Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Sawasdee, and a torn luggage

After landing in Chiangmai and being greeted “Sawasdee”, I collected my backpack, and I noticed that somebody must have loved a part of it very much – that is, a part of the belt. Fortunately, although torn, nothing was lost. I filled in a form, and hopefully in the following days I would get another backpack, paid for by the Star Alliance. I then proceeded to the arrivals lounge, hoping that I would be greeted either by somebody from the conference, or from the hotel. This not being the case, I paid 120 baht (about 3.60 US$) for a taxi trip to town. Not too expensive, actually! The driver was quite surprised at the prices practiced in Europe. I arrived at the luxurious Holiday Inn (why is it called “inn” I have no idea), and I immediately went on to explore the surrounding area, being quite hungry. I could not find anything apart from street vendor food, and – at least for that time – I did not dare to partake. My cup of tea would have been something mid-range – not too expensive, not too inexpensive (in local standards) – but no middle class restaurants were to be found in tht part of the city. Once in the midst of the local life, I went on to see whether the cats in Siam are Siamese cats. As I expected, they were not. They look exactly the same as cats back home. Maybe those in the buddhist temples would be different – my knowledge at that time being that Siamese cats were bred by Buddhist monks.