I've been seeing temples, buying glasses, and doing cool things in Bangkok. Tomorrow I'm going to a tiger temple and then will be heading out of the city to a destination as of yet undecided.
Today I took a Thai cooking class. The things we made were downright delicious, including delicious Thai peanut sauce. Most surprising base ingredient in peanut sauce? Tomato! I never would have guessed.
I've been staying at a buy one night get one night free hotel. That already should have set off some red flags. If not the price alone, the ants in the bed and the lizard in the bathroom maybe should have tipped me off. But it had a private bathroom AND airconditioning. Easy decision. Nevertheless, this morning while I was cooking up issan, the staff was cooking up trouble.
It's very hard to admit when something hasn't been simply misplaced, but has in fact been stolen. Especially when it's out of a locked hotel room. After all, you can never really know! Sure, you can ASSUME it's been stolen, but how can you know you didn't just misplace it? You end up searching and rummaging and combing through all your stuff, and there's really no reason to stop other than when you burn yourself out.
So, this afternoon when I got back from the cooking class, I began a search for the pouch that has my US money and my credit/debit cards. At this point you should be able to guess how it turned out. Last night it was right where I left it, but today it wasn't under the bed, under the covers, between the mattresses, and didn't somehow leap five feet through the air onto the desk and slip itself under the TV. With no way to be sure it was stolen, there's no place you're not willing to look. In fact, I'm still not even positive it WAS stolen. It could be lurking in a pair of dirty underwear somewhere waiting to fall out and brighten my tomorrow. (Although I triple-checked all the dirty underwear, which did anything but brighten my today.)
I had another set of credit/debit cards in a separate place and they were ok, and I have taken all the necessary steps to get them replaced, and have begun padlocking the hotel door. I'm pretty sure it was the staff, as I've been very good about locking the doors, had splurged (if you can call these prices splurging) for a private room, and the staff seems sketchy. All told, though, I guess this has ended up being the most expensive room I've ever slept in.
Tomorrow I'll get to pet tigers, which will be cool enough to offset having to yet again deal with the lovely people at 1-800-visa-911. Visa-911 is another story all in itself. I had to move internet cafes three times before she could hear me on skype, and then I had to keep telling her that I didn't have a phone. Five times I told her that. Three times I had to tell her "NO, I am NOT in the US. How could I be in Thailand AND in the US?" When filling out the last case report: "and sir, if you could just PLEASE give me your phone number it would really make all this a lot easier." "Look. It's not like I'm holding out on you. I do not have a phone, and thus I do not have a phone number. If I did, I would give it to you, but I do not and therefore cannot."
Hopefully I will be back soon saying I found the cash and canceled the cards for no reason. And even more hopefully won't be back to say the thief came back and took more. The most befuddling part of all of this is that that is the only thing they took! (If in fact anyone took anything). Computer and passport, both equally accessible, remain accounted for. Good news, but makes you wonder. I will feel like a fool if I find it, but a very pleased fool, even though I've canceled my cards.