SO much stuff has been happening, and internet is spotty again. So I am getting way behind with the blog posts. About a week ago I left my suitcase, never to be seen again. Since then I have bussed it from Bangkok to Penang Malaysia with a thousand stories inbetween. Since it is 3:30am, and I am dead tired, I will start with this one and hopefully add more over the next two-free-internet-days.
One of the most frustrating things for me in SE Asia is that the "price" of "services" or "items" is never published. Anywhere. Every other store is a "travel agency" and every other person gets commission by recommending you visit this vendor. And so you very quickly can become quite jaded and irritable when it comes to the process of buying something or getting somewhere. I don't like not trusting anyone. I spent 32.78 years trusting everyone. And now here I am in Thailand and Malaysia speaking disrespectfully to people, waving my hands at them and saying things like, "NO WAY." and "YOU GOTTA BE KIDDING ME".
Today I told an elderly ticket taker lady "WHOA WHOA WHOA I NEED MORE CHANGE." Turns out she was just reaching for her other money wallet thing. Today I told another elderly taxi driver that "I DONT LIKE BEING LIED TO" because our negotiated price included the fact that he was going to have to pay tolls, and then lo and behold, no tolls. So then I said that and then 5 minutes later, lo and behold again, there really was a toll.
Who is this person?
In order to balance the universe back out, I gave my seat to an old lady on a cramped bus, offered gum to kids, (nobody accepted) and then let a man share our taxi so he wouldn't have to wait 3 hours for his ferry. No charge, and since he was Muslim, I had to save his face or whatever and pretend that we needed his 'help' finding our hotel that the taxi driver knew, and after that the taxi driver could drop him where he wanted to go. And then I found out he was Hindu.