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Dave Sperling | all galleries >> Letters from Thailand > December, 26,1988
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December, 26,1988

December, 26,1988

December, 26,1988
Chiangmai, Thailand

Dear Mom,

I was really happy to talk to you on the phone today. I had just woken up, so I was a little out of it! I'm in a writing mood these days. The post office gets really crowded, so now I mail my letters at the Sheraton Hotel. Much easier!

Not much of a Christmas feeling here in Chiangmai, but there are some decorations and holiday music in the stores. There are also a lot of churches, which is surprising for a buddhist country. On December 24th I visited a leprosy rehabilitation institute location along the Ping River just outside of Chiangmai. Students from Payap University put on a Christmas program complete with a choir, Thai dancing, a biblical play, and even a Santa for the kids! Lots of fun, and the people loved it.

I'm moved in and settled in my new house, which has a lot of space and privacy. I've adopted a little Siamese puppy named Booty. She peed on my bed last night!

I have been thinking hard about doing business here with Thailand, Japan, and the US, but it's too hard and frustrating. Something will come, but I think I'll forget about it for a while ... until after the New Year's anyway.
Thailand produces some beautiful things: woodcarvings, lacquer, paintings, furniture, silver. Exporting, however, isn't very easy and it's already being done by a lot of people.

It's quite cool in the morning, so I usually ride my motorcycle on small country roads outside of Chiangmai at around 9 AM. It's warm in the afternoon, but it's cool again in the evening, and it's pleasant to eat outside in one of Chiangmai's garden restaurants.

Chiangmai is quickly growing and developing into a city. Bangkok, the capital and largest city in Thailand, is a big and sprawling metropolis with millions of people. Chiangmai, in contrast, seems more like a big town, with mountains, trees, parks, and so many buddhist temples. The center of the city, though, can get quite congested with cars, bicycles, motorcycles, and 3-wheeled taxis called tuk tuks. Twenty minutes away, however, one cane be in the countryside picnicking at a waterfall, climbing mountain roads, or watching farmers grow rice.

December 28, 1988

I bought a motorcycle a little while ago, which is more economical than renting because I can sell it when I leave Thailand. It's a Honda Wing 125. It's a small engine, but a more powerful one is not practical in Thailand because they are difficult and expensive to repair. It's enough power, though, as I can cruise at 110 kilometers per hour.

I've been slowly breaking in the bike, and every day I take small trips around the Chiangmai area. Today I went about fifteen miles to Lamphun, a very pretty town with many temples, a river, and lots of trees and flowers. I then took a dirt road for fifteen kilometers to a town called Pasang, which is the cotton weaving center of northern Thailand. Lots and lots of beautiful things! I bought an amazing hand-woven bed cover for about $25 ... you wouldn't believe it! It would have cost a fortune in the States.

When I returned to Chiangmai I had done five hundred kilometers on my bike, so today I had its oil changed. I then went over to Chiangmai University, which has a large attractive campus. I was exhausted when I got home, so I napped for a few hours.

Not much else happening. New Year's is in a few days, but I don't have any plans.

Write! So far no one has written me at my new house ... every day my mailbox is empty. I'll write again after the New YEar.

Love,

David


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