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In the morning, we had a small breakfast and were scooped up by a mini bus and on our way to the old Siamese capital city, Ayutthaya. After about 3 hours of endless staring out the window, we arrived and the driver turned to ask where we were staying. We didn’t know. The two French folks in front of us were taken by surprise at our answer. So when it came to drop them off, we hopped out too. Chance had brought us to a hostel called Grandmother’s House. Who wouldn’t want to stay at a place so perfectly named? It was a nice and clean, basic hostel with an attached restaurant. The only hitch was they were out of twin bed rooms so we would have to share one big bed. No problem. Many trips to Atlantic City with friends have resulted in much more crammed situations. The first and only night we spent there we wandered around the dark empty streets without finding much to do. We decided to pick up a few beers at the market and go back to our room at the hostel. Before going to bed, I made one last trip to the bathroom and found a Smirnoff Ice waiting for me on top of the toilet. Derek had “iced” me. For those that don’t know, it is a game where you hide a Smirnoff Ice somewhere and when another person comes across it, they must get down on one knee and chug it. This means war. Next morning, we were up early to get over to the train station to acquire tickets on the night sleeper train to Chiang Mai. We rented a couple bicycles and peddled over to pick up the tickets. The train did not depart until later that night so we checked out the town in the daylight and spent a few hours at the temples which date over 700 years old. We also made our first elephant sighting in Thailand! We then cruised around the perimeter of the old town. Seeing a city by bicycle is something in it’s own. Following all the riding, we still had a couple hours to kill before the train. Figuring it would be a long, uncomfortable ride that evening, we went for a massage. It was only us and the two Thai girls, who both spoke a little English. After being twisted and pulled and attempting our best broken English conversation the hour was up. Afterward, the one introduced us to her parents and we’re pretty sure they were trying to marry their daughter off to Derek. We returned the bicycles, had one last meal, and caught a tuk tuk to the train station. After sitting around for a bit, it arrived and we ran down the train to our car and found our seats. We met a really nice American couple, Marty and Tara, had a couple beers, and called it a night. The beds were about six feet long and we preferred to sleep with our bags which made for tight quarters but we managed. When we woke up, we were in Chiang Mai.

As Ever, J. Hart

“Everyone believes the world’s greatest lie…that at a certain point in our lives, we lose control of what’s happening to us, and our lives become controlled by fate.” – Paulo Coelho