To be honest, I'm not quite sure where I am. I am not in Chiang Mai, but rather some suburb of it. I don't know how far I am from the city. Heck, truthfully I'm not even sure if I am still in Thailand! I'm pretty dang sure I'm not in America, though. The evidence: no one here speaks English (then again, there are whole parts of America where no one speaks English- I'm looking at you Minnesota) and everyone here has dark skin and bad teeth. But, the Thai's are extremely friendly. When we ride our bikes past them they wave, stare like we were made of gold, and flash us their gigantic, toothless grins (one per person). We really do turn heads here; I have only seen one other American in this small town. It's rural here.
I have three geckos and a long centipede as bathroom-mates (they are always in there and despite me asking for some privacy, they just won't leave!) and we have three sickly cows as backdoor neighbors. There is also a rooster that works perfectly well as an alarm clock, except that he is hard to set. Very consistent though. I think he may have been on my tin roof today. Something was up there walking around at an early hour anyway.
Riding bikes in this town is an experience hard to describe. Because we are treated like royalty no one gives us a hard time, but still I think we get in the way a little on the roads. They are so narrow that if there's a parked car we have to pull into traffic, generally with 6 inches of space on either side of our bikes between the parked car and the cars zipping by. Very thrilling, and if you get stuck behind a truck- good luck!