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November 12th 2014
Published: November 12th 2014
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Hippo feeding at Chiang Mai Zoo
Not updating this every day has made creating a single entry daunting. Really there's no excuse since I've had wifi almost everywhere I go.

Today I'm struggling with the difficulties of communicating here. I really want to talk to locals, or anyone for that matter. I'm not lonely, but I want to connect. For this to be an experience and an immersion rather than just a vacation or a visit. While the thai people are very friendly, they are understandably overwhelmed by tourists and I guess I can't blame them for assuming we are all the same. I mean, I'm wearing the typical Thai style hippie pants and a Ganesha tank, checking my map constantly and probably totally screwing up pronunciation of sawatdee ka. With that, I keep trying to communicate or find someone to talk to, even other international travelers. It's been rough. The communities outside the tourist or backpacker areas don't know any English. The ones inside are just trying to sell me something. Not sure where to go.

Today Kristen and I agreed we would do our own things. I travel a bit faster than her, and she's been feeling unwell since her scuba incident. I
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Sweet Ganesha shirt (150 THB) and harem pants (180 THB)
feel bad that she's kind of stuck to the hotel and only being out when the heat isn't bad. I'm all about standing in the sun all day.

The plan was to visit Chiang Mai University and try talking to students. I read that they don't have class on Wednesday so lots just hang around and are eager to chat and practice English. Sounded perfect! Got in a songatheaw (red taxi) and left town to CMU. However I got stopped at the gate bc some tourist caused trouble and now we aren't allowed to wander on campus. Maybe ill try again another day and say I want to look at study abroad info (kinda true).

Ended up at the zoo instead (150 baht) and tried to find my way through with the map. All the signs were in Thai and I ended up pretty lost. The zoo looks like it was recently abandoned and the animals just continue living there. No clear employees or paths. Cars and motorbikes driving through. The exhibits were very open, but very concrete. Coolest part was a gigantic spider I saw in the bird sanctuary. In fact I haven't seen any spiders anywhere
Lanna DancersLanna DancersLanna Dancers

Dinner show at Old Chiang Mai Cultural Center
else. I'd seen this kind before when Scott and I were at the discovery place in San Fran and we bargained that I could see the spider exhibit if he could see the butterfly one. It was the size of my hand - no exaggeration! The pic didnt come out well because of the background so take my word and hope one doesn't show up in your bedroom.

Even though a ride back is probably only 20 thb I'm walking and maybe ill stop at the mall. I wAnt some makeup to feel prettier and since the stuff they have here is sweat proof. These girls have it down to a science. For now its an iced coffee at a spot that says there is a language exchange Saturday night and couch surfing meet Friday.

Last night we went to a traditional dancing show with dinner. It's a sampling Of food called khantoke. I got a whole specials veggie meal. So much food! I ate too many pumpkin fries and didnt feel great this morning. The dancing was Lanna style and had performances by hill tribes. It was better than we expected. Also found a huge night market

@ Old Chiang Mai Cultural Center
thanks for following a Scottish buddy. Got myself a new outfit for 350 baht. Awesome hippie pants. I was already getting sick of my 3 shirts and wrap skirt.

(Side note: Let Her Go by Passenger just came on and made me cry. I really hope this is pms. Haha).

Think that's enough for now. Ill back date an entry on my last few night in Phuket. Wild stuff. Teaser: Navy, ping pong show, Russian strip club, selfie stick.


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