Monday, September 22, 2008
Today was a very interesting experience. Boss 2 and I went to the Grand Palace. To get there we took a taxi (which if every in thailand make sure to take a metered taxi, otherwise you will have to negotiate the price once you get there) As soon as we stepped out of the taxi we were re-directed to, what seemed to be the entrance. well, as it turned out it wasn't. We were then told that the palace was closed for lunch [which i found suspect but boss 2 went with it] and the man we were talking to told us that it would be a good idea to take a tuk tuk ride to the giant buddha statue, which seemed like a good idea. Half way into our adventure, and after the second store that we didn't want to stop at, I mentioned that I didn't believe that the palace was actually closed and my boss agreed. So, when our driver mentioned stopping at yet another store we asked him to just take us to back to the palace, but he didn't really like this idea. He turned around and informed us that if we went into 3 more stores for a minute he would get gas money. [i believe he only told us about the scam because i saw him getting money from the guy at the second store] Instead of being side tracked from our original adventure any further we decided to just offer him 100 extra bot to just take us back. [the ride was supposed to only cost 20 baht, but he ended up getting 120 baht instead] Once we were back at the palace it really sunk in that we had been, literally and figuratively, taken for a ride. But all in all we only spent an extra $3.50 or something close to that, so it really didn't affect us very much and probably helped the tuk tuk driver eat that night. Either way we got to the palace and took a lot of pictures [to be posted soon] and to night....the ping pong show. [i'm slightly concerned with what i might be getting in to]
While in HK not much happened I didn't really have any time to go galavanting around as I usually do. oh, except for the whole boss tackling the old man thing, apart from that not much happened. Okay, so I guess I should tell the story then. We were walking past the small group of people protesting the Jewellery fair, on the way to the MTR, when an old man basically runs my boss over. Well, everything might have been fine if we didn't see this man again but when we got to the ticket counter he was waiting at the window. So, in order to get to the second window you have to pass through a roped off section that passes the first window...well, instead of letting well enough alone she decided that barreling through him would be the best revenge. I really do think that he may have left at least half his face on the window. By the end of this debacle we end up on the wrong train since she was too amused with the result to function properly. Other than this not much happened in the HK.
Now, in Thailand, thats very different story....to begin the trip we first had to get on a plane, I don't know if anyone reading has every flown on srilankan air but I don't suggest it, not in the least. The plane on take off shook so violently that I thought the whole thing would burst into a million pieces. It was quite possibly one of the scariest moments in my life thus far.
The second day, sunday, we went to the weekend market in Mo Chit. I've been to quite a few markets but non of this size and chaos. It seemed as though we might have a quiet (well as quiet as markets go) day but as soon as 12pm hit it was one of the most chaotic places i've ever been. Most foreigners were buying shirts with thai phrases that they couldn't read, or things that they deemed and "crazy thai" objects. Meanwhile, I'm following my bosses around (who are really doing the same previously mentioned things), that have been here before, just observing the culture clash that comprised the market.
Since we had walked around for several hours, we decided go get rubbed on. The thai massage is definitely an experience in itself. I opted to just get a foot and leg massage while one of my bosses (male) went for a full body massage. My boss chooses not to partake in the accustomed happy ending of the massage but there were a few men that came down that had clearly taken part.
Saturday, June 21, 2008
Friday, June 20, 2008
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
It’s raining even harder today…and as it turns out people stare at you funny when you eat breakfast by yourself here in your pajamas [they’re all in business attire since they’re all vendors at the show, im just here to buy from them] oh, the reason why I ate breakfast by myself…we drank a lot of wine last night, and after about 6 or 7 glasses I might be starting to come around to the idea. I’ve always wanted to keep wine in my apartment but I never really had a valid reason [except for the fact that girls like it and just having it gives you the appearance of being cultured in this society of ours]. Anyway, no word from my boss yet but it’s only 9:48 and we don’t usually go to the fair until about 10:30 or 11.
It’s a little cold in my room…maybe it’s time to get dressed. Hopefully we can make this buying trip worthwhile. I’m sure if I poked my head out of the window I would find my boss smoking out of hers. [her room is beside mine] I believe we are planning on meeting with a few companies today but nothing is very promising and is probably over priced.
Apparently HIV is a big problem over here [well at least in Germany] because every other commercial is about preventing it or the spread of it. Or maybe it’s just that people are more open to helping people that are affected by it instead of trying to ignore the issue.
I was woken up by a phone call at 6:30 this morning…well not so much woken up since I was already awake, just not wanting to get up.
So, I got ready for breakfast…
I have 3 hours before I have to be ready for the jewelry fair…basically my job today consisted of walking around the convention center to see if I/we wanted to actually meet with any of the companies…not much popped out at us, and we’ve pretty much decided that buying in Asia is better and cheaper.
Finding food in this city proves to be a very difficult feat. We finally found a snack bar that wasn’t too busy and got some pasta. After about 6 hours of ‘window shopping’ we called it a day, and since it’s raining [still] we have decided to eat at the bar in the hotel [and apparently I am going to learn to like wine]
…this should be interesting…
oh, and the quote of today is “Well, they try things.” [my response to my boss’ inquiry to the female fashion sense here]
Right so, new hotel is in the middle of nowhere. When I say nowhere I mean there is nothing here. I think there’s one restaurant in walking distance and everything else is an hour away. There is literally nothing to do. We tried to go into town, but after waiting and hour for a bus [that never came] we gave up. Now I’m watching mtv in german…the commercials are actually very funny, and the music is quite good. And now its raining so there will be no walking around. Looks like an early night…good thing since breakfast is at 7.
Its going to take an hour to get to the airport, and these two creep me out. The husband [we’ll call him stripy shirt man] tends to just stare at me after I say something, which makes me uneasy and then even I start to feel as though I was meant to say something more. Its an odd feeling and I don’t really like it, so I’ve moved from the aisle seat over to the window with my bags between us. Creating my own comfort zone.
I woke up at 4:30 this morning…I literally jumped out of bed because my phone decided that I needed to get up. I was confused and trying to figure out if it was 4:30 Atlanta time or Venice time, but I quickly decided that it would be absurd for it to be Atlanta time since that would make it 10:30 am here and it was still dark out. Then I saw that I had messages and suddenly had a reason to stay awake.
This boat is oddly comforting and the random shuffle of songs on my ipod seems to fit the experience.
While waiting for my boss’ plane to arrive…I was amazed at how many people ran back through the No Entry doors just to be escorted back out by an armed guard…it was amazing.
Driving in Italy [well, riding] is kind of like roller derby in high speed vehicles….rules, merely a suggestion…lane lines, apparently just there for a rather large connect the dots game…not for regular use.
Holy crap…happy day. My luggage magically appeared in my room tonight. No more washing clothes in my sink. The only problem is that I can’t open it, they have put a locking twist tie thing on the zippers. I guess I’m going to have to ask the front desk for a knife or something to cut it open. It’s weird though I was downstairs the whole time and they didn’t tell me.
So, as soon as I saw my bag I was instantly starving…I hadn’t eaten in a few days due to anxiety. When I ventured down to the lobby to go to a restaurant I saw J again [he had just come in for work]. I stopped to talk for a min, and since I had my camera with me we took a picture. [but he confused the poor old couple that took it for us, they thought that he wanted a picture of them…they apparently have myspace too… it was al very funny] With all confusion aside we finally got a picture. Then after we planned my morning departure I headed off to get a pizza. It was so good…I ate like I hadn’t eaten in days [J] there was an instant gratification from this meal. It felt nearly like a ladytron night [nearly]. I was sitting there with a smile but when I looked up there was no one to return it. It doesn’t change the fact that I’m happy but it makes me miss you just the same.
Thursday, May 15, 2008
I’ve done a lot today. I went to the Palazzo Grassi, the Gallerie Dell’Accademia, and the rialto bridge. I bought a few things things for people today, I’m trying to get more into the spirit of things and not think about my lost luggage [which is still mia]. I mean I’m in Venice, and if I wash my one change of clothes every night I’m fine [by wash I mean hand wash in my bathroom sink]…it kind of sucks but you learn to deal. I’m now taking a mid-day break in the lobby since I have pretty much walked the entire island. I keep debating on what I want to eat, but I keep getting stuck on the fact that people choose to eat at the McDonalds instead of the other surrounding restaurants that cost about the same. I don’t really understand it.
I’m really tired but I know a nap now will keep me up all night again. So, I’m just sitting here watching the people walk by the hotel, and reading a book while I cool off. A vast majority of people that pass are girls holding hands, which just makes me miss being home.
This city is an interesting mix of tourists and people living their everyday lives. The locals always seem to be in a hurry while everyone else is just strolling along. I love how everyone here knows at least 3 languages. America is so isolated it doesn’t occur to anyone to learn anything else.
…so, I ended up taking a nap before my 2 o’clock [eastern standard time US, home time] chat date. I may regret this in about 2 hours when I try to go to sleep….
...oh good news, my ipod is over its fit and works again
Since I couldn’t sleep I went downstairs to the lobby to buy some Internet time. I apparently took the guy at the desk by surprise. He was outside smoking when I approached the desk, when he saw me he stopped everything and said, “my heart is beating so fast, you are so beautiful” [or something to that affect]. Then he said a few things in Italian. It was all very strange for 1-4 in the morning. I bought 2 hours of internet time, but some how ended up with 3. Which was wonderful since it gave me more time to talk online and post some blogs. But this isn’t where the strangeness ends. When the guy at the desk [we’ll call him J] saw that I had a mac he went into this long story about how he paid $2000 to have one shipped to him, but it never came. So, I went to the other room and started chatting, and few mins later J came into the room and asked if I wanted some tea. In the process he saw that my myspace page on the screen and got really excited because he is on myspace too. Out of curiosity I searched for his page [he gave me his email address so I could find it] since he was a nice guy and an interesting story I added him as a friend. But it was a little strange when I heard my profile song from the other room. He seemed very impressed with my music and movie lists which led to a short discussion about Japanese cinema [its apparently his favorite]. He said that he could never compile a list like that since it is too boring to do something like that [I’m not really sure how I should take that]. Just keep in mind that through all of this I am trying to get in as much online chat time that I can. [it was soothing my bad day, and calming me down] With this said J started realizing that I wasn’t giving him full attention so he periodically would go back to his desk in the other room. At some point, probably around 4, a guy came in and asked J to call one of the female guests, but when the guy tried to go upstairs J said that he would have to pay if he was going to stay the night. This didn’t go over well, so the guy said that he only needed an hour [which really means…this is a booty call]. J was going to allow it, but only if he left an id with him. He apparently didn’t have one on him so he got frustrated and left. [somewhere in this process the girl called down to see what was taking so long, the whole thing really only took about 5 mins]
By the end of the night I had gained a map and a new plan for the upcoming day.
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
My plan for tomorrow: GET MY LUGGAGE, and then play at the Grand Canal.
…and my ipod has decided to freeze…
Hahaha…well, I spoke too soon about not having any complications or hassles. It seems they have put my luggage on a different plane, and they said it will hopefully be here tomorrow. Luckily I packed a change of clothes and shower stuff in my carry on bag.
I slept very little on the plane, but I’m wide awake for some reason. After leaving the help desk I have decided to take the water taxi/bus to Piazza San Marco to my hotel, it’s about an hour ride and I get to see the other islands. While I was waiting to board the boat a few fellow plane passengers [who also lost their luggage, on the same flight] approached me and began asking me questions about the water bus and how to get to the Piazza [and to their hotel]. Now, I’ve seen a few maps of the city but I’ve never actually done this in person [which I explained to him] but none the less his wife [named Marie of all things] decided that they will be following me. So, not only am I responsible for myself, but I am now leading a group of older couples through a country I’ve never been to with no luggage and a faltering hope pf a place to sleep tonight. Hopefully all will end well…oh, and without a map.
…Unfortunately they’re related, mother and daughter [Marcy] of the previous generation. They are going on a cruise…go figure.
The lay over in New York was mostly uneventful, I spent the majority of it on the phone trying to calm the storm. Even though it has just begun, I’m starting to have my doubts…I’m just hoping that my hotel reservations workout.
I feel like I’m being watched over sitting between these two. They keep asking if I want things, and I just want to sleep.
I feel like I should be home this week, there’s just so much going on that I need to take care of.
It occasionally smells like mothballs and citrus gum, but only on my right side where Marcy’s mother is sitting.