A Day at the Lake
I got my own motorbike two days ago, a nice little Honda Dream 110cc with disc brakes up front. I am enjoying having my own wheels definitely. Yesterday morning, I took it on a drive up the mountain to see what the view was like. I will have to back again, as I didn’t have the energy to get out and wander around a Wat that supposedly has amazing views of the city. It was nice to get on a scooter again, and the weather and setting was amazing that morning. But I had to be back by 11 to get ready for meeting some of the people from the bar for a trip to a lake. The owner of the bar, an intense older Thai lady, invited us the day before and we went with a couple of the people I had mentioned in my Fourth of July post. She drove, S. and I rode in the cab and the two girls and one other guy sat in the windy bed. American music was blaring on the CD player, the truck was air conditioned and it felt like I could have been taking a road trip in America.
We got to the lake, which was a nice refreshing 80 degrees and poop brown color. Around the edge were either thatched huts and umbrellas with mats and tables for sitting and eating at. We ate papaya salad, some small eggs and fruit. It was washed down with rice whisky. One of the other guys, R., played the guitar while a girl named K. sang along in pretty decent English. Later we broke out the volleyball and went in the water. I didn’t have a swim suit (in fact, my only clean clothes were pretty dressy), so I had to strip down to my black boxer briefs. The only thing I left to the imagination was the shade of the skin on my butt, because once wet the underwear were practically skin-tight. We whacked the ball around for a while, allowed brain amoebas to swim up our noses, and retired to the shore for a while before leaving. For the rest of the day I went commando in a slick pair of cheap gray slacks.
The bar owner took us back to her house for dinner. The house was huge and secluded in the countryside, built onto a little patch of land surrounded by rice patties. She had been married to someone from the French consulate many years before, resulting in a large house and two children. The view off the patios was amazing. Bats were flying all over the place. We ate a quick dinner because we thought one of the girls had to go to work, then headed back to her bar and hung out for a few hours more.
More and more people started arriving and the place got festive again. I felt very comfortable there, and though I had only know most of the people for only days, I felt comfortable with them too. I commented to S. that Heaven’s Beach was like our Central Perk and that if so, we would both be Ross. Except I will be mixed with a little Joey while he was a Ross-Chandler hybrid. If we had been female, I would be Monica. He would be Rachael, except less easy going. This means that he would end up dating himself off and on, which is kind of creepy but not particularly inaccurate.
In Social Studies, this bar would be my elusive “third place,” neither home nor work. But since I don’t work, the number can be bumped down to two. I do get cabin fever here I’ve noticed, in part because I know there is so much new out there that if waiting to be discovered.
View of Western Chiang Mai from the mountain road.
The lake seen from under umbrellas.
K. playing guitar.
The group: S., R., K., S., N., and A.
The view from the backyard from the bar owner’s house in the country.
Moments later at sunset.
S. and I doing some posing.