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breatheDEEP goes global - Roadtrip report #6


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Lost in a Taxi/Boat Bangkok, Asian Hotel equipment, and Michael gets a new guide...

The day after the Tiger Temple in Kanchanaburi, Napha and I checked out and took cabs our seperate ways. With big hugs, a few sniffles, and promises to keep in touch.

Before I left the US I printed out the name and address of all of my Hotels IN THAI SCRIPT, to minimize the chances of getting lost. It didnt't help, the taxi said "kao jai!" which means "understand" and headed in the wrong direction. This led to two hours in a taxi, driving around Bangkok. Taxis are cheap in Bangkok, so this wouldn't have been a problem, but it was raining, and my taxi at times more resembled a boat. Oh well, we finally got there.

Before I go further, I want to mention something about the equipment in the hotel rooms in Asia. The hotel rooms in both Hong Kong and Bangkok were equipped with the wierdest plugs. I knew from research on the net that Thailand runs on 220v, but I expected the usual 2 round pin plugs like Europe. The plugs are a universal type that will pretty much fit anything. They would not be allowed here, for liability reasons. If you are dumb enough to plug a 120v appliance into a 220 outlet tough luck. Noone is going to replace your equipment for you. I am absolutely certain they would laugh if you asked. My IBM Thinkpad did just fine.

Every where I went all of the controls for the rooms were centralized into one small panel. Lights, tv, ac were all in one place. There is also a master control panel. You must place your room key on the panel in order to turn anyting on in the room. Great way to save power. Every single room I stayed at was this way. I dont like dumps, so I tend to stay in midrange hotels, 3 or 4 star. Only the last night did I really stay at a 5 star, so this electronic system is pretty widespread. The first time I spent the night in one of these rooms, I called the front desk to tell them nothing was working in my room, and they sent a little girl up who explained it to me through her not-so-thinly veiled amusement.

Each room is also equipped with a rather nice electronic safe, just big enough for a laptop and a few other valuables.

After getting lost with my taxi, I started having doubts about my ability to navigate the city by myself. Bangkok is a VERY big city. I called an american ex-pat who I had met on the net, to ask for advice. As it turns out, his Thai wifes best girlfriend(Pan) lived in Bangkok, and was looking for an American boyfriend, having been recently shafted by her Thai husband. She was single, spoke fair english, could probably get time off, and would probably be pleased to act as my guide. He said he didn't like setting people up, but gave me her phone number, and wished me luck.

By this time it is late in the afternoon so I called Pan and asked her out to dinner. She was thrilled, and wanted to know if I would mind teaching her english while she guided me around. Language lessons from a native-speaker are quite expensive. No problem. She could help me with my Thai, also.

The last few pictures are of Pan. To say we hit it off would be an understatement.

Regards from the Road,


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