Thailand: Massage Capital of the Earth

This outdoor business charges 60 Baht or $2.01 for half-an hour and 120 Baht or $4.02 per hour.

While drifting through the streets of Chiang Mai, I thought: Thailand’s second biggest city feels like a village compared to the capital megacity of Bangkok.

For a relatively small municipality, the ubiquity of massage treatment  venues is astonishing.  There must be hundreds or even thousands of these therapeutic salons.  Overwhelmed by the options, I pondered: Thailand must be the massage capital of the world.

Chillin’ in Chiang Mai

Upon leaving Chiang Mai for Bangkok I thought: I can’t believe that almost three weeks have passed since I left India.  Where has all the time gone?  What have I done?

I’ve been enjoying my comfy 400 baht  or $13.40 a night room that comes with a fast internet connection, a/c, desk, chair, cable TV, private bath with hot water, closet, reading light and daily cleaning service.

I’ve managed to put a dent in editing old posts.  The oldest ones have reached the ripe age of around seven months.  I can’t believe that I’ve been blogging for that long. The edits are a part of my anal-retentive demeanor.  I don’t want any posts to look sloppy.  I feel that this slight compulsion for neatness is integral in going forward with this fledgling earth drifting project.

North India: A Photo Essay

As I’ve recently spent a plethora of time going through ridiculous amounts of India photos in my comfy guesthouse room in northern Thailand, I’ve been on a photo posting tangent.  I recently put up my favorite snapshots of photogenic people.  I also provided you with pictures of interesting signs that I came across during six weeks on the sultry subcontinent.

People in North India: A Photo Essay

One of the most fascinating aspects of travel is the people we come across.  Some we meet, talk to and hang out with.  Others we see while engaging in people watching,  while others might just pose for us for fun, while only engaging in a few polite words.

I’ve never come across a culture that likes the camera as much as in India.   Like in other warm climates, people tend to be much more extroverted than shy.  There are so many inhabitants. Personal space tends to be slim to non-existent in many locations.

Signs of India

Whenever I see a sign that I find appealing,  I snap a shot of it.  After looking at it on my machine, I either delete or tweak.  If the photo makes it to the tweaking process, it may or may not make it into a post.  Here are a few that I’ve deemed worthy enough for you to check out.

Q & A: India

Sometimes I get questions from readers.  The following recently came in from Earthdrifter subscriber AL:

Despite the heat, beggars, and overcrowding, do you like India?

Yin and Yang in India

Travelling in India is like taking LSD. Either you’ll have a really good trip, or a really bad one.”

India attracts three types of travelers: people who are looking for  spirituality, people who want drugs, and people who are insane.”

When travelers leave India and go to nearby countries like Nepal and Thailand, they get bored.  They miss the street chaos and touts that won’t leave them alone.”

Inadvertently Escaping the Monsoon

The rain pounded down on Kolkata, crashing into the pavement, buildings, cars and everything else. The perpetual pelting added to the already mega cacophony of the huge and crowded city.

The monsoon is here isn’t it?”

Devouring the Streets of Delhi

This man had the most popular stand I saw. He was churning out this crispy, yummy, fried form of bread.

For the first half of my stay in North India, I was very careful about what I ate.

I diligently made sure that food was cooked over a fire in front of me.  This ensured that any potentially harmful bacteria was destroyed before corrupting my bloodstream and intestines.

I carefully inspected stalls, trying to judge how long food had been sitting out.  I didn’t eat raw veggies or fruit that may have been hanging around.

I still haven’t eaten flesh food including fish or chicken.

I purposefully ate at stands and little restaurants that seemed to attract a lot of locals.

I was careful of juice made with bad ice; bad for a foreigner who hasn’t yet built up and may never build an immunity to bacteria on the subcontinent.

I’m on a Night Train, or am I?

Although my train was from Tundla, 45 minutes by bus from Agra, the rare, super-helpful hotel desk man informed me that I can go and check at the Agra station right down the road.

After questioning a handful of people along the way, I finally found the enquiry booth and presented my ticket to the man.