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Sunday, November 26, 2006

Chiang Mai: A bit on the grubby side

I just noticed the other day that this is a grubby little city. With wats at every turn, restaurants and bars and shops, street markets and signs in Thai script, food vendors and tuktuks, I really never noticed it before. It's not bad in the sense that, say, downtown San Jose, Costa Rica is bad. There are covers on all the utility access points, the sidewalks are relatively intact, there is really very little litter except in vacant lots. There are street cleaners with long-handled rectangular dustpans everywhere. Still, it's grubby.

When I walked down to the western moat, I could see white apartment buildings across the moat and behind a wall. I wonder what it is like there. Are there areas of this town that look modern and well kept and that look as if they could be almost anywhere? One of these days I'll walk over and see.

In the meantime, I don't care if it is a bit grubby. It's an interesting town with an excellent book supply, wonderful food, low prices, pleasant people, hot days, and comfortable nights. It even has cheap internet and free wi-fi. And it took me nearly a month to even notice. It's a good place to pass a month or two or three.

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