could be much cheaper with a little less luxury. And the quantity of adds for trekkings I saw here in Chiang Mai made me regret booking from back home; I could have saved a lot had I just taken the big leap and not booked in advance.
Then again, I wouldn’t have met these great people. And it did save me hassle on arrival in this oh so different culture.
Next time I’ll just go on spec. But this week has been absolutely amazing and I wouldn’t have missed it, my fellow travelers, Sit and Sami, for the world! Thanks guys!]

Does any of you have experience with G-Adventures? What trip did you take? And how did you like it?