Tuesday, May 31, 2011


So I forgot about the Great Firewall, and then I got back to Shanghai and realized I couldn't access blogger. Or facebook. Stupid lack of freedom.

I've just now gotten a proxy to work, but the connection is very tenuous, and if I try to add pictures, it will stop working, so that's a no go.

Luckily (?), I don't have much to report for my last three days in Bangkok.

On the 19th, all I did was go shopping for some last-minute souvenirs (rather unsuccessfully, as I only got one thing). I took a little boat from the canal behind Sergio's place to get into the city center, which is a good way to avoid traffic, although it kind of smells during the day (19 baht).

The stop where I got off happened to be in the middle of a Red Shirt rally, which I didn't notice until 2 minutes later, at which point I thought, "There sure are a lot of people wearing red today." As a result, a bunch of the stores were closed, but not MBK.

I also saw the evening shift security people all gather for their pre-shift morale boost. This is some sort of ridiculous work custom that I've only seen in Asia where employees have to line up in a grid and do stupid physical exercises together and shout things about providing better service and whatnot. I highly doubt this has any effect on morale whatosever.

On the last day, I realized that I still had not gotten a Thai massage, so I planned to go in the morning, so then I'd still have time to gather my things and head to the airport in the afternoon. The thing is, I'm a procrastinator. So I actually went around twelve or something, which was cutting it really close.

I went to a nearby massage place and asked for a 1-hour Thai massage. They then give you these sort of pajamas to change into and wash your feet. Then the massage commences. It's sort of less of a massage and more of a physical therapy session that focuses on really stretching you out as much as possible.

So the lady did this for what was much longer than an hour, and they tried to charge me for a two-hour massage. I looked at them and was like, "I asked for a one-hour massage and now I'm late for the airport." (True.) So then they were like, "Oh, sorry sorry, ok one hour." So I paid them for one hour and rushed out.

I stuffed my crap in my bag as quickly as possible, and got a taxi to the airport link station and was able to make it on time, although without much to spare. I was fed on the plane, which, as far as I can tell, is still to be expected on airlines across the world, even for very short flights - just not America.

I went to the hospital for a check-up a few days after I got back (as I had another fever and the hospital is where you go to get check-ups in China), and it turns out I have some sort of colony of single-cell parasite things in my intestines. (Not like a worm. That is gross. Micro-organisms I can handle.) This is most likely from drinking water, as I can't recall eating anything raw. I also didn't drink tap water, but sometimes when you buy bottled water, you can tell by the taste that it's really just tap water packaged as bottled water. At least none of the water I drank turned green overnight. (This happened to the British siblings in either Laos or Viet Nam.) Anyway, you just have to take some medicine that makes you feel kind of nauseated and then they're gone. No biggie.

You do feel exhausted after nine weeks of travelling though. For sure.