just a quick update to let you know that I've arrived safe and sound in the land of smiles, I'm set up with a place to stay, and I've started training at the gym. I've not got time just now to upload any photos, and to be fair I don't have many yet - I've mostly been sleeping and training today and yesterday, so I've only got pictures of my room.
The journey here was pretty epic, and I'm glad I'm only going to have to do that once more - it took a full 27 hours from waking up on Monday to arriving in Chiang Mai, and I didn't sleep for any of it. On the plus side, Qatar airline who I flew with from Gatwick to Doha and Doha to Bangkok do a decent range of fims and you can pick what you want to watch. I just hope they've changed them by the time I head back since I watched just about all of them.
So I arrived in Chiang Mai and got a taxi to the gym where I was met by Noom, who showed me a guest house just opposite, I got unpacked, had a shower and had a wee nap for an hour before heading out to training for the evening.
It's completely different from the way we do things at home, obviously- you start out with a run which is supposed to be about 5k, but I only did 1 lap yesterday, so about 1.5k, since I was knackered. Then you go with one of the trainers in the ring for a few rounds of doublepads, which is thoroughly knackered but really improves your technique no end. Mind you I'll have to stop doing half of it when I get home since some of it's wildly different from the way we do things, but anyway. Then either shadowboxing or bagwork, and back in the ring for grappling and technique work. Technique is bloody hard, becuase they're asking you to body kick their hands without pads, so you can't go hard, but they want me to relax - I find it very hard to relax when I'm kicking a Thai stranger and trying to be gentle about it.... Then it's situps in the ring and you're all done. If you're me, at some point someone will also weigh you and then laugh/look disturbed/tell you you have to weigh 55kilos (What?! Lose 10k in 3 weeks?!) - we'll just have to see about that, I'm only human.
So, All that takes about 2.5 or 3 hours and then you go an eat something from one of the many little outdoor restaurants. There's one near where I'm staying and I just go there because the food is amazing, and the nice man understands I don't speak Thai and just cooks me something different every day.
Today's training was mental - it was really quiet so one of the trainers just took my in the ring for literally about 2 hours - one on one training: exhausting but fantastic.
This evening Dave of Hammerhead Gym very kindly came and picked me up on his moped and took me for a ride into town to have a look around the night market and change my traveller's cheques. The Thai's are insane when it comes to driving - think "traffic lights are guides, not rules", marry this with a lack of speed limits and you've got some fun conditions. I'm definitely going to have to bring home some nice gifts from the market (once I learn how to barter - Paul knows how badly I suck at this), lots of pretty, touristy tat :)
Anyway, it's been a very long day, and it's time to go to sleep, so I'll bid you adieu and I'll get some photos uploaded when I have some to show.