Dec 032009
 
Dental Tourism!

“Yaaaay!” I typed to Paul, “You’re gonna have the best root canal ever!!!!”

Several weeks ago, my friend Paul was informed by his Manhattan dentist that he needs three root canals, seven crowns, and “various other stuff”. Total projected cost: over TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS.

Although Paul is a semi-famous politician, like most of us he does not have ten thousand dollars to fling towards one square inch of artificial tooth polymers. [...Read More!]

Dec 022009
 
Ways to Make Buddies While Traveling

I received a lovely email from an American backpacker in Mexico recently, requesting tips on finding pals while traveling. This article is a response. Keep those emails zinging my way, readers! I like them.

(Note: the photos in this article are street scenes from Chiang Mai, Thailand. What a livable, enjoyable place! Look at how pretty the disco ball temple walls look in the glow of night traffic!)

Before [...Read More!]

Dec 012009
 
Nutso Level Two Thai Massage Positions

Today in Thai Massage class we learned to fix a broken heart. We also learned to twist each other like wet pretzels.

Sweat was shed, spines were cracked (in the good way), and everyone gasped to their partner when it was over: “Your legs are really heavy!”

The French fellow had a meltdown. “But it ees too fast! I am lost! I am lost!” The Canadian hysterically giggled [...Read More!]

Nov 302009
 
Eating Insects at the Sunday Market

Ben was only two days into his new life in Chiang Mai, and he was already eating bugs.

I met Ben and Mike in a restaurant the day after they’d left everything they’d known in Australia to move their internet marketing enterprise to Thailand.

They were joining their friend, Paul, who had come to Chaing Mai fourteen months ago and spread the word that the curry here is cheap, and the living good.

“Was [...Read More!]

Nov 292009
 
Why are Ants Eating my Toothpaste???

This is gross, but it’s been going on for far too long and I need answers: if you were an ant, WHY, in the name of all that is good and holy and pure, would you choose to eat my toothpaste??? It has no nutritional value! There is nothing in it for an ant-y digestive system! Leave the green goo alone and go find another hobby!

I was somewhere [...Read More!]

Nov 282009
 
Packing Tip for Backpackers: 3 S's.

Planning on being on the road for more than a week or two? Remember these three S’s while packing your bags:

1. Small passport-sized photos (at least 20).

After three and half months of traveling, my fat stock of these official-type photos is already rapidly dwindling. Why? Because I have needed to use at least four per month. Here are some instances of when:

a) Every new country’s visa I [...Read More!]

Nov 272009
 
The Results of the Level 1 Massage Exam...

When the director of your Thai massage school tells you that you have to walk two miles Friday morning to arrive in time for 8:30 am Tai Chi/Qi Gong in the far Southwestern park of Chiang Mai, you grumble profusely.

Once you’re stretching your arms high above your head in the fresh morning air, however, and once you hear the birds singing in the bright green palm trees, all is made clear.

And [...Read More!]

Nov 262009
 
How Thai Massage Class is Like Boston Public

Today is Thanksgiving, though you wouldn’t know it in Northern Thailand.

Geckos are squeaking, the breeze gusts warm, and there ain’t a turkey in sight.

But wherever we are, even kooky Canada with its October Thanksgiving, it’s still that time of year to say thanks!

And this year’s thanks goes out to the students and staff of Boston Public Schools. Everything during this year around the world is making me think of you. [...Read More!]

Nov 252009
 
A Chiang Mai Food Scene Sonata in Four Parts

Part 1: The Blind Food Gamble.

Look at the menu pictured to the left. What would you order from it??

For week one in Chiang Mai, I resided in the heart of tourist world, and thus browsed menus and ordered food with ease. Now, however, I’m in the far North of town by the massage school, and words I can read are few and far between.

And just like that, we [...Read More!]

Nov 242009
 
Thai Massage's Sexy Reputation

“A question, please,” said my classmate Olivia shyly. “In Brazil we don’t have this idea, but I hear that in America and Europe, Thai massage sometimes is, um… well… how you say…” “Linked with prostitution?” I asked. Olivia’s face lit up and then flushed bright red. “Um, yes.” “Oh absolutely!” I said, thinking of all the joke emails from friends I currently have in my Inbox in reaction to the news that [...Read More!]