You Can't Win Friends with Salad
Trip Start Mar 08, 2011
84Trip End Jun 11, 2011
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We arrived at the train station an hour early (the hotels always tell you to leave well before the scheduled departure) and were able to board right away. I believe we were the first people to get on the train as the stewardesses were still getting ready. This train was our nicest yet and Amy was going on and on about how great this train was (glad we saved money by not getting first class). Being the only people on the train, this meant that the one stewardess could hound us to buy some food. She started off trying to sell us orange juice, then Pringles, then a tray of fruits and veggies.
As we are talking to Dale and Carla for longer, they tell us that have decided to leave their jobs behind and move to Australia. They have never been away from Europe before (besides a small trip to Cuba and another to Canada), so this was quite a change. Before they get to Australia though, they wanted to do some traveling in Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore (a similar route to us for the rest of the time in Asia). Those 6 beers are gone pretty quickly, so I get the stewardess back over. I try to sweet talk her by finding out her name (which she says is Salad, or at least that is what I hear her say at this point). I finally talk Salad down to 100 Baht per beer for another bucket of 6 (she is only doubling her money now). We continue to drink and chat, even past the lights out at 10. At one point Salad gets bored with the other customers on the train and sits down with us and opens a fruit and veggie tray.
The train was scheduled to arrive around 8:45 the next morning, but we finally got to Chiang Mai at 10. I was a little slow from what the locals call a "changover" but we were able to make it to a songthaew to head to our hotel. Dale and Carla didn't have a hotel booked yet, but surprisingly enough they were targeting the same hotel we had reserved. We must use the same website as this is the second hotel we are both staying in. We arrive at the MD House and get our rooms (right across the hall from Dale and Carla). Feeling a bit gross from the train ride, we got showered up and Amy and I left Dale and Carla behind to grab some lunch. Before that we stopped at the tour desk in order to book tours for the next 2 days. The guy at the tour desk recommended a restaurant down the street for good thai food.
I get woken up at 7pm and Amy wants to go to the night market to see what goods are available. Once we get there though we hear our stomachs rumbling (since we have not eaten in 6 hours). We find this restaurant, Ping Ping’s Thai Food, with a bunch of fish tanks and a whole fish on every table. The place is packed with tourists and locals alike, so we grab a table and sit down. All of the fish items on the menu say Market Price, which is a little concerning since I didn’t bring a lot of money and left the money belt (with the credit cards) at the hotel for the first time on the trip. We try to find out prices, but have difficulty communicating and decide to just go with it (how much could it be, we are in Thailand).