WIP Wednesday in Thailand

The last time I did a WIP* Wednesday post was back in Bali, now over 3 months ago!

How time flies.

Now I find myself living in a beautiful house in Northern Thailand and working as a live-in English tutor. For those of you asking yourselves how did I manage to find this position, I did so through a website called HelpX (similar to Workaway) that is used by travelers all over the world to travel on a budget by exchanging their skills in exchange for food and accommodation.

The requirements of the job are fairly straight forward. Throughout the day my tutee is at school, and I get most of the day to myself. Initially I thought I would have way too much free time on my hands, but so far that has proven to not be the case. I am often whisked off, rather unexpectedly, to accompany the nanny, whose name is Laa, on trips to the market.

Each time I go to the market, I see something new. Here’s a list of some of the most interesting (and disturbing) things I’ve seen so far:

  • Pig ears and snouts (I’m hoping this is for dog food but am not quite sure)
  • Small live birds in cramped cages so small they can’t even spread their wings (the nanny told me that they didn’t eat them …at least that’s what I think she said)
  • Fried bugs and larvae (I’m proud to say that I took a huge spoonful – and it didn’t taste bad at all! Can’t wait till the bug trend arrives in Canada)
  • Live catfish swimming in a pail
  • Dried frogs of all sizes
  • Baby squid and sting rays

Last week, Laa even scheduled in a full day tour of the White Temple and Black House, two of the most popular tourist attractions around the city of Chiang Rai! These two things had been on my bucket list before even coming to Chiang Rai, so I was pleasantly surprised that I would be getting to see them both in one day.

The White Temple was officially opened in 1997, although work is still currently ongoing. When I stepped inside of the temple, an artist was in the process of painting an incredibly detailed half finished mural portraying the Buddha. It was so, so lovely. Unfortunately I couldn’t take a picture as no pictures are allowed inside the White Temple (guess you’ll just have to go to see it for yourself!).

White Temple

The Black House was entirely different. It was designed and lived in by Thai national artist Thawan Duchanee up until his death in 2014, and is filled with all sorts of dark and creepy items, such as alligator skins, bird skulls, elephant bones, etc. It even housed a live anaconda in less than ideal living conditions, unfortunately.

Besides the live animals, I thoroughly enjoyed the Black House and found it even more interesting than the White Temple, although it’s less visited.

This last weekend, I went with the family to their weekend getaway home near the Golden Triangle (the meeting point of the Myanmar, Thailand and Laos borders).

So as you can see, I have been keeping busier than expected, and have also been able to fit in a fair bit of knitting as well.

I’ve almost but not quite finished a toddler size variation of the Diyi mittens. All that’s left is weaving in the ends, something that I’m notoriously bad at doing. I also knit up a toddler baby hat in the same Outlaw wool (possum merino) I bought way back in New Zealand. I love how soft it is! If you’re curious about the reasoning behind possum fur in New Zealand wool, check out this article here and my mini post about it here.

WIP Wednesday in Thailand. Toddler Size Diyi Mittens by Wooly Ventures.

I’ve also been working on a few other small projects, swatching for a pair of baby booties and a newborn toque with more of my leftover Outlaw wool.

*WIP = Work in progress, for those of you unfamiliar with the knitting lingo.

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WIP Wednesday in Thailand