Saturday, January 19, 2013

Chiang Mai, Thailand Part 2

The day had finally arrived for Daddy's 10km race. We were all up early at 5am and when Daddy went for his warm up, I got the girls ready. They were all very cooperative despite the waking up in the wee hours. We put on our jackets, head lights and armed with our cheerleading pom-poms and star baton, we were ready to stun the crowd. And boy, we really did stun the crowd. We stood out, not only in the dark, but also in the very very thin crowd. Forget about barricades and a huge mass of cheering crowd because there was none. Besides the participants, there were a few, a few supporters. The rest were crowd control officers and photographers. As we walked, people were amused by us. Everyone, including the policemen, thought we were Japanese and started greeting us in Japanese. I responded with gentle bows and smiles. Photographers started snapping away at the two cute cheerleaders and it was starting to get fun. 

When  the race started, I started cheering but I was the only one. It did not take me very long before I decided to stop. No one was cheering and soon, the excitement wore out. While waiting for Daddy at the finishing line, the cheerleaders had some snacks and as Daddy was only running a 10km race, we were on standby 30 minutes after the race started. The full marathon runners who started a few hours earlier were coming in so no harm cheering for them too. I was intrigued by the fact that there were so many spectators standing just a stone throw away, in front of the finishing line. From the races which we had previously cheered in, spectators were usually by the side. Well, I suppose the up close and personal touch adds to the local atmosphere. By the way, Daddy came in second for his category and his cheerleaders went up to collect the trophy with him, with beaming smiles on their small faces.

After a good shower and afternoon rest, we headed early to the Sunday Walking Street which was just within Thapae Gate. We were so glad that we were early. We got there around 430pm and stalls were already setting up. Streets were rather empty and we were able to do our shopping in peace. Boy, the whole walking street is long...with many turns to small alleys. We were not able to finish the whole area. 

Drink, eat, shop...

We had to try some fried insects!

Rest for tired legs and refuel with a strawberry smoothie.
Refreshing massage (kids get to try too) and herbal juice
At night the crowd begins to build up.

Night snack: the best barbecued mushrooms I have ever tasted.

By the time we returned back to our starting point, 4 good hours had past. Next time, we would be sure to cover more. On the way back to the hotel, we stopped by a street cart selling on-the-spot prepared Mexican food, and brought chicken quesadillas back to the room to end the day. It turned out to be quite a hit.

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