Today I went into Chiang Mai with three goals. The first goal was to get a cord that would work with my laptop (so far unsuccessful). The second goal was to get a haircut (which I got, with a head and neck massage, much appreciated, included). The third goal was to try out the Subway in my usual mall, to see if it compared with the Subways in the States (it did, and at very reasonable prices).
I have to say, therefore, that the day was mostly a success in that regard. Even though it was a cool and cloudy day, it was still lovely enough to walk along the north side of the moat in Chiang Mai to the mall, and spend a little bit of time reading  as well. Since I thought it best to avoid watching the latest Twilight movie (which is a huge phenomenon even in Thailand–it was showing, all in Thai from what I could tell, in almost all of the screens at the mall’s movie theater), I was able to relax without pressure about catching the sungtow back home before 6PM.
At any rate, in wandering around the mall looking for the Subway, I found out that my favorite mall has a really beautiful open air courtyard near the food court (where the Subway is located) and that the food court also has an inexpensive Indian fusion restaurant and a buffet (two more restaurants to add to the list of ones I need to try at some point). And they also have a steakhouse, which is probably tasty but expensive, so I will hold off on trying that one. It was nice to see a different part of the mall than I usually do, even if many stores were closed because the King’s birthday is tomorrow (more on that tomorrow).
After going to the mall I took the long hike back to the area past the local bus station of sorts (where the yellow sungtows gather, not the main bus station where I take the bus for Khun Yuam or Mae Sai), and got on the most crowded sungtow I have ever seen. At least twenty people were crowded into a pickup-truck taxi (which is what sugntows are). Six of us, myself included, were hanging off of the back holding on to ladders and other metal parts of the sungtow’s top. Inside were quite a few pregnant and nursing mothers, which struck me as a bit puzzling. It was fortunate that the day was nice and cool, as it was a pleasant breeze hanging on to the back of the sungtow, even if it made my hands a little numb by the end of the ride. But I suppose the rule that is true about Volkswagons and Florida Senate races is also true about sungtows: there’s always room for one more.