Wow, it's a week since I left Tokyo. It feels like I've done nothing since then! i did leave very late on Tuesday night so that wiped up out most of Wednesday. One of the last things I did before leaving Tokyo was go to the Furusato Matsuri at Tokyo. It was pretty much regional speciality food with some regional dancing and that kind of thing thrown in.
Actually most of the regional food seemed to come from Aomori and Hokkaido, not that I'm complaining. They have some pretty fine food up that way. I wandered around the free sample area for a while then decided to get some real food. They had an area where you could buy a rice bowl then get various toppings for it.
That was good in theory but meant a heap of queuing at different stalls. Still, I got some scallops, some chuotoro (medium fatty tuna), some sweet ebi and a few other things.
I also tried a mango pudding from Okinawa but the mango was frozen and had a weird texture so I threw it out.
That night I flew to Kuala Lumpur. I had a six hour stopover which wasn't the best idea. Impulse booking cheap flights can be a bitch sometimes. I ended up staying at the Sama Sama Express hotel which is airside at KL. I've stayed there before and it's awesome. I had an excellent sleep. I thought that I'd be worried about sleeping in and missing my flight but actually went straight to sleep without any problem.
It was only a few hours from KL to Chiang Mai.
OMG I had the craziest airport experience. I intended on getting a cab to my apartment but I must've went out the wrong door. i asked about a cab and got sent to a counter to buy a ticket. Well, it wasn't a cab, it was a shuttle bus. I figured no issue. It was super cheap and would get me there.
Well, they let one lot of people off the bus then got to the second stop and no one claimed it. There were about six people on the bus looking blank. The crazy woman running the show looked at me and said "it's you". I was pretty sure it wasn't but I'd just been in the country minutes so wasn't going to argue. I tried to show her my address on my tablet but it wouldn't load up...
I wandered down the street she'd told me only to find a place called the Wayside Guest House. The girl sitting in front of me had been holding a booking print out for the Wayside Guest House! I think the crazy woman just wanted someone to get out at the stop, she didn't care who.
So, I found a cafe with wifi and I was about 3km from where I should've been. Luckily, a tuk tuk pulled up beside me. The driver looked at my address then gave me a price. I thought, shit, I have to haggle. The driver said nope. I looked at my bags and decided haggling was not going to happen. it ended up costing me $AUD6 anyway. If i'd spent time to argue over the price, I'd have saved what, $3 at most? So not worth it. I don't think I'm made for haggling economies.
My apartment is sparse but clean. After the nightmares in Japan, that makes me happy.
Since I arrived, I've had stomach problems. Actually I've had them for a while. That's meant not straying too far from the apartment, and the apartment is on the outskirts of town. I think. Well, it's not in the tourist part.
Today, I went further afield. I was planning on finding a cafe and working but got distracted by all kinds of touristy things then massages and food.
To be honest, I don't think Chiang Mai is the "digital nomad" paradise it's cracked up to be. It's not that I hate the place but I don't love it either. I might elaborate further on my thoughts later in the week.