Thailand – December 3, part 2

About the place I’m staying, in Chiang Mai – Tonnam Homestay: Yul, the Thai owner and manager, picked me up yesterday at the airport. When I arrived, I met his French wife, Cecile. We talked about babies, children and families, and the losses we’ve experienced. We talked about her surprise pregnancy, and as I offered my congratulations, I also offered to practice prenatal yoga with her. The baby is due in June. She is hoping for a boy, and wanting to practice yoga if her nausea subsides before I leave here Saturday. My room here is huge and quiet. I’ve already fallen asleep in the hammock out on the deck. I have yet to lock the door to my room.

Pom runs the kitchen (covered space, no walls) with great skill, a lovely smile and a quick laugh. I think everyone who stays here falls a little bit in love with her. The place was full (8 rooms) last night, but down to 3 rooms full tonight. Two fabulous and funny French women from Bordeaux are tearfully leaving tomorrow. I arrived with a German father and son, and they are leaving the day after. We all cooked dinner together tonight with Pom. Get this menu:

– Fried egg rolls, sliced and served wrapped in lettuce leaves with fresh herbs and sauce
– fresh water fish stuffed with herbs and grilled. Also served wrapped in lettuce leaves with fresh herbs and sauce
– soup with mushrooms and shrimp
– cashew chicken
– Garlic spinach
– banana chunks cooked in coconut milk

Talked to Yul for a while tonight after dinner. He is justifiably proud of his “spot on the river”. Quite accomplished, he has taught English and French, taught riding (horses), and was a tour guide here in Thailand. He is taking me to a Hmong village tomorrow. He collects cars, among other hobbies, so tomorrow we’re taking the open jeep.

Practicing yoga daily on a teak deck overlooking the river, joined today by a beautiful Thai woman who was recently studying in Stanford. She is here with her Italian boyfriend who is studying Thai yoga massage.