Mia is oppressed by her new and disturbing compulsion of being able to think only in Facebook status updates, and wishes she could stop. But since she cannot, she gives you, without further ado, her first blog post: a travel tale told in Facebook-status-update-eze.

(For those of you unfamiliar with Facebook, yes, this is all going to be in the third person.)

The Facebook Chronicles: Week One
a travel tale, Facebook-style


November 5
is really leaving the country. And so very thankful to be leaving on such a hopeful note!

November 6
is not a hard man, but is often humbled, though not necessarily by her first night in Bangkok.

November 7
is getting used to looking the other way for traffic, but not to not being able to pet all the stray dogs—a large percentage of whom apparently have rabies.

had to go all the way to Thailand to have time to answer all her email. Facebookmail is next…

November 8
is paralyzed by indecision and growing increasingly frustrated.

November 9
is entirely dependent upon the kindness of strangers—strangers whose language she does not speak.

dislikes 12-hour time differences that mean no one at home is available for chatting when she’s killing time waiting for a train. [Except, yes, insomniacs in Vermont. Thank you, Kim!]

is seated next to two tiny Thai children playing video games. Do they still call them video games these days?

is trying to ignore her headache, but is thinking that drugging herself for her 12-hour overnight train ride is sounding more and more like a good idea.

November 10
is badly in need of a shower, but the internet has seriously compromised her priorities.

awoke with swollen feet and ankles—wtf ? She’s not *that* old yet, is she?

is thus far generally pleased with the frequency of toilet paper provision in Thai toilets.

is day four and enjoying herself.

has way too long a to-do list for someone who’s not supposed to be doing anything.

found the loveliest little guest house with free water and wireless—the two things she would spend the most money on!

thinks she just saw her first female tuk-tuk driver.

met a lovely 3-month-old Persian named Gyoza.

likes this tourist town, though there’s no bright red devil keeping her here. So far.

wonders why the presence of a Starbucks makes her feel icky but that of Boots makes her feel warm & fuzzy. (She made peace with 7-11 early on when she found they were not only everywhere, but the only place to buy an 8-liter jug of water—also known as ‘big big water.’)

hasn’t been in a country where no one’s asked her for a pen in a while.

is ‘hmmmm, scones…’

might just have to spend 60 baht on apple crumble pie. [after-the-fact update: spent 80 to have it a la mode, but it wasn’t anywhere near the ‘to die for’ it had promised to be.]

guesses she prefers Sarah McLachlan in the background to the damned ubiquitous classic rock.

November 11
is ‘Sorry, this machine is out of services.’

crosses streets fearlessly.

probably would have stayed in this guest house anyway had she known her outside bathroom was not actually her own but shared, but she would have liked to have had that knowledge on which to base her decision.

is meeting a girl named Gary for a drink later. [OK, she’s a woman in her 60s but ‘girl’ alliterates…]

moat surrounding old city of Chiang Maiwalked the entire perimeter (ie the moat!) of the old walled city only to find what she’d been looking for was right near where she’d started. This is not a metaphor.

knew she was getting closer to home when she started seeing white people again.

still can’t seem to find any ice cream, despite the Wall’s signs everywhere.

has been wearing the same pair of contacts for more days than she can remember.

much prefers hearing music she’s never heard before to music she’s heard for the last 20 years.

is couchsurfing without the couch. And the surfing.

*so* wants to put her feet up on this table, but learned earlier that feet on furniture is a definite no-no in Thailand.

became so much happier when she realized she could safely pet any dog that has a collar.

November 12
lost the piece of paper on which she’d been writing her first blog post and is now feeling too lazy and unmotivated to try to reconstruct it.

is seriously giddy after her first use of Skype.

wants to Skype you.

thinks this town has just the right amount of used book stores. Which is more than she can count. She could stay forever and do nothing but read. Well, and eat. And sleep. And get massages.

loves the no-shoes custom. Except when she sees the massive cockroaches walk by.

was mistaken for an Israeli by two young Israelis. At least she understood “Slicha!”

made two wonderful new Thai friends today.

learned that you are supposed to eat the soup last, not first. Which makes sense, as only then is it finally the right temperature to eat.

learned what Mia means in Thai today – and not a minute too soon. [wife!]

feels that, except for them being an artist and a high-fallutin’ interior designer, she has quite a lot in common with her new friends, Som and Mah.

loves fellow 30-something women with whom she can giggle endlessly over language differences and jokes about the name Mr. Fok Mee.

is wearing eau de DEET.

wonders why all the dogs here wear shirts.

went from lost to completely lost.

wonders if asking for directions is a legitimate use of the police.

fears she feels some Delhi belly coming on.

figures her contacts ought to last about one more day.

still didn’t manage to buy her yeast infection medicine today when she literally had nothing else she had to do.

is posting pics from tonight’s festival at https://miandering.wordpress.com/loi-krathong-festival-in-chiang-mai/.

is residing in such a perfect climate she’s sleeping with the blanket on instead of the fan.

really needs nothing more than to go out, meet people, explore and take pictures and then come home and chat with friends and write about it. [And, OK, perfect climate helps.]

November 13
seems to wake up early no matter what time she goes to sleep. Thought it was jetlag/body clock readjustment issues but…could it be a new leaf?

has, mysteriously, ‘Don’t pull your love out on me baby’ (Glen Campbell version, oy.) playing in her head.

krathong floating away on the Ping River

got sick from the fumes and suffered possible permanent hearing loss, but also remembered to stop being a tourist and thanked the river gods for water, blessings, forgiveness & hope.

is going to treat herself to her first Thai massage (in Thailand) just as soon as she finishes her first blog post. How has it been almost a week and no massages yet?

has a coffee date today with another Mia who also a) is American and b) shows herself cuddling up to a very large and wild cat in her profile picture.

mysteriously lost her status.

has absolutely no idea how to extract any meat from the little crab leg shell pieces in her papaya salad without using her forbidden left hand, so she just casts them aside.

'House of Male'

befriended the other American Mia who also a) cuddles up to large wild cats, b) has the same cheap blue Thai cell phone & c) takes pics of funny foreign signage. [Signage such as this one. She’s also old enough to be the other Mia’s mother. In an unwanted-teen-pregnancy kind of way, that is.]

wonders if she’s jaded already, as all she wants is her banana roti and to get home to rest her aching head. She’s not one of the ‘everyone’ who loves a parade.

November 14
is up way before dawn, is still fighting a headache and still hasn’t gotten a massage.

is listening to a chorus (more like a cacophony) of howling dogs and wondering what on earth is going on outside her window…

just friended Barack Obama on flickr.

needs to wash some underwear.

has spotted more than one bright red(headed) devil in this tourist town.

ate two breakfast sausages that tasted just like bologna.

thinks fondly, every time she orders eggs in another country, of all the ‘Scram Bled Eggs’ she used to see on menus in India.

is going to try to stop thinking in Facebook-eze now, but doubts it will be easy.

is not as hard a bargainer as she used to be.

is once again riding in the back of a vehicle she can’t pronounce.

knew her bag was going to fall off the seat when the driver took that turn, but didn’t bother doing anything to prevent it. Momentarily forgot her camera was inside. Oops.

saw a sign in a car’s back window that said ‘Don’t touch my butt.’

thought that sound must have been an empty water bottle falling to the floor of the songtaew but it was her phone.

finally got her massage, but her headache has gotten worse instead of better.

is tangled wires.

has been awake since 4 a.m. And she uses the term ‘awake’ loosely.

hardly every brushes her teeth before bed anymore. Can she blame the internet for that, too?

November 15
finally slept in. aaaahhhhhh. [New-leaf theory thus disproved?]

has a pimple on the tip of her nose that makes her look like a witch.

may just spend the entire day on the computer but is OK with that because she is going to be productive.

saved the life of a caterpillar by placing it on top of a urinal. But the mosquito had to die.

has clearly not stopped thinking in Facebook-eze.

*really* needs to wash some underwear.

keeps meeting awesome women. Dateable men? Not so much.

saw yet another redheaded boy. Pretty sure this one was gay. (see previous comment…)

has no idea what all the different things are in the green curry she is eating but it’s all gooood.

is most definitely a fan of the only-eat-things-soft-enough-to-cut-with-a-spoon rule.

is mmmm…fried green eggplant. And mmmm…fried green other stuff.

drinks the water everywhere it’s served to her in Chiang Mai. She’s been led to believe this is OK, and so far, so good.

is knocking on wood.

is thinking that most everything she’s eaten in Thailand so far has been good, but most everything she’s eaten at this little noodle shop down the road has been absolutely delicious.

says she should have known there’d be a Jerusalem Falafel (complete with Star of David in the sign) in this town.

went looking for a café with free wireless and found the street of silver. Which is also yet another street of farang (foreigners) in this farang-friendly town.

hopes the caffeine in her tea won’t do her head in. That would be a high price to pay for free wireless.

is going to post her first blog entry now. Finally. The blog design will have to continue to wait.

is disappointed that her first blog post will go up while almost everyone she knows in the world is still sleeping.

will try to get over her attachment to immediate gratification.

just had to tell you she saw yet another redhead passing by as she was preparing to post this. Lotta Brits here, it seems.

just spent more time than any sane person would choosing the font for her text.

is definitely not drinking enough water.

is going to stop and post this now. Really.

wishes she’d known you can’t cut and paste from Word to WordPress before spending that insane amount of time choosing fonts.

promises a more polished look to her blog soon enough.