August 29, 1988
Well, I finally made it back to Thailand. To be honest, it was really hard to leave Los Angeles because I enjoyed being back at home so much. After working so hard in Japan, it was a relief to spend a lazy summer swimming in the backyard, hanging out at the beach, and visiting friends and family.
I first flew to Taipei, Taiwan, which I loved. Taipei itself is a strange mix of the old and the new, the ultra-modern and the very traditional. Fantastic shopping centers mixed with old Chinese herbal medicine stores, hospitals mixed with acupuncture clinics. I liked the people the most because they were so unbelievably friendly.
After Taiwan I flew to Bangkok, where I spent four days. Bangkok is a truly chaotic place with too much heat, traffic, and pollution. Four days was enough!
Chiangmai, in contrast, is completely different. It's a large town in a valley surrounded by mountains with a lot of greenery, flowers, and beautiful ancient Thai temples, or wats as they are called in Thai. The people are friendly so I make new friends every day.
When I first arrived I stayed at a hotel called the Holiday Lodge for about $12 a day. It was quite nice with a beautiful garden and a swimming pool. Last week, however, I moved to a nice apartment for about $100 a month. I have one large room with two desks, a closet, a queen size bed, fridge, bathroom with a shower, and a balcony facing a large courtyard. There is also a 24-hour security guard.
I've started teaching about two hours a day each evening at a language school near my apartment. I'm also studying Thai and learning how to play golf. I have a golf pro teaching me to hit right handed and I'm doing okay! I'm also playing tennis a lot here because it's so cheap. I take a ninety minute private lesson on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and also practice with northern Thailand's number one ranked player.
The weather is much nicer than I expected. It's the end of the wet season now and it rains about an hour each day, usually in the evening. It's not that hot and sometimes it's even a little cool. The best weather is supposed to be November through February when days are pleasantly warm and the nights are cool enough to need a sweater or light jacket.
I want to thank you for putting up with me in Los Angeles.