March 30th departure to Turkey will signal the end of my 23rd winter in Chiang Mai. In many ways it has been a great winter.
My new partner, Marieline joined me for my 2013 winter stay in Chiang Mai. She fell in love with it as I had nearly a quarter of a century ago. My love for Chiang Mai could be compared to a love relationship.
You meet someone and are strongly attracted to them, but then you are aware of certain character flaws so you choose not to make it a permanent arrangement but choose to remain friends.
Alas, thus the feelings I have for Chiang Mai. The chief character flaws are noise-more noise- pollutions from many sources but the chief one from mid April is the toxicity given off from,”the burning”. The other is the amount of traffic and the dangerous driving exhibited by a hard core of extremely dangerous drivers. I’m surprised the accident toll is not higher. About 90% of the loud noise is generated by the famous, “tuk tuk” or three wheel motorcycle drivers.
It’s unfortunate, because with some modification these,”Tuk tuks” could be an excellent form of transportation. In the mid 90’s before the financial melt down in Thailand 500 solar powered tuk tuk were ordered from a firm in California. Alas, the order was cancelled. Big noisy motor bikes are the other culprits.
If it was not for these depilating character flaws, Chiang Mai would indeed be Paradise to live in full time. There are moments of quietness when I walk down a small side in the early morning, sun shining, and air still fresh, that indeed it feels like a taste of heaven. This is especially so when I’m aware that North Americans and Europeans are having the worse winter in many years.
I indeed feel so blessed and fortunate to have escape the harshness of a long cold miserable winter in Canada for the past 23 years.