Well, it’s Thanksgiving day as I’m writing this, or as we’re calling it here in Chiang Mai, Chiangsgiving. It’s one of the cooler days we’ve had since we’ve been here, with a high of only 87° today. Jonah and I are actually at the office tying up a couple of loose ends before the holiday weekend while my family and friend Dylan are up at Wat Phra Doi Suthep. We’re meeting them at a nearby market for lunch, then maybe hitting up a couple more wats before our own funny Thanksgiving dinner tonight at what has become our favorite restaurant in town (and actually Kylie, Walt, Jonah and I are doing a cooking class there on Saturday).
I’m sorry I took a little break there. You see, after the election, I tried writing a couple of different posts to put here, but none of them could adequately put into words how I was feeling. And honestly, I don’t want to talk about it anymore. So I’m not. Let’s all be ok with that and move on.
The adventures have continued here. Since I last wrote, we attended the Yi Peng/Loi Krathong Festival, hung out with some elephants, drove up to Mae Ngat Lake where we spent the night at a floating hotel, visited Buatong Waterfall (aka Sticky Waterfall), floated in the Chiang Mai Grand Canyon, attended a cooking class, and of course did this all while continuing to eat and work and host visitors. It has been an overwhelmingly busy couple of weeks, and while I’m not necessarily excited for our visitors to leave (mostly because it seems like they just here) I am looking forward to things quieting down a little bit.
And just in case you think we’ve become boring in our eating, we haven’t. We continue to try all kinds of new dishes. Highlights include a wing bean salad (at our favorite restaurant, which I hope to learn to make this week), whole red snapper salt crusted and grilled, fermented pork in banana leaf, sukiyaki, the famous Chiang Mai sausage, a giant bag of passionfruit, and roti covered in sweetened condensed milk. Some of these things are adventurous, while others have become comforts, while others still have become favorites, dishes that I know I’ll miss when we leave, and that I’ll forever try to perfectly recreate back at home.
I’m sure I will have photos later of our Thanksgiving dinner, but today I just want to share some moments from the last few weeks. And, in a time where there is lots of hurt and negativity, I want to focus on putting positivity and gratitude out into the world. I have lots to be thankful for this year. Next year I get to marry the best human I know. This human and I are on the adventure of a lifetime, something that we are able to do because we have good, steady work. My family became a little more whole this year. I have friends back home who not only are storing my life’s belongings in their crawl spaces and basements, but that support me and love me, and who miss me while I’m gone. I have this space, this little corner of the internet, where I get to write and share and vent and let my voice be heard. I am lucky to be able to stand up and make my voice heard.
I hope that during what can be one of the most stressful times of the year, you can also take a moment to think about the things that you’re grateful for, even though right now it might seem like there’s not a lot. Find the little things, take joy in them. I wish more than anything that I could cook a big warming meal for my family, for my friends, and for anyone who might be reading this. But for now, this post will have to do. Next year, there will be pie.