With sweat streaming down my face, I pedaled up to the red light and looked around at the collection of motorbike drivers and passengers around me. Three of us were in short sleeve shirts, several wore long sleeve shirts, but the vast majority had either a fleece or jacket on, zipped up of course. One even had gloves on. It was 92 degrees, with fierce humidity!
Now one thing Chiang Mai (or every part of SE Asia we've been in so far) does not get this time of year is rain. So when flashes of lightening sparked the sky and the air smelled like rain, Jill and I eagerly walked to a cafe with roadside seating to watch the big event. For the hour that it lasted, it was fantastic. Neither of us could ever recall being so happy to see rain!
And the best part - it rained for another hour the next night. Jill was seated at a friends balcony watching the bolts lights up the sky and as I walked over to meet them, I was struck that this was the first time that moisture dripping off my face wasn't perpiration. Thrilling!
I (Jill here now) have spent the last three weeks in Chiang Mai attending a Thai Massage class. The class has been wonderful. I actually think I'll be able to give a full 1 hour proper Thai massage when I return home. I've also met some amazing people from all over the world who have inspired me in so many ways. Tom has been volunteering at an English Immersion camp - everybody should have some instruction on how to properly speak with a Kentucky drawl!
Jill has joined for several events at the camp, most notably campfire night, a weekly event. Now nevermind that during the day the temperature has risen to the 100 degree mark and the humidity is stifling, plans are plans and the campfire is on the schedule. At 6 p.m., when the BBQ gets into full swing, it's still in the high 80's, so Jill and I, both lovers of campfires, keep a safe distance as there is no need to excite the sweat glands any more than they already are! Oh yeah, and Jill even sung "Old Susanna" for all the Thai gals in her best southern drawl. Good fun!
Even with the heat, Chiang Mai is a great city. Old town is encompassed by a moat and our residence ( a huge 1 bedroom apartment in an old hotel for the kings ransom sum of $20 a night) is just outside the moat on the eastern edge. We've had fantastic food, met interesting characters and settled into a laid back thai lifestyle.
It'll be tough to leave!