Monday, September 27, 2010

Chaing-Mai is Pretty All-Right I Guess (UNDERSTATEMENT)

Sa wad dee khrab. Pom chɔɔb yuu tii Chaing-Mai. aka Hello. I love living in Chaing-Mai. There's more Thai where that came from too, and where it came from was my mind!

So I'm in Chaing-Mai for 4 weeks to learn Thai before I take off to Mea Hong Son to join up with my partner organization. 

So, the second day of Thai class we were learning some pretty basic phrases such as “My name is ...” It was my turn to recite the sentence which I had proudly prepared, so I sat up straight, took a deep breath trying my best to express the proper Thai tones and said, 
“Pom chuu Brandon-khrab”. Our teacher Ah-jhan Waraya, thinks for a second and promptly says, 
“ Very good, but it's not Brahn-din (as I pronounce it with the emphasis on the first syllable), it's Brahn-dohn (pronounced like a question with a high tone at the end.)” In shock, and without thinking I responded, 
“Did you just tell me how to pronounce my own name?” I didn't mean to offend her – I was just really shocked and the phrase escaped from me. In hind-sight I think I made her feel bad.

Anyways, Thai classes are going really well, and the teacher is actually super great (I don't want to give the wrong impression).

Yesterday, I climbed up a mountain for 3 ½ hours to get to Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep which is a temple. The view from the top is stunning, especially with the crippling, fiery, burn in my thighs that reminded me of my accomplishment. From Chaing-Mai at night it's especially cool when its all lit up with nothing but jungle for miles around.

Chaing-Mai is full of life, and people for the most part are super friendly and helpful. I've been enjoying restaurant meals, often for under a dollar Canadian, that will knock your socks off with deliciousness. I enjoyed a Thai massage yesterday – wow. This weekend we're going camping in the nearby National Park. Can't wait for the nature walks AND I've been promised swimming under water falls!!! I know, I thought I was supposed to be working too.


  1. yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeea boooooooooooooy, here we go!

    your blog brings back memories like one point I was telling people I was going to bike up Doi Suthep but that never ended up happening...those song tao's were just too tempting. Kudos to you for walking all the way up. The thai lessons sound like they're going well, be careful not to make your ajan lose face. No worries though! Thai is hard hard hard and I'm so happy someone else can now share my pain. I expect nothing less than reading writing and verbal fluency upon your return.

    If you're ever looking to continue Thai Lessons in C.M. at some point privately, I can give you the number of an ajan who's the best. THE BEST.

    Also: speaking of food, while you're there you NEED to check out

    1. The guy with the Pad Thai stand just down the street from the Irish Pub
    2. The Vegetarian restaurant on the street behind CMU
    3. Warm Up or Riverside on a Friday night
    4. Drop-in ultimate frisbee at Chiang Mai university one or two afternoons a week (I started this! :D) Though they may have gone back to their old location at another uni on the other side of town. those of all skill levels are welcome and it's a fantastic way to meet people even if you aren't a frisbee superstar.

    If you ever have any questions, give me a holler!

  2. HAHAHA!! I've already been to ultimate frisbee and to Riverside! I can't believe you started that! I'll have to ask some of the people there if they know you. I've already met your friend Sam that you worked with at NEED. We were at Riverside together the other night!
    - You're gunna have to give me a bit more info on that Pad Thai stand - what Irish pub?

    - And I still cringe a little when I think of that comment. I let it slip, but I won't be doing that again! I think I'm going to keep taking Thai lessons but probably in Mae Hong Son - I'm just in Chaing Mai for training

  3. Check and check, good job, sounds like you're making the most of your time. Sam was/is one of my favourite people. How did you guys meet?

    Yeah, when I got to C.M., frisbee was only at Payap University but I wanted more and it turns out I wasn't the only one.

    The U.N. Irish Pub is on...a street who's name I can't remember, It's just down the street from Reggae Alley (another spot I'm sure you'll acquaint yourself with eventually). Everyone knows the U.N. Irish, just ask around. How much longer are you in town before heading out to MHS? Get ready for a much quieter scene, though the scenery is beautiful...I travelled there solo for a few days to interview some prospective applicants to my program. There is a vibrant Burmese community...and a pretty scenic lake, if my memory serves...

  4. "Did you just tell me how to pronounce my own name?” - LMAO! SO hilarious - I'm sure she knows you meant no harm.

    All that good eating and swimming sounds like a wonderful time!

  5. Actually I think someone was talking about that pub today - I have to push for trip out there.

    The other night was one of VSOers birthdays, so all the volunteers went to Riverside (I'd say there's about 20/25 VSO volunteers in Chaing Mai right now). I've hung out with him just one other time since then, but he seems like a sweet dude.

  6. wait, where is it that you'll be living?

    (If you're looking for sweet weekend vacation spots, you'll want to check out Pai)

  7. After you found Irish pub you need to try the best pad thai next to it. I already told Susu my best friend that you'll be the new face in MHS,she will show you around for sure. By the way, thank you for coming to my very quiet potluck at my house.I promise to cook for you sometimes before you're heading to MHS.

  8. Thanks Bongkot, that's really nice of you! I'm really excited to meet Susu and the food!

  9. Sounds absolutely amazing!!! I wish you the best time. :) I LOVED Thailand.