A Lady Named Tip
Chiang Mai is still, without a doubt, one of my favorite cities. After arriving in the city in the early hours of Friday morning, I instantly remembered why I had fallen in love with this place last summer. The atmosphere is relaxed, the locals are friendlier and the travelers kind.. and crazy, which only adds to the fun. Never before have I returned to a city that I travelled in, but Chiang Mai is truly one of a kind. Almost immediately after dropping our bags, I insisted that we must pay a visit to the smoothie lady. When she saw me, her eyes got wide and she exclaimed, “you’re back!” and “it’s been so long!” I was shocked that she remembered me after a year had gone by.
Her name is Tip, a single mother to an adorable son and has been running her smoothie stand for four and a half years. Located in Somphet Market in Chiang Mai, Tip’s stand is often full of locals and tourists alike. She works extremely hard, which she adds is difficult for her son to understand, but enjoys her job, saying that she “makes people happy with her smoothies.” It isn’t hard to see so, as everyone who takes the time for a smoothie leaves with a smile on their face and a delicious drink in their hand. Her stand is more than just a job to Tip. She enjoys to spend time speaking, in very good English, with the tourists that come by and will willingly sit with you for as long as you have the time. During one such conversation, she mentioned to me that each year she has returning customers from all over the world. Her face lit up as she spoke about them, saying that it makes her very happy when they return after a year away and say that they came back to see her and to have one of her smoothies. It is for that reason, she says, that she loves her job.
The skill that she has when slicing fruits and creating various combinations of deliciousness is lovely to watch and I enjoy sitting on one of the colorful stools to watch as she works and chats about her life. Her smoothies are very reasonably priced, ranging from 15 to 50 Baht, an equivalent of .50 Canadian cents to two Canadian dollars. While last summer I was addicted to the lemon shakes, this time my personal favorite is the pineappe-passionfruit smoothie. I would recommend anyone in the Chiang Mai area to pay Tip a visit and chat with her a while. This woman is so happy and optimistic, she brings joy to everyone who visits her business.