Well, on the heels of yesterday’s blog, I opted out of the Elephant Park experience today.

I woke up this morning knowing I didn’t want to be part of this anymore.   Six days was enough.

I skipped the 7am breakfast and the 8am task and only came out of my room once everyone else had left.

I honestly just didn’t want to interact with anyone.

I was out.

If you want to leave early you always can as every day they bus in and out groups of day trippers so you can always leave with one of those groups in the afternoon.

I let the coordinators know that that was exactly what I wanted to do so they told be to be ready for 3pm.

I ate lunch sitting at a table by myself and then went to my room killing time waiting for my departure.   I actually skipped the 1pm group photo as I really just wanted nothing more to do with this and just wanted out.

Just before 3:00 I went by the dining hall to say goodbye to a cute dog that would always sit by me when I was eating and then follow me when I got up.

I then walked the long way around to come down the road where all the cats hung out.

And then I waited at the meeting point.

As I waited I looked up as a van was driving out and then I saw it.

Okay… if you’re squeamish, please scroll down past the next couple of paragraphs…

About 20 feet away from me I could see a black cat rolling back and forth on the ground as it looked to be suffering and then it stopped moving.

I went over thinking maybe it was sick and needed some attention and I will be forever haunted by what I saw.

The poor thing lay there, its’ eyes popped out of its’ sockets obviously having been run over.   This was the last image I would see from the Elephant Park as my van pulled up moments later.

Okay, it’s safe to read from here on out…

I was already feeling pretty down with the whole experience but that moment put a huge explanation point onto it.

I boarded the van in a state of shock, very sad at what I had just seen and I had a whole hour ride to keep replaying it in my head.

The great hostel I had stayed at last week and had booked again for my original return tomorrow was booked for tonight so I had to scour the listings looking for a last minute availability this morning.

I ended up at a place that, well, let’s just say I had to keep telling myself it’s only for one night.

It’s got signs all over the place, don’t do this, don’t do that, toilet paper not supplied, preference given to people booking tours, charge for this, charge for that.


Only.   One.   Night.

The idea behind coming back one night early was so that I could go to the Saturday night market and also I would have the day tomorrow to sit back and actually plan what I’d do for the next couple of weeks both here and over in Laos.

So when I got back and settled in, the first thing I did was head out to the night market.

Of course the directions the woman gave me at the front desk were wrong and I ended up asking people on the street.

Those people also led me astray as they pointed me in the direction of some night bazaar outside the main city.

So I walked and walked and walked some more until I finally stopped into a hotel and asked again.

They showed me the right place – all the way back near my hostel.

Son of a bitch.

So I walked some more…

I finally made it to the night market around 6:30pm as the sun was just going down.

This night market wasn’t as good as the Sunday one but it still had alot of great food and that’s what I was really looking for.

I had dish after dish and walked down the street that seemed to never end.   I mean it just kept going and going.

After an hour of walking in the crowds I was getting seriously weak in the knees.   I was exhausted.   It was hot and I had done way too much walking this afternoon.

I stopped at one of the many outdoor massage area setups that are at the night markets here.   For 60 baht ($2) I had a half hour foot massage.

The massage was nice but it wasn’t forceful enough so while I felt better after the half hour I think that was mostly due to me being able to sit on a chair for 30 minutes.

I knew what I had to do.

I got back to the starting point of the market a little while later and headed towards a real massage place.   They know how to work out all the kinks.

I walked over to a place that was advertising a one hour full body Thai massage for 200 baht ($7).

I went inside and proceeded to have the best massage I’ve ever had.   She cracked things in my back and legs and I felt so relaxed afterwards.

By now it was 10pm and the streets were shutting down.   I walked back to my hostel and got ready for bed.

I’ll only be here mere hours as when I wake up tomorrow morning I’m going to head straight over to Aoi Garden Home where I’ll be spending the remainder of my time here in Chiang Mai.

Tomorrow surely will be a brighter day.   Happy to start a new week and just reboot.

Asia Trip 2014, Trip Journal
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