12 May 2010

My Introduction to Chiang Mai

I have made it to Chiang Mai. It is a "three days' journey" from my homeland, but I am here safe and sound. I don't know what it means to be 'sound' but I think I am that. I am sound and hearing all right. I am staying with a Buddhist host family that speaks less English than I speak German: "Die affe spielen die klavier." (Translation: The monkey plays the piano.) That's all the German I speak. I think my host family is friendly because they brought me a fan and they fed me when I pointed at my stomach. How else would you define friendliness?
My bathroom is very interesting. The bathroom is a one large room so that I can shower while I sit on the toilet and brush my teeth. Not that I would, but if I was in a huge rush I might.... Okay, I tried it just for fun yesterday. The drain on the sink follows some PVC pipe down the bathroom wall and then just ends. When the sink water leaves the piping it just goes down the same drain as the shower. It makes me wonder what the purpose of the overflow drain in the shower is for. So what if the drain overflows? It's all going the same place anyway. I made a little game seeing how long it takes for me to spit in the sink and then for the toothpaste to make it to the drain. I think my record so far is like 4.5 seconds. It's just hard to rush it along, you know? It's also really fun to shower with the geckos.
My toilet has no toilet paper, but rather a high pressure hose next to the toilet. I think I know what it's for, although I have never seen one before, kind of like how I felt when I first saw an udder. Anyway, when you are done with the toilet you just transfer water from the bucket next to the bowl into the bowl, thus causing it to flush. It's all very exciting.
This morning after being woken up by roosters and cows I watched a shirtless, old man with dripping tattoos clean out the cow barn. He was walking around in flipflops scooping up manure like it 'ain't no thang.' Personally I would rather wear closed-toed shoes, but I guess that's not the Thai way. There's a lot about the Thai way I have yet to experience.


Emilie said...

For this post, I think I am glad that you are not posting photos. I would not care to see the bathroom fiasco or the sandal-wearing man in the mucky barn :) Glad to hear you are well and to see that there is no mention of any problems related to your decision to use a water fountain in Japan... I would rather take my chances with Narita's Sweat.

Jen R. said...

I love your thai posts, how long will you be there? One thing I wish I had done before getting, married was study abroad or some type of extended stay in a foreign country. PS. first time i saw a bode in a bathroom I thought it was a drinking fountain!