For the past two weeks I have been meeting interesting new people here in Chiang Mai, Thailand. At first I had been bumping into friends that I made last year- Martin, from America(have not met Martin from Switzerland yet), Richard from Canada, and Patrick from Thaiti.
Martin introduced me to Monica , an Italian woman who married a local and has been living here for six years. Alas, the marriage worked fine in Italy but began to fall apart after the couple came to live in Thailand.
I’ve heard this tale of from other women also in my travels. Outside of the men’s native country everything is fine but the man and his family gang up on the women the moment they live in his country.
I came upon a similar situation in Ecuador where I was last month.
Last week I found myself having dinner most evenings with a lovely, intelligent young lady from Paris whose passion at the moment is mountain climbing. Professionally she has a post doctorate in Engineering. She has taken the past 18 months off to travel in Asia.
This week I met two men that I have been hanging around with having great conversations . First, I met Terry, an American who after 16 years sold his vegetarian restaurant and came to Thailand for some much needed recuperation .
Terry introduced me to Peter an British Engineer who in his mid forties sold his security company and retired. Yesterday he and I walked up to Central dept store , he looking for glasses and I wanting to buy museili.
At the cashier , we started a conversation with Joanna , a lovely British woman Joanna who I invited to lunch at Switzer’s upstairs. It turned out to be her usual eating haunt. It is a salad bar with a huge variety of all you can eat as well as soup and desserts. Since I choose to eat only organic food -when available- I would not normally eat here often but the food is fresh and abundant so once in a while it is a treat.
Near where I live there are a number of organic vegetarian restaurants.
At one point ,the three of us remarked how easy it is to meet people in Chaing Mai . We all concurred that our chance meeting would not have happened if we were living in our respective countries.
One of the biggest factors , we came up with is that we would be too busy to stop to chat with someone we saw in our daily lives.
Several days ago I ran into two American women traveling together while having lunch with Monica at the ,”Blue Diamond ” Cafe. At the same time at the table on the other side I ran into a fellow ;from Scotland I met last year .
I had breakfast two days ago with the two American women , Amy , a real estate agent who used to be an actress on Broadway, and Susan , an elementary school teacher.
To keep up friendships one meets while traveling in a country it is important to have a phone that works locally.
The choices are to travel with an unlocked phone like an iphone and put in a sim card when you arrive in the country or buy a cheap phone when you arrive. In Ecuador I bought a new Nokia for 56 dollars .
In Thailand I bought an almost new Nokia phone from a vendor who guaranteed it . Pantip Palza a ten minute walk from my house is good for this. My Ecuador phone has a regional chip in it and will not take a si m card here.
I look forward to enjoying my new friendships.