A spontaneous outing as a break one day, turned into a couple of fun experiences with some new friends, even though his week, I spent most of my time writing, working on my book. It was a productive, good week and fun too.
I met Michelle and Cherry in the shuttle from our hotel, on the way to Tha Phae gate - city center of Chiang Mai. Michelle is wearing the Garfield t-shirt in the photo above, and the hip red sneakers you cannot see. Cherry is in the long skirt - photo on the steps.
These two Chinese school mates, who had known each other for 20 years, were on holiday in Thailand. Cherry is a 28 year old mother of an adorable little boy, who I met via Skype. Michelle is the same age and a single career woman. I simply asked a question in the shuttle, and more friendships were formed.
They invited me to join them for lunch. Michelle knew her way around, as she'd been to Chiang Mai a number of times. I was happy to tag along and have some company. It was my first time to walk around the main part of the city.
I had no agenda other than wanting to buy a pair or two of elephant pants. They are so light, cool and comfy. They are what I wear every day now.
We had a delicious lunch in a small, local place and then they planned to visit Nimmanhaemin Road, a trendy and fun area about 20 minutes ride by Songthaew open air vehicle. They invited me to go with them, and I did.
We walked up and down the streets, filled with coffee shops, restaurants, massage spas, a cute library with the white cat in the photo above and boutique type shops - a very nice and fun area to see.
It was quite warm, and when we spotted a coconut ice cream shop, we decided to check it out. They had handmade ice cream made from coconut and soy milk, so I joined in the fun of the treat. Michelle had a shake, Cherry had coconut milk in a coconut, and I had ice cream in a dish.
The shop overlooked the street, and was great for people watching. While we were eating our treats, Michelle took out her cell phone and put on what she told me was one of her favorite songs.
I was curious what it would be.
I nearly fell off the stool I was sitting on, when the song was the old Doris Day song, Whatever Will Be, Will Be - que sera, sera.
Not only did she put on the song, she started singing along and knew all the words. She was thoroughly enjoying the song and really into the simple, but meaningful words. I joined in for fun, and surprisingly I recalled all the words too.
The two of us sang that old song quite joyfully together - Que sera, sera, What Will Be, Will Be:) I wish I had this on video, as Michelle and I sang the entire first verse and then some.
It left an impression that I doubt I will ever forget. It was special and so unexpected that a young Chinese woman and an American Grammy would be happily swaying and singing out loud, this Doris Day song in a Thailand coconut ice cream shop - Wow! My heart was full, and I felt an abundance of joy and gratitude for the moment.
The next morning, I joined Michelle and Cherry for the ride up the Doi Suthep mountain to see the Wat Phra That (often referred to as the Doi Suthep Temple).
It was a beautiful day and a spectacular temple, with golden peaks and shrines and jade buddhas, a huge metal gong and elephants and flora and huge bells on top of the mountain. The 309 steps to the top were filled with devotees and tourists. The view of the city below was breathtaking, until it became blanketed with fog.
Sharing the experience with two Chinese women was great, as they knew their way around Buddhist temples and how to properly give offerings of flowers and candles and when to bow as a sign of respect and humility.
They led me in the ritual of walking around the largest of the shrine areas three times while mentally conversing with Buddha, asking for whatever you desired to know or have. Hundreds of people walked around the shrine, one after the other, deep in prayerful meditation.
I repeated my mantra and expressed gratitude for my many blessings. It was a very peaceful and calming place, even with all the people.
Lunch at a little place at the base of the temple, where there were many shops and local eateries, provided yet another new experience. We ate in what appeared to be a backyard area, with plastic covered tables and chairs with umbrellas. This was a simple eatery.
As we waited for our food to be brought to us, roosters started appearing and 5 or 6 or them ran around, and then a couple of ducks showed up and a couple of dogs. It was quite a scene.
All I could think of was Que sera sera, What Will Be, Will Be :)
May you have many experiences that bring you an abundance of joy!
Sending You Love from Chiangmai, Thailand.
Thank you for taking this journey with me!
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