Night Market

The Night Market in Chiang Mai. It was legendary. The food stalls with their otherworldly aromas. Fresh mangoes sliced on handfuls of sticky rice, sweet condensed milk drizzled across each piece. Ant egg omelets in delicate banana leaf bowls. Spicy hot chile smoke curling in tendrils towards your nose. Sweet ice cream with fresh corn as a topping. Row upon row of delightful treasures from artisans. The smiles. The community.  It was everything I had dreamed of and so much more. I walked the stalls, my heart filling with joy as my fingers grazed lush scarves, hand-woven bags and beautifully carved wood. Then I saw it. A tiny little booth at the end of an aisle. The stunning shirts swayed in the wind and I knew this was the one.
I greeted the woman in the booth, “Sawatdee ka!”. She smiled and softly replied “Hello.” I began in English, to ask her for a few different sizes of shirts. She stared at me, a look of genuine confusion on her face. I struggled to find the words. I hadn’t learned how to say small, medium, or large in Thai. I couldn’t leave without the shirts. It was what I was there for. Chiang Mai, and the best linen on the planet.
As I rifled through my pack for a dictionary, I held a notepad in my hand. She gently pulled it away and grabbed a pen. Slowly she began to draw a shirt. I shouted “Yes!” and she passed the notepad to me. I proceeded to draw two more shirts. One smaller and one larger. When I finished, I was greeted with the biggest grin I’ve ever seen. Her eyes lit up as laughter burst from her mouth. It was contagious. I began to laugh at her sheer brilliance. She ran to the shirts and looked back at me. I pointed to the small shirt on my notepad and she pulled one down. Her grin widened and her laughter filled the air. I pointed to the large shirt and raised two fingers. We continued back and forth until I had seven shirts. We bartered (a customary gesture) over the price, and then I placed more than the amount in her hands. She grasped my hand tightly and patted me on the arm. Then she released me and giddily waved the notepad in her hands. I nodded for her to keep it, and said “Kop khun kha!” It was nearly impossible to believe that only moments before we’d been staring at one another, completely baffled.
That’s the beauty of the travel isn’t it? We’re all a part of the same world and if we only listen, and are open, we can always find a common language.

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How To Lose $200 & Learn To Trust Yourself – Part II

“We now return you to a post already in progress.”  If you’re just joining the fun, feel free to head to my home page and check out Part I of this post.  Or you can start from here and be mildly confused.  Both are great options.

I’m a carb kid.  I was not prepared for the week long sugar detox. The body aches, the sweats, the headaches, the wearing two shirts, a sweater, a hoodie and flannel pants with two pairs of socks while under a down comforter, chills.  No one told us about that part.  No one brought it up in class for fear of looking weak.  We were a “family”.
Continue reading “How To Lose $200 & Learn To Trust Yourself – Part II”