Day 18: Can’t Cook, Won’t Cook

Waking up from a very hot nights sleep, first thing on the agenda, shower, so we could rid our bodies of the sweaty messes, we had both become. Given the fact, the hostel wasn’t what we expected to begin with (but, at two pounds a night, what do you expect), the next bit of bad news, there wasn’t a breakfast option. With that, we went for a walk, until we found a lovely little place, that sold breakfast, and we ate there.

During breakfast, we looked at the map, and, decided to catch a ride to Doi Suthep. We located a red truck outside of our hostel, however, he wasn’t able to take us all the way to the temple. We were told, in order to make it there, we would have to catch another truck, which he would drive us to. He did as promised, but, when we got to this second truck, we couldn’t go, until ten people showed up. We didn’t have to wait, as it would have taken too long, luckily, there was another couple waiting to go. With there being four people, they considered that enough, however, instead of it costing fifty baht each, it cost one hundred and fifty, it didn’t matter, as, what’s three quid!

Doi Suthep, is a beautiful temple at the top of a mountain, because of it’s location, it boasts a stunning view of Chiang Mai. Legend has it, the location of the temple, was chosen by a monk, riding an elephant. The elephant, upon reaching the top of the mountain, walked in a circle three times, to which, the monk, deemed the land sacred.

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As you can see from the pictures, like usual, the temple contained plenty of golden items, Buddha statues, monuments, probably, golden toilets if the monks had their way. The view, was somewhat restricted, due to the weather being slightly overcast. After we had witnessed everything there was to be seen, we made our way back down the steep steps, to return to our driver. We had to wait a few minutes for the other couple, as soon as they were back, we returned to the old city of Chiang Mai, unfortunately, it was during rush hour, and, we had a cooking class to attend in an hours time.

We pulled up where we left off, and, with a bit of extra cash, Sarah and I, convinced the driver to take us to our hostel. When we arrived, we didn’t have long to freshen up, before our chefs would come to collect us. They arrived on time, however, both ladies, arrived via scooter. This came as a surprise to both Sarah and I, as, up until now, we had been collected by either tuktuk, taxi, or truck, so, we hopped on the back of each bike, and, nervously, held on tight. The cooking class we attended was named Baan Thai, and was just a stones throw from our hostel. After arriving, we were told to kneel around a table, while the two ladies, went off to collect the other students.

Ten minutes later, everyone had arrived, we met about eleven new people during the evenings activities. Our teachers, introduced themselves, the first lady was very slim, and quite short, her name was Apple. The second lady, was a little bit larger than the first, and, was wearing a hilarious t shirt, her name was Gay. Obviously, their names were ones they had chosen themselves, to make it easier for foreigners to say. The ladies, had laid all of the equipment on the tables, ready for later. Before we were allowed to cook, we were taken to the local market stalls, to learn about the ingredients we’d be using,

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Back at the cookery school, we were each given a list of meals to choose from. On the piece of paper, we had to tick which ones we wanted to cook, this meant the group would be divided into two rooms each time, depending on what they’d be cooking. The plates I chose to cook were, fried noodle Thai style, fried fish cake, chicken in coconut milk, and, Chiang Mai noodle with chicken. Each lesson was funnier than the last, especially when James and I were in a class together. After each meal was cooked, we were allowed to eat them at the table, Sarah and I, took it in turns to eat each others dishes (hers were better than mine, but, don’t tell her that).

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During this time, we spoke with the other people, we met one couple, named Martin, and Sam. They were both from Manchester, and were only travelling for a little while. We met a girl named Tracie, who was from Canada, and, another girl named Hannah, from the USA. There were a few others, but, they were in the other room, which meant we didn’t get to converse with them for that long. Every time we cooked, I was constantly asked, if I wanted more sexy in my food, at first, I thought they were complementing me, turns out sexy, meant spicy. So, whenever Apple came close with a spoonful of spice, I held my wok out of her reach.

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In a little room next to the kitchen, there was a group of Thai people celebrating. They invited us over occasionally, to try this shot they were drinking. It was lovely, as, there wasn’t much alcohol in it, it also contained salt, and lemonade. The way you drank it, involved you placing your hand over the top of the shot glass, banging it down on the table, followed by shoving it down your face before it erupted, like a mini alcoholic volcano. When we were done cooking, we joined them for some drinks, and snacks. One of the snacks they were consuming was flying ants. I let curiosity get the better of me, again, and tried one. It was very squishy, and the flavour resembled that of raisins. By the time we finished drinking with those guys, we invited everyone out to drink, to which most people obliged.

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Everyone from the cooking class, bar about three others, walked down the road, to the nearest bar. It was here that we all ordered a bucket of alcohol, that could be shared between four people, also, this way it reduced the overall price of the evening. We were all becoming slightly intoxicated, when out of the blue, our cooking instructors arrived, who we invited earlier that night. We were unsure that they would show up, but thank goodness they did, because, the night soon picked up after their arrival.

We stayed at the first bar for a few hours, playing a drinking game, courtesy of Apple, before deciding to move on. Now, I don’t know how drunk Apple, and Gay were, but, they both disappeared for a few minutes, telling us they were going to fetch their scooters. During this time, Sarah and I, met a German guy named Max, he was huge, he clearly worked out back home, had short brown hair, and, a large chiseled jaw. Sarah and I, attempted to speak German to him, however, Max was more impressed with my bilingual skills.

Apple and Gay, both appeared at the same time on their scooters, and, asked us to get on. At first, Sarah and I, thought they were joking, they weren’t. We learned this, after witnessing Sam and Martin climb aboard Gay’s scooter, so, being slightly tipsy, Sarah and I, climbed on the back of Apple’s bike (sorry mum). Three people on a scooter was a crazy idea, but when in Rome… or Thailand. Luckily, the next bar was only around the corner, meaning we didn’t have far to go. That didn’t stop Apple from winding Sarah up though, she would occasionally raise one hand from the handles, causing Sarah to scream.

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This was Apple, who was more than generous with her drinks

To calm down our parents, after that last paragraph, we weren’t going fast, so there was never any fear of anything bad happening.

The last bar we went to, was filled with local people, and had live music. The bands were playing covers of well known artists, such as, Nirvana and Foo Fighters. The vibe of the place was very chilled, so, with good music, and a belly full of alcohol, it made for a good night. Not long after arriving, Apple, and Gay, brought over more alcohol, and two plates of chips. Sarah and I, felt bad about taking these gifts, as we were unsure of how much they earned, and would have hated to do them out of pocket, when we had money of our own to buy such things.

The ladies were very kind, offering us seats to sit on, even if it meant they had to stand. They were always trying to make us feel comfortable, which was extremely nice of them. By the end of the night everyone was quite drunk, and, before we left, Apple and Gay, told us they had to be up at eight a.m. to teach more cooking. Let’s just say, I wasn’t envious of them the next day. Conveniently our hostel was across the street from the bar, so, Sarah and I, grabbed a bottle of water at the nearest seven eleven, before heading in. Back at our room, we discovered, the other set of beds had two girls occupying them. Drunkenly, we tried our best to be silent, to prevent waking them, then, proceeded to pass out in our little sauna room.

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