📍 Nimman, Chiang Mai, Thailand
After playing with elephants and taking a cooking class, it was hard to imagine things getting any better. With more time to explore our neighborhood, we discovered coworking spaces, eclectic eateries, and specialty carts with authentic delicacies. Like the robots in Westworld, we developed a tightly wound loop, or routine of sorts.
Maya Center on Thursday's, Kad Suan Kaew on Friday's, a new joint in Nimman on Saturday's, and the Street Walking Market on Sunday's. We've grown extremely fond of mango with sticky rice--a traditional Thai dessert that's relatively healthy, until you add the condensed milk and sweet corn topping.
The food culture here emphasizes freshness so almost everything is made to order. Even the ice-cream is made with serious TLC; often topped with shredded coconut, crushed nuts, and grass jelly. It's the perfect treat to cool you down on hot days. Now that I've tasted heaven, I don't know if I can go back to Ben & Jerry's.
After we decided to extend our stay in Chiang Mai for the mangos and coconut ice-cream, we had to figure out our visa situation. We employed the help of a local business who specializes in obtaining extensions for foreigners. In total, we spent $100USD each for their headache-free service and the actual extension.
They snapped our visa photos, printed our applications, and submitted our passports to expedite the process. The next day, an employee drove us to the muncipality where we spent about 10 minutes getting our passports stamped and we were back in Nimman 20 minutes later. It could not have been easier and definitely worth the money.
The 'adjustment' was rather easy for me as I had studied abroad in London my senior year at Pitt. For Aaron, it was a little harder as he had to find a new way to record his podcast interviews and acclimate to being away from home for an extended period of time.
Another first for us was spending Valentine's Day in a different country. We grabbed dinner and shamefully saw Fifty Shades of Grey. The movie theater at the Maya Lifestyle Center is incredible--completely decked out with an arcade, virtual reality rides, a full bar, and reclining seats. Most of the movies are shown in English with Thai subtitles.
A friend recently asked me if we had seen Jordan Peele's new social thriller, Get Out, and it was a reminder of censorship and cultural differnces. I'm curious to know how the country decides on which movies from Hollywood make the cut to mainstream accessibility. I've canceled my Hulu memberhsip becuase they don't have streaming rights in Thailand. Of course, VPN's are an easy bypass but I don't want to have the temptation of wasting time on T.V. while being here.
February was a short month filled with amazing food that we'll surely miss when we leave. The abundance of fresh produce, aestetically beautiful meals, and tasty sweets has left our bellies spoiled. Looking forward to hitting up Bangkok and a few of the islands next month with home friends for good eats and great times. Stay tuned by following me on IG and Snapchat (icons below).