Imagine being in Chiang Mai ,Thailand in 1962. Todays visitor , a former American air force pilot during the Vietnam war , was here at that time. He describes Chiang Mai has a small town where the only mode of transportation was the bicycle rickshaw. I wish I had been here then. Escaping the monstorous SUV’s , and noisy black fuming tuk tuk that take up every inch of space traveling through small soi’s or side streets made for water buffalo or bicycle traffic would indeed be a experience of silence and peace.
I found our guest while taking a short cut in my new area of town. He was having breakfast in a little restaurant located in the bottom of the building where he lives. He appeared as if in a time warp of the sixties. With his long blonde hair, Ho Chi Minh wisp of a beard, yellow tinted aviator hippie glasses and colorful attire he appeared as if in a time warp of the sixties.
He has been coming to Chiang Mai regularly since that time. For the past 5 years he has been living in Chiang Mai. Prior to that he lived in Pie , a hippy enclave in Ma Hong Song area. A greedy land lord from Bangkok kept raising his rent every six months to the point he could not afford to live there any more so moved to Chiang Mai.
He appeared my age but is a broken man . He talked about his problem stemming from a motor bike falling on him when he was getting off of it during a rain storm and injuring his leg but I suspect there is more to his ill health than this.
He constantly kept lighting up a cigerette during our conversation and I suspect that he is no stranger to the bottle. Neverthless, I like him and he is a great story teller. I will join him for breakfast one of these days.