In this episode: Dodging mopeds and visiting temples (and a mall or two) in a remote part of Thailand (Recorded 8/18/2023 in Chiang Mai, Thailand)
Many years ago we traveled to England, Scotland and Amsterdam with our two daughters, then 9 & 14. We spent one night in a family's home that was a "castle stay" near Leeds. It was a wonderful visit, complete with a climb up to "the tower" from which we could see for miles. The pinnacle, however, was being awakened in the middle of the night during a huge rainstorm. As a side gig, the delightful couple raised pheasants and when it was cold and rainy, the babies would huddle together for warmth, often smothering each other. "Would you be willing to come out and help us separate the babies and keep them safe?" was the plea. You BET we would. We all hopped out of bed, headed for the barns, and spent the next several hours wrangling baby pheasants in all their adorability. We were treated to an extra special breakfast the next morning by our grateful hosts, but in truth, we should have cooked for them, as this moment elevated our trip from just a sightseeing tour to a lifetime memory. p.s. When our hosts cooked us a special meal, our place settings were enhanced by beautiful and tiny silver animals that were used to designate your place. We loved them and asked where they were from. We spent the rest of our time in England searching for and purchasing one for each of us -- including a pheasant. We now have one for every member of our 3 generation family and are a treasured family tradition at holidays and special events.
I’ve stayed in the usual places - hotels, castle hotels, B&B’s, Inns, Resorts, etc. One time in Ireland where we were staying at a B&B while visiting our parish priest from NJ. I somehow, broke this very cheap plastic toilet seat. I embarrassingly apologized profusely to the owner and offered to pay for it. He gave me a look and then said no because I was friends with “the priest” who was treated like a local celebrity. The priest and my family were good friends and he teased me unmercifully about this forever!
Well, it wasn't a surprise hotel but a surprise location. Looked great on paper for a month's solo stay in Melbourne AU. Flat had a nice interior, security buliding, close to tram, parks, So Melb markets ... BUT turns out it was surrounded on 3 sides by very active brothels (which are legal).
Once again, feel free to call if you need anything. After 18 years in CNX, I know a few things.
When you were in Chiangmai, did you happen to run across the New Life Center? A couple who were friends of mine were missionaries in Chiangmai made it their life’s work to develop the New Life Center for girls who were sold into prostitution and teach them a skill so they can learn to support themselves. Fathers, uncles, brothers would sell their children, cousins, sisters into prostitution so they could buy opium. They were amazing people. Paul Lewis helped the hill tribe people create a written language and then used it to translate the Bible. They have long since retired and are no longer living. I am hoping the work they did there is still continuing. Their names were Paul and Elaine Lewis. Amazing people.
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