An Update with Photos That Don’t Match

-For my first month, I’ve been saying “not expensive” when I meant “expensive.” This exchange happened countless times, confusing merchants around town. Example from my Samsung shopping experience: “How much is this cell phone? Oh that’s not expensive, may I see a cheaper one?”

-I got a wonderful rash on my face! Red raised dots sprinkled my cheekbones like diseased freckles, and they itch! My guess is that the rash came from swimming in my apartment pool, which I did two times that week compared to never before. Hooray!

Orange milk anyone?
Orange dinosaur milk anyone?

-New on the HotelQuickly front – we are moving into a new office, so I can kiss these 37th floor views of Bangkok goodbye. Plus side: our new office is very cool. It’s reminiscent of startup offices in ol’ San Francisco.

Work with a view
Caffeine, a startup must

-My local motorcycle taxi drivers have given me the nickname, “Chong Nonsi” after the location they drop me off at everyday. Night or day, when I walk by they say hello and add “Chong Nonsi” although I can’t tell if it’s a term of endearment or if they’re mocking me. Let’s say ignorance is bliss, and I’ll just think it’s a sweet new tradition.

-Pointless observation: International men don’t have any hesitation to order sweet/fruity drinks here. There are different opinions on asserting masculinity, and ordering a whiskey straight up is not one of those ways. I’m trying to stop thinking its funny to see a table full of men ordering sugary cocktails, because who doesn’t want to sip on a delicious coconut-laced drink?? They’re delicious and have no relation to one’s gender.

Fish ball soup / So spicy, so good
Fish ball soup / So spicy, so good

-My new iPhone from the US arrived locked. This meant that a Thai SIM card did not work in it. The guys at True (basically the Thai AT&T) cut my SIM card into a micro SIM card in order for it to fit in the iPhone, so they taped it back up to go into my terrible Samsung. Thanks to the hack job, even my terrible Samsung didn’t work anymore. By the time I figured that out, the stores had closed. Another wonderful hassle to deal with.

Friday night from the BTS
Friday night from the BTS

-My computer has forgotten I’m American. It wants to change “favorite” to “favourite” and “organize” to “organise,” and so on. I continuously Google the spelling of simple words and feel like an idiot these days.

Ok this picture matched the update
Ok this picture matches the update

-I haven’t picked up that much Thai, but Thais are extremely generous in complimenting my Thai skills. They do this to any farang that can speak a sentence or two, so I can’t feel too special. Even though it’s undeserved praise, it does feel nice. I’ll take what I can get!

-Bangkok is ageing me physically and rapidly. Even with all of the sunscreen I slop on every morning (60 SPF y’all), I am getting more and more freckles – aka skin damage. I feel like wrinkles are deepening, and I’m not very stoked about it. In a sea of ageless Asian beauties, it is starting to really bother me. I may be donning a beekeeper’s mask soon.


-One month in and I still haven’t gotten Internet for my apartment. With all of the other hassles, I have been too lazy to figure out how to set it up. This avoidance of stress only creates more stress, as I have to hunt for an Internet cafe every time I need to surf the web.

-I’ve grown accustom to seeing cockroaches and rats everywhere. Both critters are huge here, and definitely still gross, but when you see them all the time, you just sort of just accept them.

Bangkok, an iPhone Photo Recap

Surprise chicken bones. Shimmering Buddhist shrines. Tuk tuks out of transit. I am doing my best to absorb everything around me and get to know Bangkok. In no particular order, here are some mediocre iPhone photos taken of sights seen, foods eaten, and tattoos inked.

License to chill
License to chill
Korean skittles
Taste the rainbow
Good karma
Good karma
I'm going to be honest - I  truly have zero idea what this is
I’m going to be honest – I truly have zero idea what this is
Durian on lock
Durian on lock
You know, for the homeless
You know, for the homeless
Was not kidding about the bones
Was not kidding about the bones

Bangkok, you’re doing it wrong

4 ways you’re doing Bangkok wrong:

  1. You lost your debit card in the first three days of your move
  2. You lost your iPhone in the first month
  3. You’re renting an expensive apartment with a year lease
  4. You’ve only had Pad Thai 3 times

What the f is wrong with me? How could I possibly lose my cell phone? HOW HAVE I MADE IT THIS FAR IN LIFE?

On Friday, my friends and I went to Khao San Road, one of the most touristy nightlife destinations in Bangkok. It wasn’t until we were back at home that I realized it. Phone = gone. I thought back to the timeline of the evening. We started the night at Khao San posted up at a bar where we drank buckets of soda that were allegedly alcoholic. At the bar, I definitely had my phone, but couldn’t remember using it after we left to dance in the street. Whether someone stole it out of my purse or I left it at the bar, it didn’t matter. It was 4 am and it was gone. We ate street food noodle soup and I tried not to be too upset about the fail.

More like, "VERY BIG IDIOT."
More like, “VERY BIG IDIOT.”

My friend Chris (pictured above) helped me try to get it back, even though it was super late and I’m sure he wanted to go to bed. We talked to the person who had taken my phone, trying to persuade him to return it for a reward. Instead, he kept asking us to give him the phone’s password (tempting, but no). He said that he already had a phone, and didn’t want to steal mine. Great, but not convincing, considering he took it two hours south of Bangkok. Shortly after talking to him, he disconnected the phone number he had called us on.

So it was gone, the phone was gone. The next morning, Chris, Etty (his girlfriend) and I went to the Fortune Town IT Mall at Rama 9 to look for a new iPhone. It was going to cost me a lot and no one took American Express. After realizing this was going to be a herculean task, we parted ways and I continued my hunt.

Fast forward 5 hours, and I was the owner of a terrible new $100 Samsung. The graphics were pixilated and the downloads were slow; I missed my iPhone so much that I could have gotten a tattoo of it’s serial number on my foot. Fortunately, my dad went to the AT&T store in Fresno, California and was able to get a replacement iPhone 5s for $99! Until it comes in the mail, I’ll be able to survive in my Android hell (first world problem alert).

I wanted to move to Bangkok for the challenge, but not the challenge of dealing with my own avoidable mistakes. One month under my belt in Thailand, and I had already gone through a slew of bad moves. At the end of the day, it could have been worse. No one got hurt – unless you count the hangover of the next day – and it’s just a phone (but who am I kidding, it’s 2014 and I’m addicted to technology).

Just another learning experience here in Bangkok.