a few notes on things

Jet Lag
I went through 20 time zones in one week. They say that it takes about one day to adjust for each hour in time you lost or gained. I say extreme sleep deprivation is a quick and fun (read: mind-altering) way to deal with being sleepy and awake at all the wrong times.

Bargaining
I got my French cell phone unlocked for 250 baht ($8). The vendors originally offered 300-350, but then my sister jabbed her thumb in the direction we came from and said, “But the other guy said 250!”. Problem solved.

7-Eleven
7-Eleven is to Bangkok as Starbucks is to Manhattan. The best part is, if you buy enough stuff you get these flimsy little paper tabs that you can redeem for small rewards. Like SIM cards, apparently. Too bad we bought one before realizing this.

Tourist Boat
There’s a 100-baht tourist boat that runs along the river and takes you to all the right piers if you want to visit the wats (Buddhist temples) and the Grand Palace– but it’s only reliable until 4pm, when most of the piers close. The public bus boat costs about 9-18 baht per ride, so it’s theoretically more cost-effective (and doesn’t include the unintelligible Thai guide auction-chanting over the speakers), but if you’re not Thai, no one will tell you where it is.

Shopping
My sister and I swore we’d only bring a few changes of clothing so we could buy local clothes and not be huge pickpocket targets. However, we didn’t realize our budget would be on the slim side. That’s why I need to learn numbers in Thai, so as to bargain my dignity away at the Chatuchak weekend market.

Cleanliness is next to godliness
Thais take showers twice a day, dress well (the youngsters’ style is sort of Hong Kong meets Tokyo) and clean their stores and sidewalks regularly. The water is incredibly dirty, but at least the rest of the city is clean.

“Long Live the King” t-shirts
If you aren’t fashionable, you can wear a yellow “Long Live the King” t-shirt to blend in. At least if you look Thai. If you’re white, well… sorry, can’t help you there. You’ll stick out no matter what you do.

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What?

This is a blog of things place-related, by a cash-strapped Stanford grad who's lived in various places and writes about life. She's currently looking for a job in Manhattan or the Bay Area.

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