Holiday to Thailand (Part Four) / by Joshua P Jacks

Chiang Mai, the city of Big C, Burger King, McDonalds, Testco, Dukes,  Rimpings, Mister Donut, Starbucks, Auntie Anne’s, KFC, Hospital, Zoo, Movie theatres, and Malls!  Wow that is a little overwhelming when put into one sentence!  From the looks of the first sentence you can tell we got our fair share of American food.  We ate as much as we could!

Although eating was one of the highlights, we kept busy with many other things as well.  Rimpings, Big C, and Testco are Thailand’s grocery stores.  They are a little different in Thailand than in the states.  Normally all you would have is a store that you would walk into and walk out but these stores are surrounding by the equivalent of the indoor flea market at Pensacola off of W. St. They also have a good chance of having a chain fast food restaurant and food court in them also.  Both of the malls that are in Chiang Mai are at least 4 stories each!  They have many stores to look into.

It is so funny how we actually enjoyed the things people dread when the holidays approach.  Crowded malls, standing in line at a grocery store, taking your child to the store, and eating fast food on a holiday.  Most people would just cringe and apologize having to do those things on or around these busy days.  But it was our delight to “endure” it all!  Just pushing Noah in a cart (buggy for my southern loved ones) and seeing meat actually wrapped in plastic and displayed according to type rather than all crammed into one freezer where it is just moderately cold.  Seeing produce on tables and coolers instead of on top of tables under a tent while trudging through the mud.  It was almost like my brain had forgotten, but once given the opportunity to experience those shopping experiences again, I realized I missed it.

We were able to go to a zoo there Noah was so excited to see the Elephants.  He was even able to pet a baby elephant!  It was the first time we took him to a place like this where he really started to interact and you can tell by his face as soon as he spotted an animal, it just lite up with a huge smile!  He wasn’t too sure about the giraffes.  He had a great time there.  It was complete with the monorail getting stuck in the middle of the track.  They had to bring a fire truck to use their ladder to get the people down.  That is why I will not be riding any ride at any park in Thailand that is lifted off the ground.  Safety codes just aren’t the same.

Even though we had the truck, we let the other couple that rode with us drive it around town.  We were much more comfortable with getting a Red truck (a small truck that has turned their bed into a taxi service and yes they are all red) to get us around town.  We didn’t want to deal with driving on the left side of the road and the traffic of the city. 

We went to the mall on Christmas after Noah opened his presents. We purchased the presents on Christmas Eve with him in the cart…. You do what you got to do when the best place to buy him things are in the place you arrived on Christmas Eve. 

We ate our first Big Mac since August of 2011.  It was so good.  Noah had a cheeseburger himself.  He doesn’t get a lot of red meat here so he really enjoyed it.  The mall has a huge Christmas tree in the center it was really cool to see on Christmas.  Noah even got a picture with an Asian Santa Claus.

On my birthday, our good friends watched Noah so Josh and I could have a date!  Normally we go shopping, see a movie, and eat at a nice restaurant while Grandma Jacks spends quality time with Noah.  Thanks to our friends the tradition lived on!  It was great getting quality time with the love of my life!  And not to mention we bought two tickets to the movie, 2 pops, and popcorn all for $11 and it was a 7:30 pm showing! Wow, talk about cheap!

The rest of the trip was spent relaxing, stocking up on things that are not available in LP, and spending time at the hospital.  I have been having some problems with very dry scalp and Noah needed vaccinations.  So we had to take a good half day to get all that done.  Noah was a trooper once again, after getting a shot he had to wait around for his momma to finish up 2 hours later. 

It was a great trip, not to mention the hotel was AMAZING!  Once again Josh’s research paid off!  We paid very little for a very nice room that had a Jacuzzi tub!  I also forgot how much I missed taking a bath until we arrived.

The ride back was full of excitement complete with all the people at the Thai border crossing taking a lunch break so we had to wait on them.  Then calculating how long it would take to get to the ferry that needs to take our truck across the Mekong to get back to LP.  We made the Ferry before night fall!  Which was good, if we didn’t we would have had to back track a whole hour to get to a guest house for the night.  Then the road on the other side of the ferry proved to be VERY bumpy.  I think we all needed a visit to the chiropractor after that ride, even Noah.

We arrived safely at home at around 7 pm on the 30th.  It was a great trip!  I hope you enjoyed my many details.  We still have 1.5 weeks left of break.  I am sure there will be more adventures to share during those two weeks!