Cultural Exchange

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Jan 082010

Mae Sa Valley (January 8, 2010)

The temperature was perfect. In 2008, I was freezing our first night here, but perhaps due to the rain, the overnight weather was quite mild, and inside number 39, the clock-thermometer did not dip below 70 degrees.

For breakfast, we returned to our long dinner table, which now had a view of the pleasant grounds. Thin rice vermicelli were stir-fried with Chinese broccoli and a little chicken. The flavor improved considerably with the administration of some chilli-infused vinegar and powdered dried chillies from the communal bowls. Fruit platters followed the noodles. This was fairly light by our standards, but we would be eating again shortly, so it was not wise to stuff ourselves.

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Storm Chased

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Jan 072010

Sukhothai (January 7, 2010)

When we met our vans to head out to breakfast, we found a few raindrops on the windows. As we consumed our bowls of delicious duck noodle soup under the awnings at a sidewalk noodle shop, the skies opened. We enjoyed snacks from the market, including khanom krok and tasty little pork sour sausages (made sour with fermented rice), hoping for a break in the rain. We skipped the usual leisurely market walk and dashed around for just the essentials: duffel bags and liquor. As we left town, we could not resist stopping to watch a parade. Each different school or student group seemed to have its own color and theme. Some carried traditional flower decorations, while others had banners or signs. The photos will be a bit blurry due to the low light, but hopefully a few will turn out. A final detour to a coffee shop and we were on the road for the long drive to Mae Sa Valley.

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Cultural Exchange

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Jan 042008

At 6:30 AM my travel alarm showed 53 degrees. And it felt even chillier. The resort provides a heavy layer of blankets, and comfy slippers for the cold tile floor in the bathroom, but my head was cold; I need a hat. I peered out the front door to investigate my water heater pilot light, and a resort employee with a lighter appeared like magic. I was back in business, but could only manage a hair wash in the frigid bathroom. The rest will have to wait.

Breakfast was a plate of fried noodles with a few bits of egg, meat, and vegetable — and all the optional chillies you can handle. Kasma’s husband Michael shared a few leaves of Northern Thai green tea which brewed up tasty and not too intense. We were ready for an adventure.

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Exploring the North

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Jan 032008


On our final morning in Sukhothai, we stopped at a local noodle place for a breakfast of duck noodle soup. We then wandered the local market (adjacent to the temple) and nearby streets looking for anything of interest. I tried some warm corn and potato balls which were a bit too dense and mild to recommend. We headed back to the main highway for our journey North.

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