Hello from rainy Chiang Rai. We arrived yesterday, spent today walking the city. Much smaller than Chiang Mai, has a really nice vibe. A little less modern, less busy. But man is it raining. Just torrential. Tomorrow we set out for a two day trek among the hill tribes. I’m going with mixed feelings about it, never completely at ease with this kind of intrusion. But done right these can be moments of learning, insight, and mutual respect and I’m hoping that’s what happens. I’m also hoping I don’t fall off my elephant because I fell off my camel in Tunisia and elephants just seem way bigger.
Thailand continues to challenge me. I do these trips for specific reasons, in this case to gather images for a book. Inevitably the trips have agendas of their own and teach me lessons I had no intention of learning. Haven’t uncovered that lesson just yet, but it has to do with what draws my eye, I think. Perhaps a rut I’ve fallen into, perhaps just a keener awareness of what does and doesn’t turn my crank visually. Have 6 days left to figure that out. In the mean time the food is spectacular, the people so kind it kills me to have taken so few photographs of them. We visit temple after temple, at all hours, and they seem generally empty of monks or visitors and as I came, in part, to photograph expressions of Thai Buddhism, I can’t believe I don’t have a single shot of a saffron-robed monk.
Anyways, just dropping a line to say hello, let you all know I’m alive and well. Will do what I can to drop a final postcard into the mail before I leave Thailand, but my last couple days are scheduled for the beach and, well, there’s a chance I might just not find the strength to put down my fruity drink and pick up my laptop. 🙂