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The fact that the first song I heard after touching ground in Thailand—played in the bathroom in the Bangkok airport, no less—was the theme from The Godfather was, I figured, probably not a very good sign.

And it did turn out to be something of an omen of things to come. First I left my brand-new Swiss-made one-sheet-of-aluminum water bottle, which my best friend had given me as a going-away present the day before, on the plane. When I realized this, I had to ask at least five airport and airline personnel (miming ‘water bottle’ each time) before I found the one person who could help me. She radioed the cabin crew but no luck. The report came back over the walkie talkie: no sign of it. Read the rest of this entry »

It happened very soon after my arrival in Chiang Mai, and even though I’ve seen and heard some wacky things in the five weeks since, I still can’t quite believe it. I was supposed to meet up for a drink with a friend of a friend who runs an AIDS organization in town. The plan was that instead of thinking of somewhere to meet that I might not be able to find, I would just come to her office at 4:30 and we would have some beer there. (My immediate thought: She keeps beer in her office? I like this woman already. My next thought: She keeps beer in her office? I like this town already.) Read the rest of this entry »

Greetings from Tacome Pai, an organic farm in northern Thailand, just outside the very touristy town of Pai (which I have not yet ventured into) and four hours north of Chiang Mai (which, yes, I finally left—at least temporarily).

Here on the farm (which is also a guest house) we cook our food outside on fires, sleep in huts, husk rice (it was just harvested and we came specifically for the harvest festival, which ended last night and featured lots of great music), drink homemade (not by me!) rice whiskey and, yes, have wireless access (though I am the only one traveling with a laptop). Read the rest of this entry »

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