Downtown Chiang Rai (in pics)

I remember the first time I was turned on by poetry. I was in high school Freshman or Sophomore English, and the poem was Carl Sandburg’s Chicago. Generally speaking, I was greatly turned on by the poetry we were reading, but Sandburg’s Chicago was different, gritty, and decidedly real. It wasn’t about love, or love lost, or nature or some abstract feeling. It was a dirty workman’s boot stomping in front of your face and I loved it.

Now I realize Chiang Rai, Thailand is so far removed from Chicago, Illinois, and it isn’t even a similar kind of city, but the buildings that I have been photographing in downtown Chiang Rai have a quality that reminds me of Sandburg’s poem.


At one of the “fresh” market’s entrances, Trairat Rd.

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When I was 12…


When I was 12, I lived in a townhouse on Anania Circle in the town of Mililani, situated in the center of the island of Oahu.  Our neighbor was a grumpy old man who would bang his fists against the wall whenever I practiced the piano. Soon we figured out that I could not, should not play during the evening news.

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What’s your comfort food?

In our old kitchen in Lamphun, Thailand, 2007

In our old kitchen in Lamphun, Thailand, 2007

The problem is my mom is an amazing cook so I have fond and savory memories of her cooking. I can think of many comforting Thai dishes she made that taste like home: Stuffed Bitter Melon Soup, Pork Knuckles in Sweet Dark Soy Sauce and a very simple Chicken Rice Soup that she made whenever we were sick.

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What’s on your desk? (and death to adverbs)

This idea originated from reading an excerpt from Louise Bogan’s autobiography called Journey Around My Room. I had written this post earlier in the month, but with today’s #writing101 challenge (death to adverbs), I thought I’d peruse this piece for those pesky -ly words, and see how I did. Two. I eliminated two. And since I got rid of them, I had to be a little more verbose. Overall though, I think adverbs are alright, just use sparingly…


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Expats in Thailand (a character or two)


Looks like paradise…

He’s a big talker. Several people have described him as talkative. He’s new to Thailand, but not to Asia, so he knows it all. A giant by Thailand standards, with an ample girth reinforced by his favorite fanny pack, waistpack, or bum bag, he likes to know everyone’s business. And he used to be my neighbor, until I moved.

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12 things I’ve learned about Chiang Rai (List #2)

Have you missed list #1? Go here. Otherwise, read on…


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Just a view: Jet Yod Road Chiang Rai


Just another bar on Jet Yod Road…

Sitting next to someone’s empty Leo beer bottle, I uncomfortably rest on a tree trunk stool outside a closed Rasta bar on the seediest street in Chiang Rai. When I hear my geezer neighbors talk about how much they pay for women, I know they come to this street. Old white men roost themselves in bars in the rising heat of the day; smoking, coughing, you know that gurgly cough and looking lonely. A tattoo needle is buzzing. That Thai guy strums some tunes on his guitar.

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