Saturday, December 5

Mai Pen Lai

Things just seem to work out in Thailand. Throughout my time spent here over the years I'm continually impressed with the power of this fundamental guiding principle, frequently expressed in local tongue as 'mai pen rai' (or lai up here in the north- meaning loosely, 'it's all good'). Whether it be horrible traffic jams, corrupt government officials, a nationally imposed ban on drinking or an oversold bus ride.. things will work out and the stress level will be kept to a minimal. (these specific cases are solved by simply driving on the sidewalk or in the opposite lane, the cycle of uprising-coup-re-election, being happily served in low profile pitchers as opposed to the obvious three foot standing towers of beer and of course just piling the excess people on the back of the bus when necessary). The Thai's have built a lifestyle around avoiding stress, which is probably why westerners love traveling here so much.

While the day-in-day-out laid back approach is great for a vacation, it sometimes takes some work to stay on top of fitness around here. In exchange for random adventure, I've been taking some more rest than usual- mai pen lai. Now my motivation level is up in anticipation of an awesome month long trip East which I can excitingly say is sealed up. My passport is colorfully decorated with a double entry Visa to China and my email inbox contains flight confirmation for discount airlines all over Asia. I leave on the 9th.

First destination is Hong Kong where it is rumored that granite cliffs rising out of the ocean are adorned with powerful 5.13 and somewhere above the towering skyscrapers and smog one will find a plethora of long, engaging sport climbs..

Next stop will be a longer one in the Asia sport climbing mecca of Yangshou. I'll have a solid two to three weeks to explore this incredible area and after talking with friends and flipping through guides I'd say I've got my work cut out for me at this pump-fest limestone paradise.

I'll then be re-visiting the mega-city that is Shanghai for a new years in the night-life capital of the East with one of my best friends from way back. From there my trip is open, but I've got my eye on a few potential new routes here in Northern Thailand so my guess is I'll be heading right back.

Yesterday we celebrated the Kings 82nd birthday here in Thailand- respect due to the longest standing monarch! At the moment my good friends Marshal Balick and Megan Jepson are picking me up for a rest-day game of golf, which should prove sufficiently embarrassing- photographs to follow.

photos: taking the back seat (or stand), brand new motivation at CMRCA, boys will be boys..