My last night in Pai, a Japanese artist called Harajuku Matisse made me beautiful.
I slept in a bamboo hut under a functional mosquito net, and awoke early for the rollercoaster of a bus ride back to Chiang Mai where I bid farewell to miss Elle, who stayed in Chiang Mai before a different adventure. It was a long weekend of travel, and I took a few seconds of video as my train approached Bangkok in the morning.
Hualamphang station greeted me, and didn't feel quite as underdressed as before. I'm comfortable in my dirty backpacker uniform.
The second-class night trains are like the one in Some Like it Hot with curtains and ladders. This train was not as luxurious as the one I took up to Chiang Mai, but I think that next time I'm going all out and bringing a maribou-trimmed dressing gown just like Marilyn.
When I arrived in Ban Phe I was tired and dirty and the skies were grey and melancholy. In the morning, my other travel companion Jamie left for a teaching job a few hours away. The cast of characters here is different, and the settings are a little different. Today I explored some of the places I had never been before (a park, the Rayong aquarium) and some that I had missed (I had some quality time with the ocean and ate street food for dinner at the evening market) and I think this place will be home, at least for awhile.