An alley way leading to a $17 a night hotel I stayed in (free wifi internet, 4 star...) THAIS LIE!
Being new to the TB site, I decided to meet someone I met on TB. We agreed on a spot and I assumed Iâ€™d be meeting a bloke as you Aussies say and not a Queen as we Americanâ€™s say. I met him/her in a hotel lobby trying not to be freaked out and hoping others wouldnâ€™t think I was â€świthâ€ť him. I'm open minded to the point of "you live your life over there and I'll live my straight life over here but please give me a heads up; be considerate!
We went to a Salsa bar and he begins dancing by my chair, flaunting the skirt (I admit feeling VERY uncomfortable, thinking "is the TravelBuddy website a gay pickup site in my Naivety?) After about an hour of strange conversation having my entire vacation planned with this guy (unbeknownst to me), and feeling HORRIBLY uncomfortable about spoken past advances upon other straight men (trust me, no one can convince a straight man to go the other way)! I was seriously regretting not finding a female TB to hang with as a friend.
these were the smaller one's at 10 inches, there were foot long one's I ate two days earlier (you can only eat two and you're stuffed)! If I could figure a way to get these to the US, I'd be set!
I finally ended this potential vacation disaster, declining any future contact. So I maybe avoided Thailand scam#5. I must warn that this individual is trolling for something and every few days he updates his profile as â€śgoing to Thailandâ€ť but he already lives there. Not sure what he's "trolling" for but I didn't get a good feeling itâ€™s what a vacationer would want. brotherskaramazov is his id (can one un-vouch or vouch for creepiness)?
...So after that, I felt the need to talk to some normal people. I kept missing a nice couple from TB that another TB told me about (they had chaos of their own- her passport got pick pocketed and her embassy told her to go back home)!
I changed one bathroom-looking hotel for another (theyâ€™re all full)! One Tuk Tuk guy kept harassing me for my business so I decided to take a thin side alley to avoid him.
sukhumvit road Bangkok taking a breather in front of the pharmacy (they don't like video cameras here so you have to sneak)
I walked a long way through smelly alleys passing cats spraying potted plants, rows of doors that led to one-bedroom houses (a TV and a mattress on the floor- that's it). I came to a T and turned left. I passed a little niche I later learned was a mini-mosque, then it lead out to a large street where all I could see left to right were "Wholesale jewelry...." stores. I walked along wearing two of my sample rings like a hound dog on a scented hunt. I see a glimmer of blue in one store window in front of me (all the others are silver). I walk up, look inside the store, look at my rings and BAM! I got 'em! I walked inside, introduced myself and asked, "Did you sell these rings to someone about 4 weeks ago?" (He could be one of 50 stores, for all I know but I was out to find one person)! He had a good look at them and said, "Yes, those are mine" I sold them to a guy named Jim (right on the money-without prompting, too!). I then asked of he sold one more unusual ring...confirmed, I found him and it only took my first day of looking! I embraced the shop owner's shoulders and said, "I came to Thailand just to meet you!" "I've been looking for you for two years"! I believe that was the beginning of a close friendship. He treated me like a long lost brother or a son at times. I had been buying marked up goods from "Jim" who bought from Kani (that's the store owner's name). I needed to cut out the middleman and find the source. I found my needle in the haystack!
Most store owners will offer tea with milk and seem to enjoy making your shopping visit a social one. Quite charming and it's an experience to get to know the seller and about their life. Shopping is more of an event than an activity. I admit being sheltered in the US; very familiar with Central American culture (and a few other places) and nothing about Middle Eastern culture. The shops here sell pearls for about 4-48 dollars a strand of peacock pearls and the white ones maybe cheaper (depends on sea or fresh). I may bring back a kilo of them...antiquities, gemstones, rubies 4-8 dollars a carat, etc. good trade embargo items you can't get in the USA from the middle east (some of which I'm after).
So my vacation turned into more of a business vacation leaving no time to sightsee. The deals will suck you right in like a black hole vortex suck in all matter and light......frwooop! I purchased some Sotheby's grade antiquities for 12 dollars (worth a thousand in the US) and the shockingly cheap deals go on and on (I deal in antiquities and jewelry)....So I have maybe 3-4 kilos of jewelry, contraband, gemstones, pearls, antiquities, etc. so far.
They took me out to eat in a place where all the women were covered. It reminded me of Halloween. Don't get me wrong, I like Muslims (but it's not so fun for women, though). At least they're straight forward and business is very easy and they're easy to read. The restaurant was in Soi 4 near the GraceHotel on a little side street. The food was so impressive, I cannot explain. every bite...mmmmm, this is sooo good! mmmmmm! Hummus, Taboulli salad, Babaganoush, Shih Kebab, Kafta Kebab....MMMMMMM!
I do miss the old days- or maybe the old cultures- not stripped down like in the US today. In the US, many churches no longer require a suit and tie, you can go to work in your shorts and all dress codes seem to be vanishing faster than the ice caps on the North Pole. American culture means losing any traditions, dress and throwing all formal graces out the window. It's getting more and more embarrassing to be an American any more.
We went inside this posh looking hotel and had tea in the lobby. Out of curiosity, I asked my new friends, How much is this place a night? They said about $40! I went to the desk and YES they had room! I was soon to be free from my cold clammy hotel room and trade it for a NICE hotel!!!! Yipppeee!
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