23 October 2006

A Long Trip, and Two (Minor) Tragedies

On Saturday we took a ride into the mountains. Originally we had planned on visiting Wat Doi Suthep, but we'd already been there. Instead we walked around the market just down the hill from the Wat, looked at the fancy jade shop (no antique pieces, apparently they can't leave the country), and finally saw our first elephant. We left the states thinking there would be elephants everywhere, that there would be elephant parking at the supermarket. Not true. So we were very excited to see this little guy.Afterwards we decided to just keep driving up the mountain to see what was there. Our original plan was to go to Wat Doi Pui, but we kind of missed it, and ended up in a Hmong village on the other side of the mountain. We felt very out of place. It's not often that we feel rich. Practically never in fact. But in that village we felt privileged (in a negative sense) and useless. While we were there we admired their stocky little dogs, their corn mill, and I bought a small piece of applique.

We used up more than half our tank of gas getting that far out in the mountains, so we coasted all the way back down once we got off of the rutted and muddy unpaved roads.

Back in Chiang Mai, about a block from our house, traffic got bad. So I did what the Thai do and zipped up onto the sidewalk. Dumb idea. A girl stepped out of a phone booth with her back to us, and in my efforts not to hit her the bike fell over and slipped out from underneath me. I scraped my elbow, and Jami, fortunately, landed on top of me. Tragedy number two.

Tragedy number one, which occurred on Friday while I was cutting bamboo in the creek, involved our iPod falling out of my pocket, into the water and getting half buried by silt. When I pulled it out it was still on, but wouldn't turn off (water behind the click wheel). So I took it apart, took out the hard drive, disconnected the battery, and let it dry on the window sill for two days. It still works.
For those of you who have been hankering to tear into one of those little white gumdrops, here's what they look like with the hard drive removed. I'm afraid these two "tragedies" only reinforce my feelings of privilege and uselessness. Maybe I should be grinding corn instead.

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