Monday, April 17, 2006

Sweet Salvation

Travellers get jaded. You can generally pick someone out when they've been on the road for a while - mainly because they tend to not drum up conversation. In fact, the less time someone has been travelling, the more likely they are to strike up a chat (due to the fact that there is so much info they need to get).

And so, I go for days here without chatting to a single foreigner... Every once and a while, someone strikes up a chat, but I honestly stereotype, and if I think they're fresh off the boat, I lead the conversation into a brick wall.

So today - I actually struck up a conversation with an Israeli/American woman (after overhearing her talk to someone on the phone enough to realize she lived in Chiang Mai). We start chatting, she invites me to lunch, and brings me on the back of her motorbike.

I hit the motherload! She's a vegetarian, and sings blues in the evenings at a few bars around town...

For days, i've been suffering with the crappy foreigner-aimed vegetarian food (which is overpriced, and bland)... She took me to an awesome hole-in-the-wall vegan place aimed at buddhist chinese people. A choice of 8 different soy-based fake meat dishes, all for 20 baht (50 cents). Woo! I'll be going there every day.

She also told me the name of 2 bars in town that have live blues/jazz every night - which means I'll be able to fill my time here with something other than BBC News and CNN.

In theory, there is an entire street filled with reggae bars less than 4 mins walk from my hotel - the only problem is, the bands playing there do nothing but non-stop awful Bob Marley covers (not exactly my cup of tea) - and are essentially a meat market where foreigners go to pick each other up (as opposed to the bars on the main strip near the moat, where foreign men go to pick up Thai women).

I'm not drinking anymore (my alcohol consumption lasted all of two days), I hate bob marley covers, and I don't want to have a one night stand with a thai hooker or a drunken foreigner - thus, that scene is just not for me.

The blues thing should be good though. I thoroughly enjoyed hearing live Blues every night in pai - it was the highlight of Thailand so far... If I can find the same quality level here, I'll be in heaven.

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