Updates on Expat Life in Thailand Round 2
It was just 3 weeks ago that I was sharing my thoughts on leaving home again, but in that small amount of time a lot has happened. We made the torturous journey back to Chiang Mai, hitting 6 airports total from start to finish over the course of 48 hours. Stopping over in LA for 12 hours to visit a friend sounded like a great idea, but this ended up leaving us with some serious jet lag that took us nearly two weeks to recover from. We were in total zombie-mode as we slugged around Chiang Mai trying to get our bearings. We even skipped out on the big lantern release at Mae Jo because the thought of fighting the horrendous crowds was exhausting in itself.
We spent the first 3 days house hunting in Chiang Mai and put a deposit down for a condo on day 3. We had our eye on these particular condominiums before we left and were pretty thrilled to snag one with everything we wanted at just the right price. What made it even better was saving 3,000 baht/month by paying all 6 months up front. That saved us over a full month’s rent so we were all over it. We locked it in just in time as we were heading to Khon Kaen for the week to celebrate Halloween.
While we usually enjoy this 800 mile roundtrip journey on our Honda Forza, we were a bit off our game. The drive takes us two days as we stop half way in Phitsanulok, but after day 1 our asses hurt, my funky tan lines had returned and we were seriously wishing we had just jumped on a plane! We checked into our favorite Khon Kaen hotel, Piman Garden, and spent the next week getting ready for the big party and catching up with friends. We also volunteered (or were volunteered) to build a haunted house for the party which is not something either of us have done before, but we managed and it actually turned out pretty fantastic considering what we were working with. Career change maybe? 😉
We got back from Khon Kaen last weekend and got moved into our new place. We spent the week getting settled in, getting internet hooked up, grocery shopping, making trips to Big C and trying our best to take part in the festivities for Loy Krathong. Since we missed the lantern release, we figured we should at least make it down to the river where they float their Krathongs (or decorated baskets). It is believed that releasing the krathong is like washing away your sins and misfortunes in hopes of good fortunes for the future. In addition to releasing the krathongs, there are many other activities going down including parades, beauty pageants, sky lanterns, and lots of fireworks. This is a hugely popular event that attracts tons of tourists but we didn’t let the crowds deter us and we actually made an appearance two nights to take part in the fun. And when we weren’t at the river, we enjoyed our own private viewing of the fireworks and lanterns filling the sky from our 7th floor balcony which was pretty freaking awesome.