Here's the thing.
Thailand can be visited on the cheap. The really cheap. Cheap enough that you are almost embarrassed to not pay extra JUST BECAUSE. For example:
Taxi ride all the way across town that takes about 30 minutes? $2.75. Including the tip.
Lunch and drinks for 8 ravenous people - with leftovers? $30. Maybe.
One hour massage? $10.
Beachfront bungalow with private bath? $30.
Which is how I ended up going to a mall called Platinum, and buying a suitcase, and then filling it with dresses to bring home. It's called "importing" people, and I am doing this for the good of my fellow (wo)man - I'm planning a big party, where everyone can buy their very own super-cheap, you gotta be kidding, no really it's how much, well then I'll take 3 of them dresses from Thailand. All the fun with none of the jetlag.
Because like potato chips - no one can get just one. I tried. I had the best of intentions. And then, well......whoopsie. I bought a lot of dresses. And voila: I'm an importer. Because Sami says I absolutely cannot keep all of them. He is such a grouch.
After the adventure in Platinum - a retail experience that is unrivaled in my extensive annals of retail experiences - we got in a tuk-tuk (more on that later) and went purse shopping.
Visa. It's accepted everywhere you want to be. I'll figure out how to pay for it LATER, for the love of god people, have some tolerance. Some understanding. Some COMPASSION. I did this for YOU. So that I would be able to experience Thailand in all of it's beautiful, eclectic, exciting, maybe not entirely authentic and/or legal glory.
Mmmmmm. I just love it. The shopping was just.......ridiculous. And here's the thing - bargaining is not just accepted - it's encouraged. It's a sport. Everyone takes part, everybody wins, and we all go home happy. Or at least, I go home happy.
And isn't that all that really matters?
Yes. Yes it is. This vacation was kick-ass in every way. And by that I mean both figuratively, as in: it was awesome, and literally, as in: I was struck with the most horrific case of the trots on record.
True story. We'll get to that later on too.
2 hours ago