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The Road to Pai

THAILAND | Monday, 19 August 2013 | Views [903]

The Pai Road effect

The Pai Road effect

It's a long, long road with many a winding turn, that leads us through who knows where, who knows when (we'll arrive). There are famously 762 curves to negotiate, so if you get travel sick, take a pill or fly! 

Chiang Mai was an enjoyable two day stop although still busy with tourists despite being quiet season! The guest house is adequate and cheap, Lena's coffee shop serves great coffee & a wonderful fruit salad topped with yoghurt and muesli. Lee & Lena are so friendly and welcoming - if you ever need to find me whilst I'm in Chiang Mai, this would be a good place to look! I have the best Thai massage ever at Silver Hands and even find a large novel to fill up some free time in Pai. I visit temples (Wats) still wondering if I am able to cope with another solid five months in Asia. I am finding travelling alone here difficult because of the isolation that the unfriendliness is causing. I can say now that I hit 'the brick wall' and not knowing what to do to cope was making my situation worse. I returned to one of the Wats, sat quietly and asked, well begged really, for clarification and direction. I don't know how long I sat there, perhaps an hour, but I felt filled with a different sort of energy which made me aware of the problem. Quite simply I was not truly living in the present moment. I had been spending an increasing amount of time in contact with family and close friends whose company I longed for in this social void. I became aware that I was living with a foot in two camps, exacerbating the problem. From that, the answer became obvious - spend time refocusing on what is immediately around me or give up and go back. The latter is not even an option and so decision made, I felt negativity sliding away and a renewed sense of optimism. I'm not ashamed to say I was struggling and I believe I wouldn't be the first to feel that way. It's what we do about it that really counts.

I travel to Pai to begin a one month volunteer placement. I have heard that it's not the most pleasant journey and there are certainly enough bends that once or twice our driver has to make an unscheduled stop to let someone out! We descend into Pai just as the sun obligingly breaks through the clouds. It is verdant and the flat land, surrounded my mountains, is quite spectaclar. The town is larger than I expected and I am disappointed to see so many tourists.

Pai has a slow, unhurried pace and a decidedly alternative feel about it. Leasha comes to meet me and it is decided that taking a taxi is going to be the most sensible option. All we manage to find are two scooters. Despite their best efforts we are not going to all get on one bike and so with the driver, my backpack and me on one and Leasha and driver on another, we set off over the Pai bridge, past vividly green rice fields into what seems forever away.

My new home is basic, in fact very basic but has running water, a single gas ring stove top and really everything you need, if not quite everything you might like. Did I stand there gaping, trying to imagine my life here for at least the next month? Again this is going to take some adjusting to. Asia is proving to require constant adjustment! I am grateful for Leasha's guidance and try to ask every conceivable question before she leaves. The work itself, packaging up Himalayan salt, is easy and I am assured that there will be plenty of free time. At this point I am wondering how I will ever fill my days! I get to meet a few of the residents who offer instruction in meditation, yoga, Reiki and many other types of alternative therapies. With an open mind, there could be much to learn about during my month here.

 

Tags: 762 bends, chiang mai, healing energy, inner struggle, pai, temples, thailand, volunteer, wats

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