Bye bye Chiang Mai…

My last day in Chiang Mai arrived, and even though I was sad I thought that it was time for a change. It became my new “comfort zone”, but I realize that happiness is always outside of one’s comfort zone!

It’s been a wonderful experience and I’ve learnt much. For instance,living every moment in the best way. I’ve met a lot of people, and I’ve learnt to live together and share with them. I’ve always thought that I did it, but obviously I don’t. I was so doleful saying goodbye to everyone but I was leaving with the hope that I would find them once again in the future. It was sad also leaving my room that had been mine for almost two months, but eventually everything ends and everything begins!

Putting aside the homesickness, I went to the old city in Chiang Mai with Abby, who has been my classmate for two weeks. I’d spent the other five alone. She comes from China, from a city called Shenzhen, near Hong Kong. She’s so lovely and we had great time together during our lessons.

We were both free from lessons on August 12th, because in Thailand it is a national holiday. It’s the Queen’s birthday, better known as mother’s day. So we decided to go to the city together, eating and visiting some temples! We took her motorbike and we started out, but the fact was that she isn’t so good as a driver, especially on the Thai roads. I think I risked my life because I didn’t wear a helmet. But it doesn’t matter… I’m here telling the story, so clearly I’m still alive. I know it isn’t a good thing to say, but sometimes living on the edge makes me feel alive! Maybe I wouldn’t do it again or maybe I would. Anyway, sometimes you don’t have the time to choose what’s the best. I think it was a great experience at the end, making me feel young and light-hearted.

We arrived safely at the chicken restaurant, where we ate boiled chicken, steamed rice, and vegetable soup. It’s one of the most famous chicken restaurants in the city, so it’s extremely busy and noisy. The waiters don’t write down the orders – instead they scream out loud to the small kitchen on the sidewalk. When we finished our lunch and took some pictures rode the scooter up to one of the oldest temples of Chiang Mai, which is called Wat Phra Singh.

There was a lot of gold in the temple, in contrast with the white and cloudy sky, a big golden Chedi outside the main building lighting up the area. Inside the temple a lot of people prayed, maybe because it was a Friday public holiday. We decided to walk and visit the smaller buildings all around which were amazing, too. I didn’t remember that I had to cover my shoulders and knees, and even if my shoulders were covered by a t-shirt I wore shorts, so my knees were bared. Being a fashion designer has its silver linings, so I brought my raincoat and I wrapped it around my legs and closed the zip. Here was a wonderful alternative skirt… And it was so fun to create! That’s what I call “sharpen the wits”.

Essentially the temple was beautiful, I found out that some wax statue of the most venerated by monks inside one of the minor buildings. There was a row of bells and a big gong that you could ring and receive the good vibrations. It’s, of course, one of many temples in the city, but I think that everyone has different hallmarks.

When we finished our trip to the temple we went back to her motorbike and headed for the Thapae Gate. We stopped by a nice little market on the road because I had to search for a new bag. The day after I would have to leave the school and take a flight to Bangkok, but my big suitcase wasn’t enough for all my new purchases… So I needed to find a new one to carry all my stuff and also to try to have less weight. I didn’t want to pay again for the extra weight at check in! So we started walking into the market. I had thought I wouldn’t find it when I saw a little stand with some bags and suitcases. “That’s it,” I thought I found it out! I haggled for the price (from 850 to 550 baht which was about 13 euro). I bought the bag and a padlock for 60 baht (about 1.60 euro). I was so happy, I was ready to pack my luggage! But the day ended, so finally we reached the Thapae Gate and we sat down eating and drinking a fresh coconut. We went into a used book store near the gate, where I bought another English book by Haruki Murakami – I added other weight to my luggage but it didn’t worry me, as I had another bag now!

Now it was time to say goodbye. She went back to school and I waited there for Hailey, my teacher. We wanted to spend my last day in Chiang Mai together. When I met her it was raining and we had to wait before buying something to eat. We bought a delicious chicken soup with vegetables, some fruits, and a packet of salted fried bananas. We ate and talked a lot. Finally, it was my last night. When we came back to school, I had to greet another special person and even though I knew we could keep in contact, it was still so sad!

That evening I felt blue because I was leaving a place that was my home for almost two months and I knew that the morning would be sadder.

However, it is important to say goodbye to things and people, because it’s the circle of life, and honestly I think it must be!