Existing Member?

3 Weeks Will Bring

Bikes and Maggots

THAILAND | Thursday, 16 August 2007 | Views [328] | Comments [1]

Having a bike changes everything. At home biking and cooking are so much a part of what brings me joy that not having those things for even a couple of days started to takes its toll. I made sure that I got to the bike shop before it closed last night so I could secure one of the joys. Instantly I felt better about being away from my comforts for a few weeks.

Biking in Chiang Mai is a kind of like biking in NYC so I have adapted quickly. The differences are that people actually smile on the road and are patient with how traffic moves so I can manuever my way through narrow streets and major streets with relative ease. No one drives that fast either because there are so many cars on the road that I tend to end up in packs of scooters. The biggest difference is that traffic doesn't stop so I just have to be aware of the cars and scooters coming from all directions and merging with whatever traffic I am in. Oh, and the driving is on the left here. (Living in England has come in handy after all).

I felt so accomplished making my way to school this morning and not getting lost. Also braving the morning traffic was no small feat. Tonight I rode around for three hours exploring the city. I had a destination and then ended up getting really lost so the short bike trip turned into a mini adventure. I figured out that the mountains are North and my guesthouse, appropriately Mountain View is located on the North side of the Old City. So when I discovered that I was indeen very lost I looked for the mountains and started to make my way back.

On the way I fell upon a little outdoor city of plants called Kamthieng Market. It was the end of the work day so there were no shoppers, just business owners closing down. I rode around for at least 20 minutes just exploring all of the flora. This place is huge and so beautiful!

At this point I thought I figured out where I was but ended up in a very crowded food market on my way to the Old City. I couldn't resist stopping despite being lost and having no idea how without bike lights I was going to find my way home. I parked along the scooters and locked my bike to itself and headed in to explore. (No one locks there bikes to things, just the frame to wheel). I bought a package of cut up fruit which I will have for breakfast tomorrow. I have seen several fruits that I've never tried and have no idea what they are so I am hoping this medley will help discern what to buy in the future and what to stay away from.

I also had my first truly spicy meal. It was a leaf bowl of seafood and something else. I really have no idea what I ate, but it was so good. I am ruined for a while because of all of the good meals I am having. The most exciting part of this stop was eating bugs. I giggled out loud when I spotted the bowls of different insects. The gentleman behind the counter didn't speak any english but could see my excitement and tried to descibe in simple Thai what everything was. I wsn't ready to buy the bags of bugs, but he was generous enough to let me try fried maggots and larva. Delicious. If I had to compare it to anything, I would say it tastes like deer jerky. I didn't dare ask to try the flying bug, but I plan to eat many more meals at this place and will not leave town before trying all of the bugs.

Being here is a little like daring myself to be a bit braver with everything I do. Eating and bike riding are a good start because it's a base and something I am used to pushing the envelope with. This is definitely the easiest country I've been too in terms of being a woman. I love that I can look people in the eye and smile and not have it be taken as anything but a friendly gesture. This openness is a good thing for me to feel for a few weeks and I look forward to whatever comes from that.

Tags: Adventures



having a bike totally changes everything :) i'm way jealous of your patient drivers!

how's the exhaust factor? after a week of commuting (and irritated sinuses) i'm beginning to think i need to start wearing a mask. it's just too damn hot.

  maxwell Aug 17, 2007 11:46 PM

Add your comments

(If you have a travel question, get your Answers here)

In order to avoid spam on these blogs, please enter the code you see in the image. Comments identified as spam will be deleted.

About rk

Follow Me

Where I've been

My trip journals

See all my tags 



Travel Answers about Thailand

Do you have a travel question? Ask other World Nomads.