I think it started with the mini-skirts...well, that and the Dairy Queen in Bangkok Airport.
I'm so used to seeing conservatively dressed locals, and insultingly dressed foreigners (yet another reason Indians think that western women are er, willing to sleep with anyone). When I got to Bangkok airport this morning, admittedly in a very tired state - it really hit me that I was in a different country - as the women dressed in tight enough clothing that you could actually see the outline of their body..
The real confusion kicked in once I got to Chiang Mai - and hunger hit... I've spent 6 months in a very vegetarian friendly country - and one where people speak English. Suddenly, all the street-side food-vendors are cooking icky-looking meat, don't speak english - and my stomach is rumbling. I ended up eating mangos and pineapple bits until I remembered the way to the veggie restaurant I went to last year.... In this area, I already really really miss India. Food won't be easy again for a long long time.
I went to the Night Market to get a few things - a new backpack, new sandles, and a pair of trousers (as mine are falling apart). On the way, our rickshaw drove past the semi-red light district - a street with a number of bars, mainly occupied by bored looking Thai women who wave and smile at passing foreigners. In every other bar, you see one or two old fat balding white men with tiny thai girls.... I've been here about 10 hours, and it's already starting to gross me out....
Luckily, from what I remember, the sex trade doesn't really have a presence in Pai - and it's highly illegal in Laos, where i'm going next..
Chiang Mai is packed to the brim with foreigners. They're everywhere.... this too is mildly annoying, as it robs you of the feeling of being somewhat special. Yet another reason to leave soon.