It's time to hit the open road again. Arriving in Thailand, we'll set our sights on the north. Chiang Mai, Thailand's second city, is a welcome relief from Bangkok's Khao San Road (apparently the local joke for a diarrhea diet of green milled rice). Khao San is the start of any shoestring trip to mingle with travelers from all over the world. It's a wonderful place for an entire trip, if one only had a week to explore. And no motorbike is necessary (or possible given the deadly traffic).
Arriving in the north by an inexpensive "luxury" overnight bus, we turn in one of our passports for a Honda 100cc Dream. Gas is cheap, and helmets are a really good idea. Tucked underneath is a pair of expensive earbuds connected to a cheap Walkman from the bazaar. It's thumping a bootleg version of The Cardigans' Gran Turismo, particularly "Marvel Hill." Why? Because "I don't need this, I don't need this, I need more!" Beware the energy vampires; you may find out you are one.
Then it's onward to Burma to dodge riot police and batons. In India the motorbikes get bigger and the chances of survival slimmer, and one can wander like a sannyasin. But eventually in Nepal there will be peace and maybe a trek to basecamp, just to say we've been, or hanging out in expat Tibetan villages. There are always hourlong flights to the top of Mt. Everest if we're in a hurry. There's really no reason to come back any time soon. In search of shamans and shramanas (wandering Buddhist ascetics), of experiences and enlightening truths, it's hard to make a wrong turn. Every road leads somewhere.