Well, I do believe that Diane and I (more Diane than I) are keeping the Thailand economy going and I can honestly say that I am almost shopped out. Today was a "shopping day" and we wandered around the streets of Old Chiang Mai looking for that elusive find. We ended up going into a bead shop - my aunt has asked me to buy her beads and it turned out that they had some great necklaces. We ended up giving in and hiring a tuk-tuk driver to take us a little out of the main part of town to some of the bigger shops to look at silks and the like. The tuk-tuk drivers get some sort of commission or something if they bring you to a shop and our driver was more than happy to oblige us. Personally, I think that hiring him was the best thing we did today b/c the 3 hours we spend wandering around the streets, we hardly bought anything b/c all the stores sell pretty much the same things - just like at the night market.
Last night when we went down to the night market, I wandered into a shop while Diane was buying a shirt and ended up having a custom made suit made - jacket, pants & skirt, in charcoal grey cashmere & wool blend and a white blouse for about $350 cdn. I went back this morning to have my jacket fitted and my pants measured and will go back this evening for another fitting - the entire outfit should be done by tomorrow. I am super excited to see the finished product because having a jacket that fits properly over my chest will be nice and a pair of pants that are long enough in the leg but short enough in the rise has always eluded me. Somehow I don't think that I will really want to go back to off the rack after this!
Last night was an evening of excesses. Because it was my birthday, we decided to eat at the night market which cost each of us about $2 - yes $2 - including a drink. Add on the ice cream we had after, we were up to $3. We have also found a new massage place and decided to splurge and spent a whopping $6 on a foot, back, shoulder, neck, head and arm massage - for 1 hour. I think we are going to go back there again tonight - I am bound and determined to have my Thai massage. We figured that this place we went to must be a pretty good place b/c it was full of Thai people getting massages as well. I likened it to Chinese food - if there are Chinese people in the Chinese restaurant eating, it must be good food - same with massage. Oh it was heavenly! Honestly, I could probably get massaged a couple of times a day.
I forgot to mention that the other night when we were at the night market, I had stopped and asked a woman about how much a magnet is (a practice in my team at work is when you travel you buy everyone a magnet) and she said 100 baht - about $3. I said - "they are cheaper in Bangkok" at which time she responded to me - "go back to Bangkok then" - the first time I have experienced any sort of attitude here! I did manage to find some magnets for about $1 each at a different stall.
A couple of things that I have noticed while in Thailand is that it is fairly clean and there isn't a lot of trash around - which is nice. And the other big thing that we have noticed is the absence of Americans - I wonder why that is? Don't get me wrong. . . I am not complaining!
Tomorrow is hopefully going to be the highlight of our trip - our day at the elephant farm. We are going to be elephant owners for the day. We will each get assigned an elephant and we will be responsible for it for the day - including feeding, cleaning and bathing it. We will also get to ride it. So make sure you check out my blog in the next day or so to read about that (and hopefully I can get some pictures up too!)
Well better get back to watching the Royal Wedding - Kate looked so beautiful!