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Day 10: Stuck in Pai // Holding an Apple

Pai, Thailand


WE'RE STUCK IN PAI. Backpackers come up to this mountain town and never leave. It's limbo; it's Purgatory; it's nomad's land; it's my final destination. If you never hear from me again, I was sucked into the depths of Pai. Goodbye to all.

Yesterday, we tried to book our boat/plane/bus out of here. After much research, we learned the bus was the perfect combination of cheap and fast, taking a mere 22 hours to move from Pai to Luang Prabang, Laos. Easy peezy. We went to one busing company, then back to another, walking between them and our hostel to grab first the best deal, and then our Thai baht to pay, and then a room for the night. Back and forth we went, until it was 8:55 p.m. and the company we were planning on booking with, AYA Service, told us all seats were taken for any bus heading out tomorrow. It was the same with all other forms of transportation departing the town. Oh no.

The other company, Greenbus, closed at 9:00, so we sprinted down the busy main strip, dodging motorbikes and tourists and jewelry stands and judging looks. Covered in sweat from the humid, 85 degree heat, we made it to Greenbus just in time. Only to learn that their seats were sold out as well. Oh no once more.

Pai, again, is a decent place, but we were more than ready to leave. We (slowly) worked our way back to AYA to book a bus for May 29 at 7 a.m. We had to also book another night at Purple Monkey. And then, after our hard work and shattered dreams, we decided we were really, really ready to turn our night around.

So, without the chance of leaving Pai, we just went out instead. Thanks to our positive attitudes (we thought if we're still here, we might as well make the best of it) and slight feelings of recklessness due to our broken hearts, we did in fact end up having a much better time than the day before. No one spilled a drink on my head -- the ultimate sign of a good night.

The Canadians from Chiang Mai met up with us again, and we met a few more Canadians along the way. We're meeting a lot of Canadians here and I cannot exactly tell why, but I can guarantee that I heard a lot of "eh"s and "we're going oot"s. Man, being around them has definitely made my northern accent come out.

After an invigorating game of flip cup -- of which the Americans won, I might add -- and a late-night exploration of a Thai secondary school -- of which the gate was left slightly open and thus just inviting us to come in -- we all enjoyed our escapades.

With the Canadians Once More

The next morning, we decided to hang out with the Canadians one last time before their bus left at 5 p.m. That was their first step on the long departure journey back home to North America. Without motorbikes any longer, Keeva, Roxanne, and I were in need of ways to get around. Three of the four original Canadians (they do have names: Phil, Kyle, and Malcolm) picked us up. One Canadian had mysteriously separated from their group in Pai, but we didn't ask questions. I hope you're okay out there, Deepak. He has probably been sucked into Pai's Burmuda-like Triangle; the gods knew he was about to leave, and he was blocked from departure just like us. 

Anyway, we each hopped on the back of the other three's motorbikes and drove off into the sunset.

Haha just kidding. No sunset here, but we did go with them to the waterfall and Land Split. Really, this time: on the back of their motorbikes, we rode toward our destinations.

It was fun to cliff jump and eat fresh fruit at the Land Split once more. It wasn't as fun when Kyle, my driver, accidentally broke off his brake right before the return journey began. Probably to poke at my mother's worst fear, I still got on the back of this bike, and we rode home. Woo!

We then said goodbye to our new friends and separated to probably never see them again. </3

Well, we might see Malcolm because it turns out he is traveling alone for several more weeks, and at this hostel we have already met three others from our same dorm in Hug Hostel. We also ran into the other Canadians from last night at the waterfall, as well as German Phil, whom we went out with in Chiang Mai, and some girls whom we met on our bus to Pai at the bar last night. With these rates, who knows what other people will turn up again.

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