November 03, 2001

caveat emptor

that's the rule of the game here. i now have a translucent blue cell phone
to throw in the bottom of my bag and also to deal with whatever comes up if
necessary. getting it was of course part of the fun.

the infamous MBK Center has a floor devoted to stuff. Imagine a cross
between a flea market (a big part of the floor is in fact pretty much that
setup) and, say the pike place underground. now imagine that half the shops
are devoted to selling and repairing mobile phone. what do you do with 300
mobile phone dealers? i have no idea. lacking additional info, and not
wanting to spend the day talking with people who speak little english, i
ended up at the first place i talked to trying to see if my old phone would
work. (yes, USA phones work in analog mode. my phone's probably been cloned
already. any number you dial results in some message in thai). of course the
place deals in cash, no receipts; the next day I was back, since the first
phone died already. but hey, I'm kind of memorable in this part of the
world, and they gave me a new (used) phone. give it a call, hopefully it
receives overseas calls (it can't dial them, and my calling card company
seems to have disconnected their thai number they day after i arrived). +66
(0) 9 993 9531.

this is pretty typical of bangkok. it's a very strange place. rich and poor
at the same time, though there seems to be little friction and it's a safe
place. but you know that under the covers there is something going on,
somewhere. i'm exhausted from walking around for hours every day, that's the
best form of transport here. in most cities, the bus is slow because it
stops a lot to pick up passengers. here, traffic is so slow that the bus
just opens the door near the stop, and you'll usually have plenty of time to
get to it (possibly going forwards, backwards, or even across a few lanes of
traffic) before traffic moves again.

until next time...

Posted by MBlain at November 3, 2001 08:08 AM
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