Believe it or not your letter just arrived yesterday, taking several weeks to reach my humble adobe in Thailand. As you can tell from this letter I'm still in Chiangmai enjoying my life of leisure and early retirement. Here is an example of my typical day:
I wake up around nine or ten in the morning to the sounds of birds singings, roosters crowing, and a vibrant blue sky. I take a shower, listen to music (cassette tapes are only 80 cents here!), and drink my morning coffee. Sometimes I take a morning walk or have breakfast out in a restaurant (eggs toast, bacon, and coffee for less than 80 cents!). Afternoons are spent reading, playing, tennis, shopping, picnicking at various waterfalls around Chiangmai, and getting an hour and a half massage for $4. I'm getting bored, though, and feel that I'm too young to retire! At the end of February I might go to Tokyo to teach English and make some money again.
Did I tell you that Dao and I were attacked by an elephant? We were riding on a dirt trail along the Burmese border when suddenly there were two elephants in the middle of the road. I stopped the bike, walked right up to them, and started taking photos (one was quite friendly!). The start of the engine, however, scared the crap out of them and they screamed (you can't imagine what this sounds like in the middle of nowhere). One of them jumped up and started chasing us. I was petrified! I just moved that bike as fast as I could. Afterwards my heart beating out of its chest and my hands were trembling.
The day after tomorrow I will fly to Sydney, Australia to meet my father, and we'll travel around together for about a month.
I've been going through a lot emotionally with many ups and downs. It's been a sudden and dramatic change in my lifestyle - from a settled businessman in Japan to the unsettled and unemployed vagabond in Thailand. Sometimes I feel that my new found freedom is wonderful because I'm experiencing things now that I never thought possible. Other times, though, I get very depressed and want my old life back.
I just finished eating lunch .... Dao is a really good cook. I just bought an electric pan for cooking and we've been eating at home these past couple of days.
Yesterday I woke up feeling terrible and hurt all over. I went for a ninety minute massage, but that didn't help. In the afternoon I had a fever and slept, and felt well again when I awoke. So now I'm feeling good again and am excited about heading off to Australia and New Zealand.
Take care of yourself ... and write!