lazy in chiang mai

april 17th-21st

i dont know what happened, but somehow we’ve become ridiculously lazy over the last few days. maybe lazyness just promotes more lazyness in some vicious cycle. who knows. but we’ve spent the last 4 days doing pretty much nothing. sleeping in till noon. hitting up restaurants. i get the feeling like maybe at some point you just *need* familiar stuff from back home. even if that stuff really isn’t that great, and even if you’re not consciously wanting it, somewhere deep inside, it feels nice when you get it. lets see:

we’ve spent time wandering around the mall and seeing what it has to offer. although we didnt find anything all that exciting, it was nice just to wander around and windowshop. i keep realizing how much i miss having a cell phone. back home i would never leave home w/out it. it’s crazy to think just how much of a fixture it was in my life. of course, it’s not like i know anyone out here who would call me, but i still look at cellphones enviously.

we saw a movie at a thai movie theater. the movie wasn’t anything spectacular, but hey, i think my standards for movies have dropped since i’ve seen hardly any in the last 7 months. it was nice just to get to see something on a big screen. one interesting thing about thai movie theaters is that there is assigned seating. when you buy your ticket, you choose which seat you will sit in, and different seats in the theater cost different prices depending on where they are. also, before every movie, they play this little montage about the king. there’s theme music and everything. everyone in the theater is expected to stand up during this montage. i thought it was realy cool for some reason. people here *love* the king. he’s really respected by everyone, and from what i hear he’s been a great leader. for some reason, i think it’s really cool to see people who have this huge sense of pride in their government… of course, on the flipside, if we had a movie montage of george bush before each movie back home, i think i might have to leave the theater so as not to have to throw up.

i’ve downloaded a bunch of new music and put it on my mp3 player. sheez, i miss listening to new music. back at home, i’d get new music like crazy. sometimes i’d get 5-10 new albums each week. i was always on top of what new releases were coming out, new artists, etc etc. now, i’m damn clueless. 7 months without having any news of what’s going on in music. luckily though, w/ blazing connection speeds here in thailand, i’ve been able to download stuff: the new beck album (guero), the new gorillaz (demon days), the new fischerspooner, the new sage francis (healthy distrust), Lcd soundsystem. ahhhhh, much better.

another thing i’ve really been missing is news. i usually have no clue about what’s going on in the world. other than absolutely huge events like the tsunami or death of the pope, i hear of pretty much nothing. every once in a while i’ll buy a time magazine to get a peek at what’s going on. yesterday i got one and it happened to have a huge article on the 100 most influential people of the year. i was really shocked and pleased that my favorite author, dave eggars, was one of them. of course, as always is the case w/ the news, not all of it was good. i cant believe about all these crazy riots in china. also, the magazine mentioned some statistics that i found absolutely insane. the number of executions worlwide last year was about 3,700. out of those, guess how many china was responsible for? 1000?? 2000?? nope. around 3,400. unfuckingbelieveable. of course, the USA, eager to be on any top ten list, was the country with the 4th largest amount of executions.

decision, decisions

the other thing that’s been whirling about in my mind is trying to decide what we’re gonna do next. we’ve been following a loose itinerary for the last 7 months, and now we’re at a decision making point. some countries just have to be skipped… no matter how much we wanna see them. but how to decide which ones? unfortunately we cant just keep inserting more and more countries into our trip… this is because we have certain dates that are totally fixed in our itinerary, and so we have to fit things around them. here are our dilemnas as i see them:

we are now in thailand. we need to be in japan on may 20th no matter what (to meet my brother). this means we have 1 month till then. in S.E. Asia, we would love to see vietnam, malaysia, and indonesia. but, even w/ our aggressive speed at traveling, somehow 3 countries in 1 month is ludicrous. even two countries in that time makes no sense. we have to limit it to just one, which means the other two get skipped :(.

the next fixed date we have is august 1st. we absolutely have to be in kenya on august 1st or else we’ll be getting to africa during the rainy season and we’ll be completely screwed. this means we have from july 15th (after japan) to august 1st free. what should we do during that time? we want to see china. but we also were kind of hoping to see russia. or, we could head back down and see the SE Asia countries that we missed. also, another thought is that it might be nice to go to ethiopia (africa’s undiscovered gem, aparently). arrrggghhh! how to decide?! and also, if we do decide to go to russia, that means we’ll probably take the transsiberian railway. on one hand that sounds like a really fun adventure. on the other hand, a whole week sitting on a train could be a total nightmare. it’s tough to guage in advance. *sigh*. it’s funny to see how even a whole year abroad is just not even close to enough time!!

*v

7 thoughts on “lazy in chiang mai”

  1. I needed a few lazy days about every 2 weeks. They came more often the longer I traveled. I spent 7 days in Chiang Mai and didn’t do much. I saw two movies at the mall by the airport which was pretty much the highlight for me.

    I say definately skip Vietnam unless you’re a big war buff or something. Not many people I’ve met liked it or say they want to go back (including me). Spend the 1 month in China and then after Japan maybe you can go to Indonesia before Africa. Russia’s way out of your way, man. Don’t you have RTW tickets? How are you flying to Africa?

    There has really been very little news. It’s all.about.the.pope. I think because there’s no other big news stories that they make it into a big deal. There’s been quite a bit of talk about Bush’s nominee for the UN–Bolton. He’s basically a jerk and hates the UN so the Dems are wondering why he would be a good guy to put there. Oh, also, the Republicans are trying to change the rules so they no longer can be blocked from voting on judicial nominees by the fillubuster. It would totally change things because it would mean whoever has the majority would be practically unstoppable. Other than that we have the usual little girls being kidnapped and killed (there’s been a lot of that) and we always have plenty of murders here in Chicago.

    It’s been beautiful in most of the US–75 and sunny.

  2. Aww.. poor Vlad..
    haha, anyway if you’re seriously considering Ethiopia, I can ask my coworker who’s from there and still has family about some stuff.
    Just a quick little math lesson. You said there were 3,700 official government executions, of which 3,400 were from China, which basically leaves 300 for the rest of the world. Let’s say that the U.S. was in a three way tie for fourth, that would make it a max of 100. Now think of all the sickos out there and countless times you’ve seen repeat offenders getting 200 year sentences (what a joke! what the f@#$ is the differnece between a life without parole sentence to three consecutive life sentences???) Then, also remember that thanks to our wonderful legal system, it takes a seriously heinous crime and 15 years of appeals for someone to get executed over here. And just for kicks factor unofficial death squads that many of these countries have, population and land mass and things don’t look so bad anymore, eh?
    whew, that was incredibly long winded and unnecessary. Anyway, I’ll see you in a month, can’t wait!

  3. I know! Why don’t you come home?!? We miss you guys! *Sniff* Kidding, kidding – mostly. 😉

  4. heh, actually we ended up seeing two movies in chiang mai as well. if we hadn’t left the day after, i get the feeling we would have just kept going to the theater day after day. unfortunately, we didnt go see any thai movies, which i kinda regret, but i guess maybe i can do that in bangkok.

    no, i dont have a rtw ticket. just buying tickets as i go. russia actually isn’t *too* out of the way. if we did decided to go there, we would fly from japan to either mongolia or china which wouldnt be too far of a hop. then take the trans siberian all the way across russia, which would put us somewhat closer to africa (only 500$ to fly moscow-nairobi).

    hrm, bush appointing losers and the republicans trying to ruin the country… looks like not much has changed back home. *sigh*

    *v

  5. hey, thanks for offering to help w/ the ethiopia thing. that could be cool, but hold off for now since i’m still not sure if we will go or not.

    as for the execution thing… although i do agree that it’s frustrating that murederers etc get light sentences, i still dont think that poeople should be executed. in chna, even if you factor in the population etc, 3400 is an insanely high number. plus, just from reading ab out tibet etc, i know that the chinese government has executed tons and tons of innocent people. they have an appalling record for human rights. in america you could say the situation is different, but still, with our shite legal system i doubt that you can always say for a death row inmate that they are 100% for sure guilty. sometimes it turns out years later that they were innocent. you can try arguing that *most* prisoners who get the death penalty are not innocent, but still if even one person gets executed when he had done nothing wrong, is that ok? let’s say that person was you? would you just say “oh well, it’s for the greater good”?

    *v

  6. Forget what I said about the weather. Today it’s 30 and snowing in Chicago! Where’d spring go?

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