I experienced an entirely new set of impressions today.
I flew out of Delhi on an early morning flight (which I, along with about 15 other passengers, almost missed due to Air Vistara failing to announce the gate change). Descending out of the clouds is an epic moment, when you suddenly notice you’re in an entirely different world. The Himalayas are breathtaking to behold from any angle, but the first impression of their magnitude is from the sky.
I had a much-needed wonderful night’s sleep, which always renews my optimism and confidence. I mainly market-hopped around the city via metro and auto rickshaw (tuk-tuk). Before the market mayhem, I caught a tuk-tuk to India Gate to quickly catch a glimpse and be on my way.
I did not eat pie in Pai, but there were plenty of coffee shops that probably offered a decent pie selection. My impression was that Westerners congregated in this small town to drink coffee, have their hair dreadlocked, and go tubing down the river. I did none of these things.
Andy and his girlfriend, Tukta (and Little Bear, one of their dogs), picked me up from the airport in Chiang Mai after a long series of flights. Excluding the hours spent during layover, I traveled over three hours to Toronto from St. John’s, 15 hours to Taipei, about four hours to Bangkok, and just over an hour from Bangkok to Chiang Mai, arriving in the early evening on Wednesday, May 7th.