Don't Judge Until You Walk a Mile in Your Bartender's Shoe's


My second week of massage school is over. I learned about sen sib, the energy pathways in the body that often get blocked, and how to access them by digging my elbow into someone's back and stepping on their hamstrings with my feet (I promise it feels good!). I also gave my first 1.5 and 2 hour massages. It was very physically demanding but rewarding to accomplish.

After the long week, I decided to join of few of my classmates at the Chiang Mai Saloon. This place is like a little slice of Uh-merica...straight out of Texas to be precise.
I found the baskets of condiments and beer coozies charming
I liked that there was a bottomless popcorn machine
I didn't even mind that the loaded potato skins had mozzarella cheese instead of colby jack, fried onions instead of chives and was not actually a carved out potato skin but a full half of a tiny potato.
I was just happy not to be eating noodles and hang out with some people from school.

After our night in "Texas," we decided to migrate to "Jamaica" at the Rooftop Bar. It's a reggae spot on a rooftop across the street from Tapae Gate. The atmosphere is chill. So chill in fact that they ask you to take off your shoes before entering the roof. This is Asia so I'm certainly not unaccustomed to taking off my shoes before I enter someplace. In fact, majority of the day I'm barefoot here. But a little voice in my head thought that maybe in the middle of a touristy area of Chiang Mai my sparkly flipflops weren't safe. I listened to my instincts...then ignored them.
The bar was pretty cool but the drinks were a bit overpriced. I paid $2.27 for my gin and tonic (highway robbery). I still enjoyed hanging out on the roof with friends and breathing in the cool night air, but eventually the music shifted from reggae to drone-y house and a bunch of us had plans to go trekking in the morning so we decided to go.
When I walked down from the roof to where all the shoes were stored, my flipflops were no where to be found. I'm willing to try a lot of new things this year but walking barefoot in Chiang Mai isn't one of them, so I went back to the roof and told the bartender that someone stole my sandals. She looked at me blankly then said, "Sorry, no shoes," as if I was ordering a pair of shoes with my next beverage. I asked her if the bar had any extra shoes lying around because clearly this couldn't have been an isolated occurence, but she just stared at me with a mixture of annoyance and apathy. Her boss (at least I'm assuming it was her boss) said something to her in Thai and before I knew it, the bartender handed me her sandals and said, "take these."
I was not really okay with this. 1.) I didn't want to literally take the sandals straight from her feet to accomodate my inconvenience 2.) these sandals were kind of gross. But 3.) I also didn't want to be barefoot on the streets of Chiang Mai, so I took her sandals anyway.

The longer I stood in someone else's dirty flipflops, the skeevier I began feeling. Visions of athlete's foot, leprosy and ebola overtaking the space between my first two toes became too much to bear, so I asked my friend Lauren to walk with me to the night bazarre which was close by and definitely had new and possibly clean sandals to buy. I had taken a mini motorcycle tour of Chiang Mai the night before with my new pal Andy, a Muay Thai fighting Swedish sailor that I met over a plate of rice in my neighborhood, so I felt pretty confident navigating the short distance to the bazaar.
Sadly, my navigation skills are still being honed, and I led Lauren and myself into a dark part of the main street that was full of hookers. They seemed like nice enough people but I didn't want to be around them, so we backtracked, walked through a better-lit hooker street and found the bazarre. I was able to haggle myself a decent pair of pink flipflops and promptly ditched the gross ones in a pile of trash on the side of the road.

Overall the night was pretty fun. And I did get to see a table of hookers chowing down on a bag of larvae so you know, I guess I can cross that off my bucket list of life.
Tomorrow, trekking! W00t!