I Love Bum Spray!
My initial arrival was filled with worry. I was weirded out that the airport wifi demanded I put in my passport number and was reluctant to enter it in case it was a scam. Half of my SEA prep consisted of reading up on local scams. I hadn’t prepared well. I hadn’t prepared at all actually. I had done a lot of reading but hadn’t bothered to book a hostel or research public transportation. A traveling companion I had yet to meet in real life was already in town but it was midnight and the check in desk at his hostel was closed. There was a large hotel across the street from the airport. It screamed money. After a lot of back and forth with my brain I decided to try to get into the Monkey Nap Hostel that I had been browsing earlier on Agoda. It was more affordable than the place he was staying, looked clean, and had good reviews. This was to be one of the best decisions I’d make.
Continue reading Bangkok: Part One
So let me tell you about Changovers. It’s a term that Guy introduced me to. His name was actually Guy, I’m not slacking here. I thought it was a joke that he made but when I googled Chang it was the first thing that came up. I had been wondering why I was getting buzzed so easily when in tiny lettering the bottle stated that the beer was only 5.5% ABV. Of course I was drinking the larger ones.
There are three main beers you will encounter in every bar. Chang, Leo, and Singha. Chang in my opinion is the least flavorful and what I drank the most of initially. It’s similar in taste to a Pabst Blue Ribbon or a Budweiser but less pissy and goes down smoothly. Singha is the most hoppy somewhat resembling an IPA. Leo falls somewhere in between and over time has become my favorite.
Continue reading The Changover
“WOW!” I pointed to the sign and shouted at my sister as she drove through the exit to International Departures at Logan Airport in Boston. It was starting to feel real now. A couple of weeks ago I had been planning a trip to Iceland. WOW is the premier airline for cheap flights there. We were now passing it. Three months ago I had returned from the West Coast to work seasonally, recoup funds, and pay off some debt so that I could travel without worrying about my jeopardizing my future— as much. It’s a careful balancing act coupled with some self-sacrificing for some of us who don’t have remote IT jobs or trust funds to rely upon. I planned to take a small trip to Iceland to satisfy my travel bug. I soon realized it would be much too cold to hitchhike and camp around as I’m accustomed to. With no one to split bills with my plans were falling apart. A Facebook post would change the course of my life for the next couple of months. My friend Lief, whom I had met in my previous travels had made a FB post asking if anyone could watch his dog while he was in South East Asia.
Just months before I had been debating Thailand or Iceland and had actually considered asking a couple of people, that friend included, if they’d be interested in either destination. Ultimately I decided on Iceland which would be a shorter trip and more inclusive to my general social group. I found it ironic that I now found myself in the position of asking if I could hop onto his adventure in one of those very places . A phone call later and it was decided. I was going to South East Asia. I had two months to prepare and not a penny in a savings. I hadn’t paid off shit. Buuuuuut. Asia. Those other plans could wait. I could adult when I got back. I spent the next two months working for Instacart doing 45-65 hours of grocery deliveries a week while a friend let me stay at his place in Somerville for well below market rent. My nicotine addiction was killing me both literally and financially but I managed to switch to vaping for the most part. I wasn’t too happy when I found out they were illegal in all the countries I was to visit. Not that anyone really cares here in SEA.
Continue reading Southeast Asia: The Preamble