Pai, Thailand!

Hi hi hi from Pai (pronounced like “pie”)! As you all know, we rang in the New Year in Chiang Mai just about a week ago, and then made our way north to this here lil town on the night of the 4th.  That same day, we took a full-day Buddhism and meditation course led by a youngish, jovial monk, Prah KK.  It was my first time meditating, but the boys are seasoned vets.  It was definitely challenging… sitting and (trying) to only think about your breath for 20 minutes (which we did 2 or 3 times).  In addition to guided, seated meditation, Prah KK taught us mindfulness exercises, walking meditation, the history of Buddhism and the University we took the course at, and about the life of a Buddhist monk.  We all really enjoyed the course.  I have yet to practice the silent, seated meditation again on my own, but have already employed some thinking lessons.  Prah KK stressed the importance of taking care of your and balancing yourself.  He even used the example of Donald Trump as a major point of anger for people worldwide, but being angry at DJT does nothing for him and only harms us.  Yesterday we got into a heated altercation with the waitstaff at breakfast and, even though we were 1000% right and the whole thing was escalated by the restaurant staff, I had to remind myself the rest of the day: when you’re angry, the only who suffers is you.

** Long story not-that-short, Cooper, Joe, Jeff and I went to breakfast yesterday morning.  I ordered the Red Bike Breakfast: two eggs any style (I got mine sunny side up), toast, avocado slices, and either bacon or sauteed mushrooms.  When my meal came out, there were three strips of bacon on my plate and no mushrooms.  I informed my waitperson of the mix-up… she said she’d have to charge for the mushrooms then… (annoying, since she got my order wrong, but whatever) I said no big deal! I’ll just take the bacon off. No mushrooms, please.  The manager came out to talk to me saying he was going to check CCTV to make sure I had ordered the vegetarian breakfast (as a non-meat/bacon eater for seven or so years now, I was sure that I did, but also WOAH what?! you’re going to check CCTV??) I said it was a simple mistake, I could just remove the three strips of bacon from my eggs and toast.  No need to make the mushrooms. No need to check CCTV (and did it even have audio anyway?!? wtf…) I’m fine with what I have, thanks. They made the mushrooms anyway.  I hadn’t touched my meal at this point.  Did they want the bacon back? I asked.  The manager shooed me away.  Okayyy?? We ate our meals and since I had a) asked if they wanted the bacon back and b) 20 or so minutes had passed since the initial encounter I gave a strip of bacon to each of the boys (what a mistake!!! and I knew it, too.)  They handed us the bill with BACON +50 BAHT at the bottom.  I went up and spoke to them again.  Hey, you got my order wrong why are we getting charged for this?? Also, I’m sure I said “vegetarian” so if you want to check CCTV we can? The manager picked up his phone, said something in Thai, and turned to me.  He had called the police.  Until this point, I had remained amiable, but acknowledged they had made the mistake.  Now, I was caught off guard… definitely nervous and semi-frantically apologizing for what, I’m not sure, while trying to gather the 50 baht from my wallet.  The boys were equally frustrated (to say the least) and trying to help alleviate the situation.  No need to call the cops?? I’ll just pay the 50!! They told us to wait in the restaurant the cops would be there within the hour.  What??? But we didn’t have an hour?? We had plans! Also wasn’t the issue the 50 baht? We gave the waitress the additional 50.  We asked the manager if we could please leave now that we paid (FOR THEIR MISTAKE!!).  He said we needed to wait.  The cops were on their way.  We told him we paid (again).  Luckily, the cafe was suddenly busy.  He said he was too overwhelmed to deal with this.  He called the cops again.  This time, to tell them not to come.  The whole thing was suspect (at best).  When we left my heart was pounding, head spinning.  What just happened???? I had to spend the rest of the day reminding myself that when you stew over bullsh*t like that, you’re the only one that loses.  But, oh my lanta am I pissed.  Going to need a lot more time with Prah KK before I feel at peace with what happened at Red Bike Cafe. We all wrote scathing reviews.

In other news:

Sunset last night (Sunday, January 6th) at the Pai canyon.  Pai, Thailand. 
Flowers outside of a cafe. Pai, Thailand. 
More flowers outside of Om Cafe.  Love the flowers! Love this cafe, too! Pai, Thailand. 


I like the geometry here.  This is the backside?? of the Aya bus station — the bus we took from Chiang Mai to Pai.  This is in Chiang Mai. 
Sunset while reading and sipping my affogato.  Yay 🙂 yum 🙂 Very ideal. Chiang Mai, Thailand.
I snuck away for a little to read at a cafe near our Air BnB.  Finally got that affogato I’d been wanting and read The Rules Do Not Apply.  Let me reiterate: this is a great read.  I highly recommend.  Offer still stands for an overseas book club.  I just started Into the Wild.
Loved this light on the house, but really the yellow fleurs! Bright n lovely. Chiang Mia, Thailand 
Cool yellow building in Chiang Mai, Thailand. 
Sunset Saturday night in Albany, New York.  Thank you for the send, Dad! Ma n Pa were upstate visiting Gram n Pop with the Kushner + Rothchild gang 🙂 Another shout out to Gram and Pop for their 60th wedding anniversary!!!!!!!!! 
Bathroom + mirror + sink at Chiang Mai University where we took the meditation course. Note the lack of hand soap. Very common in SEA. Not my favorite. Chiang Mai, Thailand 🇹🇭
Slide from the meditation / Buddhism course. Chaing Mai, Thailand

View from Air Bnb in Chiang Mai!

Finishing up The Rules Do Not Apply over coffee our first morning in Pai. Pai, Thailand!


A Jeff silhouette from one of our Air Bnbs in Chiang Mai.

New Years!! Pictured from 6 o’clock, clockwise: Joe, Alexa, Jeff, Cooper, Casey! Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Fireworks and lantern festival! New Years. Chiang Mai, Thailand

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