Sunday in the Park

In the southwest corner of the old city (that square walled bit in the map I posted the other day), not more than a couple of minutes from my guesthouse, is a small park. This park is host to the flower show of the Flower Festival.

So, after Ruesri Datton this morning, I went.

Ruesri Datton was excellent as usual. We had a new student, a man from Japan, probably about my age, definitely alternative. After class, I received my certificate, as well as a small gift from Napa: a beautiful calendar with photos of Ruesri Datton postures. It’s last year’s calendar, but it can be laid out to display only the photos, and is quite pretty. Napa said I’m welcome to join for her classes this week as well, if I have any energy left after massage classes. I will try!!

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I have probably achieved my first sunburn today. I can feel it on my skin as I sit in a cafe writing this. I think it’s quite mild, fortunately. I was careful to reapply sunscreen and seek shade as much as possible. (Yep, definitely burned, but not too badly.)

Outside of the park, on one side, there was an atmosphere of State Fair: displays of competition exhibits in many categories, the floats from yesterday’s parade, food stalls, and miscellaneous other vendors formed a long row.

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I am disappointed in my fellow foreigners. Every time that I stand at a stall to order something that looks or smells interesting, a westerner walks up and asks me what it is. I don’t usually know. I tell them I’ll tell them when I’ve had the first bite. They seem shocked. Some of them ask the vendor. If the vendor can’t tell them in English, they walk away. I’ve noticed this for days.

Today I had coffee with cubes of black gelatin, then some kind of grilled seafood, stuffed with what turned out to be egg, then dipped in spicy sauce. I think cuttlefish? It was delicious.

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Then I drank some coconut water and wandered for a while, finally sitting in the grass to read. When the sun changed angle to reach me, I wandered again, finding another place to read. This second place was just across from a massage stand, so when the sun got me again, I went over and enjoyed an hour foot massage, and a short neck, shoulders and arms massage. Wonderful. She went quite gently, but considering the bruises in lines all up and down my arms and legs, I’m glad. It was nice to have a relaxing massage after all these more therapeutic massages.

After the massage, I was hungry, and I remembered seeing a mango sticky rice stall, so I went looking for it. Near it, there was another stand of strange sea-beasties, this time smaller, grilled, and served with as spicy sauce. It turns out I think they’re the same beasties. Cuttlefish? Awesome yummy texture.

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To eat, I sat in a patch of grass by the water. Across were various hippies and theater geeks: jugglers, tightrope-walkers, etc. The tightrope walkers strung a cord between a coconut palm and a fan palm, and everyone got in on trying it, including a group of teenage schoolgirls in uniform. There was a giant dragon floating in the water. It was very nice.

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Eventually, I got sleepy and thirsty. There is an air conditioned cafe in the park, with WiFi, and I’m writing this there, where I can still watch the park activities out the window. I will leave shortly.

I was going to head home, but noticed the ethnic dancing exhibition. The first ones were 3-4 years old, but so very elegant, doing their complicated hand motions.

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Listening to the announcements between performers, I learned that the flag/banner I bought is called a tung, and is a Lanna (local majority ethnic group) tradition, for celebrations and good fortune.

Here are many of them hanging at Loi Kroh school:

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