Feels Like Forever

That phrase applies to several things today.

It feels like forever that I’ve been in Chiang Mai, although it has only been 2 weeks today. Obviously, I have only explored a tiny part of the city, since I’m mostly in classes, but the ones that I have explored feel like home. I see many of the same faces every day on my walks, and we greet each other, as you do in many small towns. I have favorite places for breakfast, for quick snacks, for lounging with WiFi. I know what I should pay for a tuktuk, as opposed to what the driver will ask.

Of course all this changes this weekend, as I’ll be renting a motorcycle to get to the next 2 locations. I will discover new routes and new convenient places.

I felt a little nervous this morning, calling Ajahn Pichest (teacher Pichet) about attending his classes next week. I’ve heard so many things about studying with him, and I had originally planned to do my first week with him, in case I decided to stay with him for all 3.5 weeks here. My plans changed due to schedules of the other courses I wanted as well, and he’s been relegated to my final week. I think 1 week will not be enough, but I usually feel that. There is always next time!

I would also like to return to Loi Kroh school in the future. I feel very at home there, very welcome, very much like family. I also feel like I was able to learn very well from both Coocky and Napa. They were excellent teachers, for one thing, but also, I feel like what they have to offer really speaks to me. And I like their senses of humor. They are both good to joke around with too, as is Pare, as are all the other wonderful people I met there. I’ve only spent a total of 9 days there, but it feels like forever in a really good way. I felt sad to say goodbye. Maybe I’ll stop in for a visit before I leave. If I can! Otherwise, next time for sure!

This is the shrine there. Napa tells me that the reclining Buddha is the Tuesday meditation pose, for people born on Tuesdays. I’m a Tuesday child. I’ve always hated this position!! 🙂


Here is a detail of the shrine. This is Dr. Shivaka, the founder of ancient Thai massage. Yes, there are 2 of him there. No, I don’t know why. It’s always like that, duplicates. I keep meaning to ask someone, but I always forget. Good reason to go to a monk chat one evening.


These are my classmates.


Next to me, Chiya, who was my partner today. This girl is crazy strong (in that she can take a lot) and crazy hungry all the time. Beside her, Coockie, the awesome teacher. Beside Coocky, Kei, who had a lot to juggle this week and amazingly never seemed to get crabby. In white, Keiko, the monk. Apparently, she’s on a travel pass and can dress “freestyle.” She was wonderful. The girl front center is studying foot reflexology. I think she is French. I never met her. We were all getting silly.

Ta da! My certificate:


For the most part, my goal this trip was to deepen my understanding of Thai massage. This was the exception. This was the only course I’m taking for new techniques. And I think it was a very good decision. I learned far more than techniques.

After school, I had an iced tea and exchanged a few messages with Pepijn. He and his wife Pear, and their absolute charmer of a little boy, Navin, are up from Bangkok for the weekend. We made plans.

It seems like forever since I’ve seen Pepijn, but he pointed out that we actually hung out about a year ago when he got stuck in Amsterdam on the same day as Matt’s birthday party. Funny!

Dinner was great, I’m in bed. I have a free day tomorrow and I’m going to spend it with those guys. 🙂