AES’EA – Ethics

By this point, we were on a roll with cramming in touristy things at the last minute. Given that we finally made it to the city, we decided to spend our last morning taking a six hour biking tour. The tour (through the company Grasshopper) was a bit light on biking but immensely enjoyable. I felt like we actually saw the city as our tour guides weaved us through back alleys and through crowded marketplaces.

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Fresh squeezed, 100% fruit juice. Delicious, nutritious, less than $1
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The three kings who built a large chunk of Chiang Mai, if memory serves. The one on the right seems displeased by something, but the one on the left is like “bro chill it’s k”
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The pyramids here seem to be much more similar to those found in Central America. This particular one was damaged in an earthquake not too long ago.

The tour even included lunch, eaten in traditional style for Chiang Mai. The dishes are served in small bowls in the center of the table. Each person gets a personal basket of sticky rice, with which they make balls and eat the dishes from the center using the rice as a spoon. It was quite fun, and as is seemingly the case with all non-American eating traditions, it forces you to slow down.

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All of the dishes were made white-person spicy, which was a thoughtful touch if a bit sad in its necessity. Really really tasty though!

We passed a few hours lounging at the hotel, and then our final night of our trip was upon us. For dinner we found a.. wait for it.. all you can eat sushi + Korean BBQ style place for 399 baht a person, about $13. We definitely got our money’s worth there.

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You know what’s even better than unlimited amounts of food? Unlimited amounts of food that is endlessly paraded past your seat. By the time I was done I had a stack of plates a foot tall. 

Now we get to the part of the trip that got a bit dicey. Do know in advance that it all ended well and it’s in the past, so no need to worry; I’m fine. We went out to a bar throwing a superhero-themed party, and over the course of the night I was very nearly sucked into a scam of some kind. I’m not sure what the scam was for, or how much I stood to lose, but suffice to say that I caught on to what was happening just in the nick of time and got out entirely unscathed. The only money I lost was an extra few dollars on a tuk tuk that I didn’t properly negotiate.

Looking back on the night and trying to figure out where the scam began, I’m both angry and sad. There was a long string of social interactions, each (in retrospect) designed to push me towards the next. Was every single person I talked to that night part of the same scam, each promised a cut of whatever they could extract from my wallet? Was not a single interaction I had genuine? I’m honestly not sure. The most telling factor was when people were fully avoiding questions. I really dislike the “if it feels off there’s something wrong” rule of thumb, because sometimes people are just awkward and I (as one of those people) feel bad for thinking less of people because of it. Still, it seems that sometimes being willing to go with the flow comes back to bite you.

I made it home safely and collapsed into bed. Tomorrow, back home.

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