Thursday, November 17, 2011

Food and other ramblings

It has been a while since I have updated yall so I thought I would let you know what has been going on with me! I have been job hunting (had an interview but it didn't pan out for me) I lost my phone which really sucked so trying to sort out a new one... I have now moved to a new much quieter guest house that has much more of a family atmosphere the owner of the guest house even told us to call her "Mama" and she is about 70 years old she takes good care of us all. It only cost me 5 USD per night for my own private room with a fan :)

I have met a core group of really good friends and we all hang out together. Other than job hunting and hanging out I have been eating. alot. haha for super cheap! Today I had duck soup for breakfast and it cost 1.20 USD for a huge bowl! The most expensive meal I have had here is 6 USD!  Last night I had roasted duck with rice (on a duck kick lately haha) I have had noodle soup,rice dishes (lots of rice!) curries,everything Asian! I have not had a single bite of Western food in the whole time I have been here! and I am totally not missing Western food at all, although I am getting a little sick of rice haha.

I have also eaten some "crazy" stuff which is normal for here. Grilled pig intestines,bugs,octopus tentacles,scorpion, a few other things... I haven't been sick yet and love trying new things. I despise eating like a tourist and I love to go to local places where the local Thais are super surprised to see me and my adventurous friends lol. It is so much better,fresher,local and its cheaper! prepared right in front of your eyes and not Westernized.

Here in Thailand their sewer system can't handle toilet paper so if you are lucky enough to actually get toilet paper you must throw it in the trash can. But, I have also mastered the art of the "bum gun" imagine the hose that is attached to your kitchen sink at home.  Now imagine that for your bum in the bathroom haha. You have to point it at the right angles so you don't soak yourself but, done properly it is actually so much easier and more hygienic than toilet paper. All you need is something to dry yourself off with at the end. If you don't have that, well.... then it is not so much fun haha.Also, make sure you test the pressure of the water coming out of the bum gun BEFORE you squirt it on yourself :P

Here in Thailand one of the biggest scams around is hotels/hostels/guest houses charging tourists extra for hot water in the shower. You TOTALLY don't need it! It is so hot here that a cold shower is totally refreshing. One last thing, to all of my readers in a Westernized country when you wake up in the morning and are able to turn on the tap and get a drink of water think of me. Because I can't do that. I can't drink the tap water here so I have to pay for bottled water everyday. It is not that expensive but over the course of a year I bet I will have spent quite a bit on just water to drink. So don't take it for granted at home because some people don't have it.

Today we ate in a place that was so authentic to Thailand it didn't even have an English menu haha. But, the food was great! I wanted to touch on a few other topics while I have a bit of time. Here in Bangkok there is almost a complete lack of trash cans/bins all over the city! You just cannot find them anywhere! it is so frustrating when you have something to throw away! Here in Thailand you can buy (and haggle) for almost anything you want. It is all for sale as long as you have the money and haggling skills to buy it. Some people are afraid to haggle or look down on it. I certainly am not one of those people, because if you don't haggle you pay the "tourist price" which means things can be marked up 300% or more! I love haggling knowing I got what I want for cheap and they still get the sale.

There is a HUGE shopping centre here in Bangkok called MBK ( don't ask me what that stands for because I don't know lol) everyone knows this place and it is 7 storeys tall and FULL of anything and everything you can imagine. It is physically and mentally exhausting to go there but, I went there today because I had to buy a new phone since I lost mine. I got one, not a good one but a working phone none the less for 25 USD and it is unlockd to use anywhere in the world. Most shop keepers speak at least passable English there but some do not. Not being able to communicate effectively in the same language is one of the most frustrating things in the world! Effective communication is something that no one should take for granted.

One of the largest scams here in Thailand other than the hot water scam I previously mentioned is the tuk-tuk scams. Ok imagine a motorcycle connected to a carriage like thing to carry people. Well they are loud,crazy and wild drivers but it is something everyone should experience once and only once. I will tell you why. Here is how it works. a tuk-tuk driver pulls up and says "Where you go?" you tell him and then he quotes you a price. Say 150 baht, that is about 5 USD sounds cheap right? Well you can get a metered taxi for half that price and you get AC in there! It is a little secret that most new tourist don't know. Not only do the tuk-tuk drivers rip you off they also have "stops". Basically they get commission and/or fuel cards from say a suit shop (They hassle you for suits here ALL the time, I just tune it out totally now) and if the tuk-tuk driver takes you to this suit shop he gets a commission.

So, rather than taking you directly to your destination if you don't say NO STOPS he will make a stop. Then they pressure you into buying something you don't want. It is such a scam! I rarely take tuk-tuks anymore. Although, if you want to get discounts on something,say a muy thai fight the tuk-tuk drivers have the hook up. Not every taxi driver has a meter or if they do they sometimes don't want to use it because they know they will make less money on the meter so I ask BEFORE I get in the taxi if they have a working meter and if they don't I move on. But, 90% of taxi drivers are honest here and there is only the 10% you have to watch out for.

I guess that is it for now, this weekend I am going to a beach town like 3 hours from Bangkok for the weekend (hard life I know lol) yall take care,Tyler

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