Content-type: text/html Ray Manning

Saturday December 31, 2016 8:02 PM

End of Year

I am not better on Tuesday morning when I wake up. I grab breakfast and read the news and then go cycling. I am a bit slow so I just do a one hour ride out and then another hour back. I manage to get outside the Chiang Rai area where there are very few cars and people wondering what I am doing out here. Though I did see a couple of groups of cyclists heading back towards the city. I relax for a bit and eventually drop off laundry and try a vegan restaurant. I have a relatively slow day to recover from the sniffles and sore throat. Later I meet up with Person Ta_T and we hang out and shoot pool for a bit. Person Ta_T wins both games of pool. Later we go hang out at my hotel until Person Ta_T has to go home.

Wednesday is a slow day. After reakfast I ride the bicycle back to the rental place and return it along with the rented helmet and lock. I do a bit of walking around and sitting and people watching. Afterwards I pick up my laundry and go back to my hotel and be a geek - scraping statistics off the Web with a Perl script and examining the data for future use. I go grab some Western food for dinner and buy a few souvenirs for people. Person Ta_T and I are supposed to hang out but he is feeling sick. Though his symptoms are different than mine, I can't help but be sorrowfull and regretfull that I possibly got him sick.

Thursday is a transit day. After breakfast I grab a tuk-tuk to the Chiang Mai airport and then a flight to Bangkok's older airport (where most domestic flights fly into and out of). On the taxi ride out of the airport the taxi driver has Isaan province music playing and I note to him that it is Isaan province music. We have a nice conversation since he is from a smaller city in the Isaan province region and is looking forward to getting back there for the new year. At one point it almost sounds like he wants to come to my room, but maybe my Thai isn't good enough to interpret what he was saying. I finally catch the skytrain to get to my hotel. After organizing things, I take the skytrain to a popular region and have a light dinner and walk around - enjoying the Christmas decorations. I finally stop into a bar where a friend works to have Sprite. But my friend isn't there and won't be back until late. But I again watch people walk by and then go back to my hotel to read and sleep.

I get in a good weights workout at the hotel's fitness center and 20 minutes of aerobics on Friday morning. This was not my best weights workout, but then I'm coming off two days of being sick and haven't lifted for about a week. After a shower I go to a supermarket and buy supplies for a couple of days and go back to the hotel. I spend the afternoon working on verifying statistics that I've scraped from the Internet as well as working on some web programming. I enjoy the afternoon of solitude. I also note that I've only turned the television on for any of my hotels in Chiang Mai when I was sick and resting. Though I do turn the television on today during my solitude just to poke around.

Into Saturday morning I wake up at 2:30 am and cannot fall back asleep. And I have a slight back tweak. This is the first time that I have not been able to sleep during travel since...I can't remember. I miss my alarm and sleep until 8:15 am and go have a decent weights workout. The tweaked back is noticeable but does not impede my workout. I check out of this hotel because they have the rates jacked up for New Year's eve and walk with my luggage to a hotel around the corner. Myo comes to visit after noon and we hang out at the hotel and get re-acquainted before heading off to Central World. At Central World we walk and see the holiday decorations and have a nice Thai dinner. On the way ack to my hotel we get free BTS skytrain passes courtesy of the Thai government. Later Myo goes out with his friends for new year's partying. At first I am inivited and then later I am dis-invited. This is not a problem since I was a bit worried about the security and size of the crowds out partying in Bangkok on new year's eve. So I relax at my hotel and try to get some sleep to make up for last night's bad sleep. At one point my neighbors are a bit loud and the room has no noise insulation, so I call the front desk and shortly thereafter the noise is down. But noise does ricochet around this hotel and various revelers wake me up throughout the night.

I am awakened at 3 am by Myo and his friend Zaw after they have finished their new year's celebrations. Soon Myo and Zaw are on either side of me in bed and we spend the rest of the night sleeping like this. My sleep is deep now and so I keep sleeping and stay in bed very late - almost as late as Myo and Zaw. Like Myo, Zaw is Burmese but currently working in Thailand. And Myo and Zaw have known each other for 7 years.