Friday, 3 December 2010

My first day, and the problems of "rules"

Wat Phra Singh is the most visited temple in Chiang Mai. They have large, lush gardens filled with benches and places to relax, and I found myself sitting and having a long discussion with a Thai University student, visiting the town with her parents. She told me her name meant bird, and we talked about what it was like living in Thailand versus the UK, and she teased me about my rather silly looking sunhat.

Later, I ordered a watermelon juice in the City's Arts and Cultural Centre - the local government runs it as a museum. There's a courtyard filled with fountains where you can take refreshments, while cats wander about your feet.

Remember the eating and drinking rules your doctor tried to drill into you before you came to this side of the world. The ol' "boil it, peel it, cook it, or forget it" :
No fruit you haven't peeled yourself.
No water except bottled or well-boiled.
No ice.
No ice cream.
No salads.
No hope in hell of sticking to the rules.

The watermelon juice was a) delicious, and b) made in a blender from chunks of melon, ice cubes, sugar syrup, and water. The water came from a jug, not the tap, and as this place must see a lot of tourists, I'm assuming the jug was filled with either bottled or boiled water (she said hopefully!). But as they were using the blender to make lots of drinks, the first thing the lady behind the counter did was rinse it out under the tap, so it was still dripping wet when she made my drink.

What can you do? I shrugged and drank it. There's no point worrying about things you can't control, and you could easily make yourself paranoid about the food rules. I plan to enjoy myself here, and that means drinking lots and lots of yummy fruit smoothies.

Wat Phra Singh
 Thailand travel
Chiang Mai wats

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