Weekly Photo Challenge: Nostalgic

Lately I’ve been thinking of Thailand a lot.. I have such a lovely time.. and ended on such a high note. And finding an old SD card with photos I never got around to transferring has triggered a lot of memories.

My last weekend there was spent at La Bhu Salah Artist Resort, Chiang Mai. I can’t claim to be an artist in any way, but I was the only guest there in their off season, and I was treated so well, greeted with large smiles, all the great things people remember Thailand for.

Their entire resort was available to me, with their many pavilions of workspaces and thick solid teak wood patio furniture that put all our Western options to shame. I made use of every single pavilion available. How can I not, when they are this charming?

DSC_0104 DSC_0111 DSC_0112

Yes, I was blogging!

Weekly A-Z Archive: C for Camel

Though what on earth a camel of all animals is doing in Chiang Mai, Thailand, is beyond me.

A bit closer to their natural home.. I can’t help wondering if this pair eventually made themselves famous in the Cairo uprisings.

Nikon D80, f11, 1/500s

Finally, this photo makes me chuckle. A friend and I got the obligatory tourist’s camel ride across Giza for a view of the pyramids. The friend has a wariness for camels. I was beginning to doubt we would go for the ride at all, which I am not terribly attached to myself. The camel handlers try to convince us it is perfectly safe and that the camels will not bite. Nothing, though, prepared us for the sight of who our guide would be and the expression on my travel companion’s face when she saw.

Nikon D80, f13, 1/640s

Other participants in this challenge,

Led by frizztext:
http://flickrcomments.wordpress.com/2012/01/17/a-z-archive-c-challenge/
http://nolagirlatheart.wordpress.com/2012/01/17/a-z-archive-c-challenge/
http://2e0mca.wordpress.com/2012/01/17/a-z-archive-c-challenge/
http://creativityaroused.wordpress.com/2012/01/17/c-challenge-cat-empress/
http://abcnellibell49.wordpress.com/2012/01/17/c-is-for-completed/

Describe the view outside your window

I rarely blog about when I am at the very moment, largely for my privacy and safety. But I will make an exception to the rule.

I have no windows around me right now. Well, I barely have any walls. I escaped the city off to the quiet hills outside Chiang Mai for a farewell getaway.

I’m seated at a long table with square stools that resemble the kind you’d see in an old Chinese tea shop. Well, the stools, not the table. The table is long solid probably teak wood planks, so long it puts an Italian family dinner table to shame. Right in front of me, an old rickshaw with a safari hat on the passenger seat. And an old chalkboard with a Jack Dainel’s Whiskey label on the front of the bike. The smaller tables for 1 or 2 are old sewing tables with the wheel and pedal still on.

The wooden railings “walling” in me separate me from the garden around me. A jackfruit tree bears so much fruit the scent of jackfruit whiffs across my nostrils every time the wind breezes through, which is quite often. If it had been mango, the mango would be long consumed by now.

Just a little further beyond, from the other side of the open patio below my deck, the sound of a small water fountain ripples through the foliage. I vaguely remember seeing a pair of cows walk through the car park entrance. A covered gazebo overlooking the water is empty, asking me if I’d let go of my tethered Internet wire to sit there instead. Not now, sadly.

I am perfectly content being on the open deck. The restaurant space I turned into my ad hoc office is part of the La Bhu Salah resort outside Chiang Mai. I am the only guest at the moment. In other words, I have the entire place to myself. It is their off-season so their artisan workshops are not in session. It’s OK. I came to get away, relax, and take a cooking class. The rest of the time I was to catch up with my writing. Without a car and being as far away from downtown, I had nothing to distract me otherwise.

For the first time since I started working, I had absolutely nothing about work niggling in the back of my mind. I am content and truly rested. Life can’t get any better than this.

Animal overload!

For those of you more familiar with my misadventures last year… remember all those attempts to pet some sort of an non-domesticated animal? Swim with the manatees in Fort Myers, pet a buffalo in Montana, or swim with the dolphins in Miami? None of which came to fruition and I had to settle with a tentative petting of a stinky goat in Mount Vernon.

Well, here’s a single day of my life in Chiang Mai: