Chiang Mai (January 18, 2010)
Our drivers were well on their way to Bangkok by now, so we took the hotel’s dilapidated van to the airport — after a quick bite of congee and fried noodles from the hotel’s breakfast buffet. Security at Chiang Mai International didn’t require shoe or laptop removal, and no one cared about the weight of my backpack. Thus, the lines moved swiftly and we had plenty of time to watch (but we could not really hear) the telecast of the Golden Globe Awards, and to check out the local English-language paper. While our 747 was packed with passengers, the Thai Airways cabin crew was very efficient and dispatched a snack and hot and cold beverages with a smile. I’m fairly certain this was my first creamed spinach sandwich (if that’s what it was), and it wasn’t bad. I passed the time by reading Buddha, by Karen Armstrong. I’ll probably have a better chance of finishing it this week or on the less hectic Southern trip. Whether I personally will be any more enlightened seems doubtful: extinguishing the ego sounds like hard work.