One month left in Chiang Mai

I’ve enjoyed my stay so far, but it hasn’t gone as expected. Cold weather hasn’t arrived. Only time I put on a jacket was when suffering chills and overheating due to food poison. The flip side is it’s usually too warm to comfortably walk non-trivial distances during mid day. But Hua Hin has been hotter, so it’s a win.

Tourists haven’t arrived in anything resembling high season numbers. Most who rely on tourist business responded the same as their counterparts in Hua Hin did: reducing quality, service, amounts, opening days and hours, etc., anything to avoid raising prices.

Sunbirds also failed to show, at least where I’m staying. In past years they were full this time of year. I had looked forward to making friends and the random socialization of my first 2 years here. The same odd extroverts who were here my first year are still living here year round. And probably still not getting why few want to talk with them after the first encounter or two.

I expect to try for a motorcycle license next week. Already started studying. Haven’t done this in Hua Hin because the process is conducted in Thai language, signage and forms except for the written test. Twice I offered to pay a Thai to translate for me, but both declined. Chiang Mai has a large permanent population of foreigners, so all but one of the videos has English versions. The video repeats what is in the driving rules publication, so it’s not a problem.

Why get a license? Main reason is so I can rent a motorbike in Spain next year. Also it will be nice to ride in Hua Hin based on ease of route or whim or whatever, and not base all routes on avoiding the common police checkpoints for registration, helmet and license. I always have the first 2. The fine is 200 Baht (~$5.50) for not having a license, usually payable on the spot but sometimes at the police station.

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