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Night Market
By Adam Corney
15 February 2011

Location: Chiang Mai
Soundtrack: Ke$ha (don’t ask)

After travelling for the better part of the day, I found myself in Chiang Mai at my hotel, the Centara Duangtawan, at sunset.
And even though I was finally here, finally at my destination, it didn’t feel like I was in Thailand. It felt like I was still trying to arrive.
I showered the travel grime off, and went to find some food at the night market. I talk about it in my first video blog: Chiang Mai Night Market, Food Avenue.
Summary: I love the night market.

I love the smells, I love the hanging lights, I love the sweaty heat, I love the plastic chairs and tables with their plastic table cloths. I love the chilled beer glasses with the ice cubes, and the large bottles of Chang that seem to magically get replaced just as you finish.  I love that no one drinks Singha, only Chang – it’s like VB versus XXXX.  I love wandering the markets.

And I especially love the food.

For somewhere rather remote and nowhere near an ocean, the Night Markets are well stocked every day with fresh seafood. My first plate upon arrival was a steamed crab, all to myself. I ate slowly, taking in the scenery and just marvelling at the experience of travel. Half of me knew I was here, but another half was struggling.

But then I got to talking with a neighbour at the next table. Intelligent and friendly, our conversation reminded me of why I was here: adventure.
And suddenly it clicked: I was in Thailand. I was drinking Chang. A tuk tuk just swerved through the market. The croaking wooden frog ladies were standing right there.

I was back.

If you go looking for Adventure, you usually find as much of it as you can manage.  And it often happens that when you think it is ahead, it comes on you unexpectedly from behind.
- Gildor the Elf , J.R.R. Tolkien, early draft of The Lord of the Rings.

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