And the world’s your oyster

Yes I have had “One Night In Bangkok” stuck in my head approximately since Dubai.

As I have informed my family and probably at least three of my friends, boyfriend and I have gallivanted off to Southeast Asia and it is still early enough in the trip that I feel obligated to blog about it. This may or may not last but at least if I forget to email my parents will know I’m alive (hi parents!).

So far our trip by the numbers:
3 – fountains in the Dubai airport
12 – hours from Boston to Dubai
10ish – hours of that flight that I spent asleep
3 – hours in the Dubai airport admiring their fountains and contemplating whether it would be weird to eat at the Shake Shack (probably equally as weird as eating at a copy of DC’s Paul bakery, which we ended up doing anyway)
1 – number of Shake Shacks in DXB
6 – more hours to Bangkok
4 – hours spent in BKK airport almost getting in the wrong Visa line, finally getting in the right line thanks to the very kind lady at the money exchange booth
10 – the factor by which we miscalculated the conversion rate and thus withdrew more money from the ATM than I wanted
6 – number of blisters I think I have developed despite convincing myself that walking around Somerville was totally enough shoe break-in time
15ish – how many pounds my backpack allegedly weighs
15000ish – how much it feels like my backpack weighs when we get lost and can’t find our hotel in the early afternoon heat
probably at least 40 – how many more degrees hotter it is in Bangkok than in Boston
at least 5 – how many times I have verbalized my wish that we had bought a guidebook
at least 50 – how many times I have wished I packed a thing I didn’t pack or that I didn’t pack a thing I did or that I had packed further in advance
3 – approximate hours before my flight that I actually packed
2 – how many 7-11s I stopped at trying to get a SIM card that would fit my phone
7 – number of times the 7-11 employees tried to put SIM cards in and my phone rejected them. This was the point at which we gave up and went back to the hotel pool.
3 – how many inches in diameter I think my feet have swollen.
5 – how many pounds I think my camera weighs
many – how many times I have wished I did not pack my giant Nikon D80 and had brought a point-and-shoot instead
8 p.m. – the arbitrary bedtime we set for ourselves to feel like we had defeated jet lag. To be honest, I’m not sure we’re going to make it the remaining 2 hours.

Every heartening small victory has been met with an equally disheartening setback. We made it through customs with minimal issues! And then totally bungled our ATM transaction. We found a restaurant and successfully consumed food! And then promptly took a walk in the wrong direction and ended up near the site of a protest with some poster of a bunch of decapitated people because that’s not at all ominous. (Parents, the protest was done, the area was empty, and we promptly turned around.) David got a SIM card! I epically failed at getting a SIM card and now can’t get my old one back into my phone.

Hopefully the victories will start winning out over the nuisances soon or else I am not sure we will leave our hotel until we figure out which beach we’re heading to on Monday. I am taking suggestions for beach islands that will allow me to do nothing but lie on the beach all day with absolute minimal hassle and no bedbugs.


10 thoughts on “And the world’s your oyster

  1. Julie Altschuler May 2, 2014 — 12:48 pm

    My friend, Mary, who went to Thailand, says you would like Ko Chang (great beach, less touristy). Will send more information when I speak to her later.

    1. We are too far south right now, unfortunately, but maybe on our way up!

  2. Rena, this is your mom’s friend Mary – I told her about Koh Chang today – also Koh Kut is an option… both islands are near the Cambodian border and they are much less ‘popular’ than say, Koh Samui – and easier to get to! let me know if you decide on that route and I may even be able to check into a couple of hotels there (I stayed on Koh Chang for almost a month and did some work there).. also, On Koh Chang, there is an elephant rescue place where you can go on elephant treks etc… fun!!! welcome to the 3rd world!!! once you get used to the culture shock, it’s actually pretty cool… Also, avoid ‘soi cowboy’ in BKK at all costs… way to stupid and touristy… Sawadi Ka!

    1. Hi Mary, thanks for commenting! We’re down in the south right now but will definitely try to swing through Koh Chang on our way up toward Cambodia, an elephant rescue definitely sounds like something I’d be interested in.

      1. here is a good link – I agree with them – Baan Kwan is worth the trek inland on the ilsland – I’m not sure how much building has gone on since I was there 6 yrs ago, but I will dig around to see if I can find any good beach hotel leads for you too!! hang in & keep posting!

  3. Glad you made it!! Not glad so many numbers are in reference to negative items, but I am happy you didn’t become an example of the decapitated people signs.

    1. We are glad too! Friday was a very long day, hopefully more positive numbers will be popping up soon. Though maybe not if I start counting my bug bites…

  4. can you download a guidebook onto your kindle or ipad?

    1. We have a giant paper guidebook. It can only do so much though.

    2. We have the paper guidebook, but it is a lot of information! Personal recommendations are more helpful usually, and more recent.

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