that’s my friend fon on stage beside the lady boy. she entered in a tattoo contest at some place… she totally won first place! awesome! me and our friend eddy were the only foreigners and i was definitely the oldest person in the joint. all these young thais kept taking pictures with me, which was hilarious and confusing.
google doesn’t have any street views of thailand yet, but mapjack.com does!
you can check out chiang mai:
http://www.mapjack.com/?VmbyUZhcacxC: north gate jazz co-op
http://www.mapjack.com/?oTbyUWmcaccB: the soi i live on
http://www.mapjack.com/?mhbyUV6VacNF: warm up, bar/venue/club
http://www.mapjack.com/?GMayUskdacmA: zoe in yellow/reggae soi
http://www.mapjack.com/?K3ayUQbaacmD: (what is now) bird’s nest cafe
warm up bar had some sort of party a couple of nights ago. there was free stuff and some people were dressed up in funny costumes. the band that played was pretty decent. at some point one of the singers started bleeding from his head, i have no idea what happened and it was kind of freaky:
went back to pai again with some friends, fun times!
the friends i came with are in a jazz band called “alukomarai“, which is kind of a play on words – in thai, “alaiomaruk” (i think) means “i don’t know”. here’s them playing at this really awesome place called edible jazz:
edible jazz is a really cool little bar/cafe/venue situated on temple grounds. they serve excellent vegetarian food, i highly recommend checking it out! plus, you can rent some really cute bungalows that surround it. the view from edible jazz looking out from the inside during the daytime (you can see one of the bungalows on the right and part of the temple in the background):
we also went to this really great hot spring that wasn’t really well known, probably on account of being at the end of this long rough and winding road. here’s my friend navigating down a particularly steep and dusty section (you can get an idea about how incredibly dry it is here right now from how brown the foreground is, verses the green of the background where there’s a mountain stream):
here’s (another really shaky) video of some of the road to the hot spring:
a couple of nights ago a friend of a good friend found herself in a really, really scary situation. she’s a falang (foreigner) and hasn’t been in chiang mai very long and so doesn’t really know her way around, and she wanted to go by a 7-11 from a bar she was at to get something or another. she got a little turned around and as she was walking by a very young and “innocent looking” thai guy on his motorbike, he offered to help her out with a ride… at first she refused, but he was persistent (i’ve lived here long enough to grow a thick skin when it comes to people trying to pressure you into things here – between the taxis and the merchants it can get pretty ridiculous) so unfortunately she conceded and got on the bike with him. when he drove her past a 7-11, she tried to get him to stop the motorbike but he kept saying that he wanted to show her something. eventually he pulled into some empty parking lot or something and jumped on her, trying to wrestle her clothing off. she kept punching him in the face until he got off then she ran as fast as she could back the way they came, and about an hour later somehow made it back to the bar to where my good friend was. another friend of mine said that this isn’t an uncommon occurrence, that some thais think that they can rape tourists and get away with it (and do get away with it) since it’s pretty much impossible to track down the perpetrator when you’re only in town for a few days and it’s a completely foreign land.
the moral of the story – don’t accept rides from strangers, obviously. i can understand how easy it is to forget that there are really bad people even here in chiang mai, since the place is so friendly as a whole. luckily i was brought up to be totally paranoid and suspicious of pretty much everyone, especially strangers, and i’ve lived in a few bad neighborhoods in the city and have learned to have no problems offending people by refusing rides or refusing to stop and chat. especially after dark! kids, don’t trust strangers.