I’m back in Canada with my family, and despite the sticker shock (really, $7.95 for chicken fried rice? Really?) it’s a great time to be back in Montreal. The International Jazzfest just started, the weather is lovely and the entire city has shed its layers and moved onto the streets. However, every day several things jolt me back to the life I led in Asia a mere month ago, and I remain wistful for the chaos of the many markets, the piles of spices and the never ending street food. The fairly recent proliferation of motorbikes in Montreal is one of those cues. What’s with only 1 or 2 people on the Montreal motos? And where are the dogs?
One of the many things I miss about Thailand is the nonchalant way that these canines perched on a motorbike, casually waiting for their owners to come back. While I was trying to get a photo of the first dog, he turned to look at me with pure disdain, as if to say “What? You find this interesting? Please.” And it’s true: the amount of things and animals and people that Thais can fit on one tiny motorbike is staggering. A dog on a motorbike isn’t news in Chiang Mai.
I remember driving home on my ridiculously pink moto and seeing a woman in front of me on a bike of her own. On her lap was a tiny dog. Standing behind her on all four paws…another tiny dog. And sitting in between her feet on the floor of the motorbike? You got it – a third tiny dog. I passed her to get a better look and then, completely dumbfounded, stopped my motorbike on the side of the road. She drove by, giving me the same look as the dog above “You ain’t seen nothing yet, lady.”
Ah, Thailand. In my return to Canada, I miss those many moments of wonderment. There is a lot to see and rediscover during my first Montreal summer in a decade, but I do miss Southeast Asia. I spent almost three years in the region, but getting bored is an impossibility when every day yields quirky snapshots like these.
More to come from my months in Asia, including where to eat in Chiang Mai and all the other little idiosyncrasies that made my time there so much fun.