Romanian Reunion in Chiang Mai!

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From left: Nicoleta, Spiri, Michael and Willem. From this angle it looks like the place is derelict. Trust me, it’s not. There are literally hundreds, sometimes thousands of people there every night…

Remember Hostel Costel? Of course you fucking don’t… Anyway, when I was in Timisoara, Romania I stayed at a hostel there owned by a cool bloke that helped me overdose on Palinka (A traditional Romanian spirit). As with most people you meet travelling I said to him I was looking forward to seeing him again one day, assuming that would be when I’d be back in Romania possibly in a couple of years and had a reason to go back.

I didn’t have to wait that long though; when I was in The Philippines, Spiri (the Don Corleone of Hostel Costel) messaged me saying he was going to be in Laos and Thailand the next month and it would be pretty ay double-u ee-some if if I would be there around that time.

As fate would have it I was going back to Chiang Mai to arrange a work permit there so two months after I met Senor Costel in Romania, him and his wife were going to meet me in Chiang Mai, and as I’ve lived here before I knew the area well and could return the favour in terms of hospitality (That doesn’t mean I’m going to knock him out, don’t worry…)

I met him, his wife, and Michael (one of the guys volunteering at the hostel) and hugged them with all my might. They instantly gave me a small bottle of water and a can of beer. I thought this was slightly odd, but I said thank you and opened the beer. I got chatting away to this South African guy called Willem and he mentioned his friend’s son was looking into teaching English in Thailand but didn’t know how to go about finding teaching jobs here. So I said to put him in contact with me and I’ll give him as much advice as I can since I know how tough it can be to try and find work in Asia for the first time.

Good deed for the day! Spiri was passing around some Palinka for people to drink and Michael mentioned to me that I could have loads of fun with the Palinka I had, pointing to the bottle with clear liquid they had given me…

“Oh that’s Palinka!?!” I exclaimed, “I thought it was water. I was going to take a big old swig of it!”

So I didn’t mistakenly down an alcoholic beverage to quench my thirst, and we went out for some food. It was shit, but the company was good. The mosquitoes weren’t; the fuckers were biting us from all angles and I was ready to declare war on the species until Nicoleta (Spiri’s wife) was an absolute hero and passed around some mozzy spray. We had (well, they had. I stuck to soft drinks because I was exhausted) a few more drinks, including me introducing them to Sangsom, before we went our separate ways.

They went to Doi Inthanon (Latin name: Mountainus Thailandius Bigfukkarus) for the day and Michael wanted a Chiang Mai football shirt, so he gave me the money and I went and got the shirt. While I was there I got one myself because I’m a bit of a diva…

Anyway, to the photos… This is called a ‘Moo Grata’ and is essentially an all you can eat outdoor buffet in a place that looks like an old aeroplane hangar. It’s proper Thai style and there’s a bbq on your table where you cook your meats and you can select pretty much anything you want for 210 Baht per person, which is approximately £4.20. If you want King prawns or anything fancy it was extra, but in general it was pretty beasty.

I was wearing my newly acquired Chiang Mai shirt because I’m a legend sometimes, and we all had a great time. They were all thanking me but I was only returning the favour they did for me as they were such great hosts while I was in Timisoara. Plus I’ve got a bottle Palinka to destroy during Songkran, so if any of my female friends on Facebook get embarrassingly drunk incoherent messages from me trying and failing miserably to flirt, it’s not me it was the Palinka. Hey, maybe I should just go Gung Ho and blame the Palinka all the time…

So the Romanians and the Swiss volunteer are now in Laos, and Willem is in Bhutan doing Bhutani things. I’m in my room caning the PS3 (Oh yeah, I bought a second hand PS3 for cheap and now I’m acting like my life’s complete…) I hope you had fun and I’ll see you all soon, whether it is here, Romania, South Africa or a random country in the world…

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