Posted by: facetothewind | January 23, 2014

Bugs and Beyond

Here’s a little video of my friends Michael and Layard eating bugs on the street in Chiang Mai:

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I was walking down a back street in Chiang Mai and ran into a very dear and favorite friend I’ve known 20 years! I had not seen him in 7 years and then BAM – bumped into him on the street here. WTF?? Amazing coincidence. So of course I had to show him around town and finally I met a farang who would try eating bugs. Watch the video above for the whole story.

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We went out exploring on bikes. He introduced me to his friend Layard. Lovely American guy. Three gay, skinny farang in our 40’s cycling around and goofing off, eating whacky foods, and trying to speak a little Thai. Such a great time!

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Here’s the temple where I was recently seduced by a monk. Yes, it’s true. I’ve heard of it happening and was always incredulous. And then it happened. I was just sitting and texting and a monk (not a novice, mind you) came up to me and started chatting with me about where I was from and if I was married. Then I got invited back to his room for a demonstration of his Thai massage technique. My heart raced and I followed him walking through the temple grounds with my bicycle…far be it from me to turn down any adventure (except eating bugs). Since this is a rated PG13 blog, I’ll just say the massage was a rather focused experience and for a moment I felt I had achieved enlightenment and then I was back out on the noisy street asking myself, What just happened? Really? Did it? Yes it did. And I didn’t initiate it, I just went along for the ride.

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Being shown some fabrics by the most beautiful man on earth. Good lord almighty. He was (and still is) Indian and works at the Night Bazaar in a textile gallery. He is the reason I’m going to move to Kuala Lumpur (the Indian influence there). Michael and Layard and I weren’t sure which thing of beauty to admire the most – what he was laying down on the counter or he, himself.

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A couple days ago I discovered a temple I hadn’t seen before: Wat Ket.

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It has a beautiful old teak house set on the temple grounds. Not sure what it’s for but probably some monk housing.

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Next to the temple is a little free historical museum that has some wonderful relics from way back.

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There are cases of antique silk the likes of which you will not find anymore here. Stunning patterns and colors.

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The museum doesn’t really have a theme which I found fascinating. Everything from old currencies, to pictures of the big Wararot fire to elephant skulls and even a TV set from the 70s!

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I’ve been trying to imagine what Chiang Mai was like before motorcycles and stinky vehicular gridlock. Well this is one photo I found at the museum of a flood in Chiang Mai in 1955. All the photos I saw showed the same density of population as today but with no motorbikes.

Wararot fire

There was a whole photo series on the massive fire that swept through the old wooden Wararot market in 1968. Now it is just a collection of the ugliest buildings on earth and finally I know why. Started in a flammable liquids shop and they couldn’t contain it. It took down the whole neighborhood.

On a lighter note….

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Went with Vegard (the Norwegian guy who saw my tailoring video) to the Bo Sang umbrella festival to see them making the umbrellas which are bamboo and hand-painted canvas.

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Some of them were actually quite beautiful, though many just tacky in my humble opinion.

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This guy reminded me of a turtle.

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Beauty pageant going on in Bo Sang.

Meanwhile back in Chiang Mai…

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Finishing up my tailoring projects. Been working on some elegant outfits for my upcoming QM2 crossing to England with Jean. This is an elegant pair of rayon pants with micro floral print lining and some pocket details. That is a mother of pearl inlay wooden button. Tailoring cost $16. Fabric $12.

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Lunch at one of my favorite restaurants called DinDee located in a mud hut next to the Chiang Mai University art museum. This was a wonderful little salad. Tangy, spicy, crunchy. Yummy.

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Ran into Peridot who is here escaping Bangkok for a bit. Been having lovely little lady luncheons with him.

  As far as the protests in Bangkok…I personally am unaffected by them. I watch them on TV with curiosity. The politics of this country mystify me so I don’t have a side in this case. The democratic rebellion seems to be in the hands of the wrong people. Just like at home! Anyway, the scene is pretty isolated to Bangkok which is over 400 miles away.

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