a change in itinerary– sunburn and thunderstorms

I got sunburned at the Chatuchak market, but the forecast for the next week or so is rain, rain, rain. That’s why we’re currently in a bungalow along the river in Chiang Mai up in the north instead of a bungalow along the beach in Krabi down in the south. And I’ve been running a fever, so I’m not riding elephants or taking pictures of long-necked women today. Oh well; all the touristy stuff makes me feel awkward anyway. And as long as we’re in town for Loi Krathong, I’ll be happy.

Bargaining, part 2
A few important rules to take note of when bargaining: First, don’t bargain too much or the vendor will lose face. Second, don’t bargain when the price is already written somewhere– it’s rude. You can probably ask, “Is that your best price?”, but beyond that, Thais aren’t shameless enough to discount further if they see you walking away.

Today’s oxymoron: Eco-friendly frequent flyer
I’m vegetarian, I still don’t know how to drive, I use less toilet paper than most people, I don’t take many showers, I have a laptop and I don’t keep it plugged in all the time, and I don’t buy new books when I can help it. But no matter how environmentally friendly my lifestyle is, my jet fuel usage probably cancels it all out.

Borrowing Lonely Planet guides from guesthouses
If you’re staying in a hostel or a guesthouse, chances are they have a bookshelf full of travel guides for the borrowing. Take advantage of this. You have to return it when your stay at that place is over, but it beats lugging a really heavy one around with you all over the country.

Girls liking boys liking boys liking girls liking girls
Despite its Buddhist precepts, Thailand is wonderfully open to homosexuality. In Bangkok in particular, there are a lot of girls who just happen to have an extra appendage in between their legs, and everywhere there are lots of girls who astound me with their androgyny (btw, our waiter last night was really cute! I didn’t realize he was a she until my sister pointed out the sports bra outline under her shirt.) Are Thais just naturally gender-bendingly gorgeous? No wonder so many sketchy men from all over the world (and by world, I mean Australia) converge on Thailand to prey on its exceedingly beautiful and friendly people.

Getting hit on by sketchy white men in Thailand when you look Thai
My sister and I (well, mostly my sister) have been hit on by one too many old, fat white men in this country. Plus we get taken for locals by tourists and locals alike. (We’ve been wearing the clothes we got from Chatuchak.) It’s a nice change from France, where I was sometimes the only Asian in the arrondissement despite its ethnic diversity, but I feel pretty bad for still not being able to speak much Thai. The same thing happened to me in Japan, but since my accent in Japanese was flawless, people thought I was mentally challenged and the “ohhh she isn’t Japanese” part rarely ever dawned on them.

The white guy thing, though, it’s driving me nuts. They use their baby English to try and woo us into giving them a “massage” for a couple hundred baht. Sometimes I want to pretend not to speak English for about thirty seconds before erupting into “Look, you little shit, you’re pretty fucking pathetic (not to mention idiotic) if all the ass you can get is from girls who just want your money and can’t even speak a lick of English.” Argh. Even Thai men have a hell of a lot more decency than that.

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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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