Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Story of the Suitcase

My suitcase scenario goes as follows:
  • Can't zip backpack as it is.
  • Buy a dress and two coats in Melbourne.
  • Cave and buy suitcase, even though "backpacking".
  • With excuse of extra suitcase, buy sweater and long johns in New Zealand.
  • Devise brilliant plan to leave extra suitcase in Thailand with unnecessary items.
  • Shrink wrap bag at Singapore airport.

Brilliant Plan:
  • Leave at storage facility in Bangkok for $3 per week.
  • Summer picks it up when returning to Bangkok in 7 weeks.
  • Summer to bring to Vermont.
  • Nancy to bring to Minnesota. 

Things that could go wrong with brilliant plan:
  • Storage facility closed when Summer flies out at 5am.
  • Recent political trouble in Bangkok may cause problems with Summer returning to Bangkok.
  • Summer may only have one hour in Bangkok, not enough time to deal with suitcase.

Our hotel offered to store it for free, but again, with Summer's tight schedule it seemed like way too much of a hassle to find our hotel, get the bag, etc when she may only have had one hour to change flights.  So we decided to stay in Bangkok until Monday when the post office was open and I could inquire about shipping it home on a slow boat.  This sort of sucked because we have a limited amount of time in Thailand and neither of us really fell in love with Bangkok.  There's also the teensy tiny matter of explosions and red shirt demonstrations and not knowing for sure which parts of the city are completely safe.  But thems the breaks.

We also had to go about the business of buying a train ticket to the South.   We did some research and went out on Sunday and decided to go to the train station and buy a hop on hop off ticket all the way to Kuala Lumpur so that we could stop in south Thailand and also Penang etc on the way to our flight to Vietnam. 

But what ended up happening was we got in a tuk tuk, who told us the train station was closed (a common scam) and we were brought to a travel agency.  We knew about this scam in advance but were not opposed to discussing prices with the travel agency.  We actually found an option that worked for us, taking a night bus (fully air-conditioned) straight to Krabi town for approximately $28 US.  It left at 5pm on Monday night, which gave us plenty of time to deal with my suitcase at the post office.  I had an epiphany in front of the agent that I would ask our hotel...who already offered to store the bag for free...To just deliver it to the airport!  I told Summer I would even offer to pay them like a hundred bucks because I knew shipping fees would be at least $200 or so.  The agent overheard me and said that they would store it and deliver it to the airport.  For $30.  YAY!

We were feeling pretty positive about the whole thing.  Bus ticket.  Check.  Bag situation.  Sorted.  So we set about going shopping at that market where I found those mythical Unicorn Jeans and then promptly lost them. 

The next morning, we went back to the travel agency and I set about trying to arrange the suitcase thing.  The woman was way too nonchalant about the fact that she was going to store my bag.  I wrote on a piece of paper my name, email address and my parents' phone and home address.  I shoved this between the suitcase and the shrink wrap.  The woman charged me $30 and filled out a ticket that just said, bring to airport on June 10th at 3am.  I suggested she take Summer's name down, so they knew to whom to deliver it.  I suggested she give us her email address so that we could arrange the meeting at the airport.  And I asked her how she would know which bag to deliver to the airport on June 10th at 3am.

She looked at me like I was an idiot, and said, "the green one."

I have a feeling I'm never going to see that suitcase again.


Sarah said...

Sorry, but I agree with you.

Mom said...

maybe you should have just had a rummage sale there in Bangkok.

Anonymous said...

The travel agent is gonna have a rummage sale in Bangkok the day Kady leaves! Love, Jacqui

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