my house and get a massage and a foot spa. A foot spa is basically when a woman soaks your feet, scrubs them sparkly clean, and the slices off the dead skin with a razor blade. It sounds bad but if you do it regularly, your feet remain smooth and soft. The woman who used to do my feet no longer works at the massage parlor and they have yet to replace her. One place down the street from my new home supposedly does foot spas, however the cost is almost triple what I'm used to paying. For whatever reasons, every time I go to the Sukhumvit area, whoever does the foot spas is conveniently absent. As one of the girls in the video said, "Maybe they just don't want to do your feet because they're so bad!" Maybe...my feet were a shredded mess and I was actually considering a trip to the hospital to see if a doctor or nurse could somehow return them to their former glory.
Then, on a half-day trip down to Khaosan Road for a Burmese meal and some photography, I passed by The Beauty Center. I was tired, sweaty, and was on my way home but I noticed - foot spa - 350 baht! Yee-haw! I made a mental note of the location and decided to go the following weekend. The video below gives you an idea of what I went thru and how those nasty feet because human again.
BTW - I have to give props to the girl who did my feet and also The Beauty Center. When it came time to pay, I reached into my pocket...no wallet. I had 240 baht cash and apparently, when I was withdrawing 3500 baht from my bank account, I left the wallet at the ATM. Smart. For whatever reasons, I couldn't even remember the ATM where I made the withdrawal. My debit cards, insurance cards, and credit cards were in the wallet. My wife was out on a sales call and I had no way of getting any money unless she physically delivered it to me. She was a solid hour and a half away so...I called American Express, they cancelled, then reissued my card, then had a messenger bring it to me. It took them an hour. AMEX has saved my ass on more than one occasion, and they did so once again. I walked across the street to the ATM, pulled out 1000 baht, paid her the 350 plus a tip, grabbed a bite to eat, and made my way home...frustrated. But at least my feet felt better!
The final eight rules to live by...
9. Learn the game. Know the rules and know how to play the game. Do what Thais do. Learn how things work in Thailand. Play the game the way they do.
10. Learn to speak Thai. Learn the basics. You can use it sometimes, you can choose to say, "Sorry, I don't speak Thai," if the situation warrants.
11. Bribery is bribery. Be very careful about what you say to police officers and government officials. Not everyone is as corrupt as you might think. You might pay money and think you're going to get away, but the truth is, you might just be throwing your money in the toilet.
12. Do not sell counterfeit goods. Thais might get away with selling counterfeit products here in Thailand but if you are caught selling internationally.
13. Do not assume you can buy all Thai women. Period. If they're working in a beer bar, go-go, soapy, or massage parlor, think what you want. But when you're out on the street, it's probably a good idea to not go around offering women money for sex.
14. Have an escape plan. Make sure you have a bug out bag, cash on hand, and if possible, an airline ticket to get out of Dodge (or Bangkok).
15. Never transfer more money to a Thai bank account than you can afford to lose. I understand you might need to keep 400K or 800K for visa reasons, but be careful. Keep your bank book locked up in a safe or safety deposit box. The unscrupulous want your life savings - ever last dime of it.
16. If you want to get to know a Thai woman, meet them in person. Online dating is simply one method of meeting a woman. I personally believe that talking to a person face-to-face is much, much better than talking to them via Skype for six months and then calling her your girlfriend. If you truly believe you know a woman because you've been emailing her and talking to her on Skype, I have some swampland in Florida to sell you. I'd recommend numerous face-to-face meetings with a woman before even considering getting involved with her. But...to each is own. I can lead a horse to water but I can't make him drink.
Bonus Rule - DO NOT EVER OVERSTAY YOUR VISA! If you get into a bind and don't have the money to do a visa run, borrow 1200 baht, pawn your watch, do what you have to do. Then take a minivan to the Cambodian border and renew your visa. You'll only get an additional 14 days but you won't be overstayed! Overstaying puts you in a position where the Thai police can boot you out if they want. For a lousy $40, is overstaying necessary? No!
There are numerous rules one should live by in Thailand, however, I chose the first sixteen that came to my head. Supposedly, this means they are the most important. In part one of this two part series, I'll go over eight of the 16 rules. Please let me know what you think and if there are any other's that might be important enough to add.
Pork Store Girl
A couple of days ago, I decided to go down to one of the local markets within walking distance of my house. Recently, I purchased an adapter that allows me to mount my video camera on my digital camera, making it easier to shoot photos and video tape at the same time.
While searching for photos, I passed a pork stall that I pass almost daily. There is a young lady working the stall and she and I have talked a few times. She saw the camera, and being the ham that she is, decided to come out from behind the stall and do her thing. What takes place in the video below is a couple minutes of the conversation we had.
The heat is comparable to Thailand, and on this day it was excessively hot. I ended up drenched in sweat and sunburned all over. After walking all over Little India, I jumped on the MRT (Subway) and went back to my guesthouse. After a quick shower, I walked around the corner for a plate of Chicken Biriyani and a thirst-busting Lemon Shake. By this time I was completely spent, so I walked back to my guesthouse, made several attempts at connecting to the internet, grew bored with my inability to do so, then drifted off to sleep. It had been a long day...