Thailand, country of smiles? More like country of trials.
Today we bring to you the list of everything we did wrong. And one short list of the few things that went right.
The Mess Ups
- After at least four failed attempts to raise Namfon (our fishing cat guru) on the cell, we made contact with Namfon only to hear a garbled, “I am not sure who is calling me, but I am in a flood zone with bad reception. I will have to call this number back when I reach drier ground.” Click. Not the best confidence booster for two girls who just flew 9,000 miles to track an endangered cat with one main contact as our lifeline.
- Breakfast joints don’t open until 9 a.m.. Not good when you rise with the birds.
- We spent the better part of a half hour trying to learn how to say, “without ice,” in Thai with dreams of fruit smoothies in our heads. Too bad the place we went to was serviced only by people from Burma and Myanmar, all of whom did not speak Thai.
- The two minute phone call to Namfon ate up almost all our time on our local sim card that we had spent the past day procuring. Not to mention we had to purchase an unlock code for Joanna’s AT&T Samsung, and hack the phone, so we could install said sim card.
- Mo tried buying more credits for our sim card, but the site kept rejecting her credit card. Then it rejected Joanna’s card (despite already having filed travel plans with our banks.)
- So we decided to call the banks using skype, but first had to buy credits, for which our cards were rejected.
- Joanna finally did get one card to work, and we called customer service, only to find that the banks weren’t the ones blocking the transaction.
- The adaptors charging our electronics chose this time to go AWOL, and started falling out of the wall sockets.
- We can’t charge anything when we leave our room because our room key tells the outlets to come on. Good for environment, bad for techies.
- After buying new sim cards, we returned to find the cell phone now needed charging using the adaptors that don’t want to stay in the wall.
- Getting money out of the ATM….I was told I entered invalid amounts at least 6 times, after pressing pre-determined options set by the bank.
- I tried to write you a much better blog than this, but 90 percent of the way through it, while trying to type the word “failed,” my ipad keyboard started to go haywire. Touching one letter would make five random ones appear, and trying to delete a letter would make five random ones appear.
- Then I lost internet service and my blog post.
The Do Rights
- We still enjoyed a tummy safe banana smoothie.
- We booked tickets to go from Phuket to Surat Thani towards Hua Hin and fishing cats.
- Somewhere between Mess Up #10 and 12, we took a time out and enjoyed an hour long Thai massages on the beach. Cost for both of us put together, about US $9.
- We talked with Namfon! And all is well with her and us. Her house did not flood, and her assistant will be meeting us at the train station in Kui Buri. We will be staying at her bungalow for a few days until she joins us, and we can get the fishing cat story on the road.
- On a dare after dinner, I made Joanna get a fish pedicure US $5, so I could photograph/film it. Everyone was amused.