Part of the fun of travel is the unexpected…and choosing to bear it, overcome it, love and laugh about it or some combination of those three.
Here are a few weird, fun or amusing things that have happened in Chiang Mai.
Around midnight on one of our first few nights in Chiang Mai Lisa was Skyping with her mom (12-hour time difference, doncha know) while I was tapping away on my laptop.
Suddenly there was a loud BOOM! and the power went out.
For some reason I was more curious than frightened.
I went out on the balcony to see what was up but all I could see were security folks scurrying around, although there was a strong smell of burning rubber.
I went back inside and peeked out into the hallway where the smell was stronger. Looking down the hallway to my left there was an open window so I went to look. This is what I saw:
A transformer at the top of a telephone pole had exploded and was burning.
Took about a half an hour for the fire brigade to come put it out, and another half hour or so after that until a repair crew had the power back on.
YOU LOOK PALE!
Early on during our time in Chiang Mai we were apartment shopping in the relentless sun. I kept wondering if Lisa felt ok. She seemed a little pale. Turns out it was the cheap sunscreen we had bought:
Skin whitening cream is ridiculously popular all over Asia. It’s the Frank’s Hot Sauce of Asia: they put that shit in everything. Including cheap sunscreen…
THAI JAZZ IS THE BEST JAZZ
On Valentines Day we had a lovely date night at one of our favorite restaurants, Why Not?. As we were leaving we ran into fellow nomad and bowling buddy Megan who was just finishing up dinner with her nomad friend Boedi.
After a bit of a chat, the two ladies invited us to join them at a jazz club they were going to check out for a glass of wine. Lisa pointed out she hates jazz. I pointed out that she loves wine. We said yes.
While we have avoided motorbikes in Chiang Mai, these two intrepid nomads have not. So Lisa climbed on behind Megan and I jumped on behind Bodei.
At first I played it cool and tried to hang on to the seat, but after a few seconds I asked for and got consent to cling to poor Bodei’s waist for dear life as we sped across the city.
At the club there was indeed a stage that was equipped for jazz music – but an eclectic mix of music was playing from speakers.
Then this happened:
A dance party ensued. Of course. No wounded ankle is going stop this boy for dancing!
As we were leaving Boedi pointed out the obvious: Thai jazz is the BEST jazz…even Lisa liked it! Travel truly is about getting to know other cultures!!
OH MIO, OH MY-O
Lisa used to never drink enough water. Then she discovered Mio water flavorings. She love love LOVES water with Mio flavoring – especially the Mio with electrolytes. They help her stay hydrated and the electrolytes are a staple necessity when eating keeto/low-carb.
When we left the US approximately 99.9% of the space in our travel quart-size carry-on liquid bags was filled with bottles of Mio.
Every excursion since we arrived in Asia has included at least one stop by a market, pharmacy or 7-11 to look for a viable alternative. And while we found one, the cost was a bit pricey.
True panic set in about 3 weeks into our new lifestyle when it became apparent that our search for a local alternative was hopeless. Apparently panic is the real mother of invention, because in her desperation Lisa turned to an old friend and business partner: Amazon.
She ordered a box full of Mios to be delivered to Chiang Mai from the US.
I asked her how much THAT cost and she muttered something about price being a question of value….
With Mio supplies being strictly rationed, things got dire a few days later when Amazon let her know that her package was being held in Thai customs. She had a lengthy exchange with Amazon Customer Care who apparently pulled some strings and a day later this arrived:
Lisa cried with joy. I told her the reinforcements looked like Patton’s tanks rolling in to relieve the beleaguered Airborne at Bastogne. She looked at me with her classic ‘what the hell are you even talking about’ face and made herself some flavored water.
We faced a similar conundrum with the collagen powder that we use to make bulletproof tea every morning. Bulletproof tea is a keto/low-carb breakfast alternative: we add MCT oil and collagen powder to our black tea for some morning nutrition and good fats. Making it while traveling can be a challenge.
We brought small travel packets of both MCT oil and collagen powder from the US but those were quickly depleted. We had replaced MCT oil with coconut oil but the only collagen we could find came with injection needles, and we figured that was probably the wrong kind of collagen.
A little bit of googling, though, revealed that there was a store called
Union Science that might have it. Union Science, as its name suggests, is a scientific and medical supply store. I was skeptical.
But we took the 2-mile walk down to the store and, sure enough, there among the beakers, microscopes and 3-liter containers of rubbing alcohol and iodine were giant packages of collagen powder. Mission accomplished!
Caught in Translation
This Google Translate tickled my travel funny bone:
Delicious, delicious pork health!
Lisa’s Wearing a Bikini!
Finally, but significantly, for the first time since she was in her 20s, Lisa’s wearing a bikini again when we hang out at the pool and do our laps. How’s THAT for unexpected travel fun!? Yay for low-carb/keto!!!!!
If you are hoping for a photo, keep dreaming…I’ve been told that posting a photo of her in a bikini will result in dire consequences….for me…for my phone…for the world in general.
Still, it’s pretty awesome!
WAIT! HOLD THE PRESSES!
I’ve just received permission to post just this one photo of Lisa reading at the pool!
Travel rocks! Digital nomadism rocks!