I ate way too much today. I had a choice: sign up for cooking school, or try to get myself a better room at the Montri. I opted for cooking school, and I’m glad I did. Class was from 10am to 4pm. We made a lot of delicious stuff today. I can’t say I learned a lot, because most of the preparation was done for us. However, I got to chop things, and mix things, and fry things. Most importantly, I got to eat things. We had a trip to the market, where the instructor got us to choose out the ingredients we’d be using that day.
We made several popular Thai dishes, starting with fried rice noodles with vegetables and sliced pork in sweet soy sauce (pad see-ieuw). Then we made fish and red curry with vegetables, wrapped in a banana leaf. Then it was on to yellow chicken curry with a cucumber sauce to put on top, and then chicken with cashew nuts. For dessert, we made bananas in coconut milk, and strangely, spicy shrimp salad.
After the class, I went for a Thai massage, but it was underwhelming. The woman who was giving the massage got tired and gave up before the hour was up, I think. In any case, it was a fairly half-assed massage. At least it was cheap. I’ll try a different place tomorrow to try to repair the damage she did to my back.
I spent the rest of the afternoon wandering the city. I just picked a street and walked on it for about an hour. I ended up in a weird part of town that was filled with stores selling mainly motorbike parts. It didn’t look like it was going to get any more interesting than that, so I hopped on a songtao and rode it back up the street. That ride was 5 Baht (about 15 cents), so I gave the guy a 10 and told him to keep the change. He was thrilled. It’s easy to be a high roller in Chiangmai.
This evening I walked down to the famous Chiangmai night bazaar. It really was nothing special. Just blocks and blocks of the same touristy stuff you can buy in Bangkok, but heavy on the hilltribe crafts. Although I’m sure the hilltribe crafts are handmade, they still manage to look mass-produced, probably because of the acres of hilltribe booths selling them.
The sun has set on Chiangmai for another day. I’m going to go back to my hotel room, have a cold drink, and see if I can figure out what I’m going to do tomorrow.