Continued: My time in Chiang Mai
Woke about 8 am and oh, oh, tummy doesn't feel too good. Oh no! Some of you will remember that on both my previous visits to Thailand, I've ended up in hospital on a drip due to food poisoning. After a few hurried visits to the 'bathroom' I felt well enough to have some toast for brekkie and then decided I wasn't going to let a little tummy upset stop me, so started off for the Warowat Market.
I got into a tuk tuk which was parked outside the Shangri La Hotel and as he did a U turn in the street, we very nearly got cleaned up by a car which kept going when the guard from the Shangri La stopped the traffic so that we could make the turn safely. It was sooooo close and the driver muttered unintelligible things and shook his head all the way to the market. So far not a good start to the day!
Warowat market was crazy. It was huge, packed with people, hot and very interesting. I needed to buy just a cheap single bed sheet. Everywhere you stay these days they seem to provide doonas on the bed but I sometimes find them too hot. I prefer a sheet under the doona so you can throw the doona off if you get too hot. It is probably just my 'time of life'! So I walked around and around looking for this elusive sheet. Most of them seemed to be in packs of two with pillowcases, however I finally found just the thing for about $9 Aust and I must say that the quality was superb.
I'd had enough by then and, not feeling too great, caught a tuk tuk back to Butter is Better Diner where I convinced myself that I felt well enough to have a hamburger and smoothie. Then it was back to the apartment for a rest before setting off at about 5 pm to the Saturday Walking Street Market.
There weren't many people there at that time and it was pleasant walking up the street looking at the stalls, many of which were just setting up. Still in denial about my tummy trouble, I bought chicken and pork on sticks and bought some mango and sticky rice to take away with me.
I also bought a blended watermelon juice and I still think of the nice encounter I had with the young girl on this stall. I didn't ask the price and just ordered the drink. A young man, who I think was Singaporean or Chinese, came to stand next to me and asked me how much I was paying. I said that I didn't know but then we noticed a little sign next to a cup of mixed variety cut fruit saying 25 B. He ordered the mixed fruit juice and when the girl handed over my drink, I handed her 25 B, expecting mine to cost the same. She then handed me back the 5 B indicating that as mine was just watermelon juice, it was only 20 B. Both the young man standing beside me and myself were bowled over by her honesty and I told her that she was a very lovely, honest lady and that I wanted her to keep the 5 B for being so honest. The young man said "yes, yes", however the girl kept giving it back to me. It was only when a lady at the stall next to her, explained something to her in Thai that she shyly accepted it. For me, this was a memorable moment.
I only stayed at the market for about an hour and a half because I wasn't feeling too strong and it became quite crowded.
Tummy worse this morning, however decided not to give into it and set off for J.J. Market. This time I hailed a songtaew for an agreed price of 40 B. The friendly driver motioned for me to get in the passenger seat next to him in the aircon. The market turned out to be a non-event. I looked around the antiques section but it was deserted. I'm not sure if that was because it was Sunday or if I actually missed the main part of the market. Anyway, I decided to cut my losses and visit somewhere where I'd have ready access to 'facilities', so I caught another songtaew, my new favourite form of transport, to Airport Plaza Mall.
This is a very popular mall and there was a long stream of traffic queuing along the road outside to get into parking. The songtaew let me off at the door and I spent a while looking in Robinsons and some of the other shops.
I found the Northern Village section which contains many small, well set out shops selling good quality local clothing and other ethnic goods. For example, there was intricate silver jewellery, pewter ware, organic soaps and oils, beautiful carved wooden objects, ceramic ware and quality cotton and silk clothing. Nothing was tacky and it was a cut above the usual touristy stuff. Well worth a visit.
After this, I felt a little hungry so I visited MK Restaurant and ordered crispy pork over rice and a watermelon smoothie (2 for one offer again) for a total of 115 B. Probably not the best choice when you have an upset tummy, but again, I was in denial. Half way through the meal, loud music started and the staff stopped what they were doing and did a little choreographed dance which was fun to watch and added to the friendly atmosphere of the place.
I needed to buy some water and a few other necessities so I visited the fantastic Tops Supermarket. As I walked in, I spotted a Pharmacy and decided to talk to the Pharmacist about my tummy problems. The Pharmacist, a middle aged man, spoke good English and listened intently to my symptoms and asked me quite a lot of questions. I was sure that I just had a case of food poisoning as it was the same, but not as severe, as I'd had previously. He prescribed Ciproxyl 500, which I've taken before, Besmal and Oreda (a hydrolite). In all it cost me $9 Aus.
Armed with my goodies, I walked outside and caught the first transport I came across, which was what I thought was a metered taxi, as I didn't feel up to trying to find anything else. I don't know how the driver arrived at the price, but it cost me 150 B.
I took the first dose of the tablets and laid down for a while. I was intending going to the famous Sunday Walking Street Market that evening, however I didn't feel up to it and just stayed in and had toast for dinner. I had visited the Sunday market before and as I had managed to visit the Saturday Market the previous night, I wasn't too upset about missing it.
To be continued ......