How Not To Travel

I usually plan things out to the point where for big tasks I’m making lists of the lists I will need. I’m headed to Thailand and I decided a whack on the side of my head in the form of not planning it to death would be a good thing.

I was wrong.

First I bought the PDF version of the Thai southern beaches and islands book I wanted. Couldn’t find the most recent print version and figured an old version might not be too helpful in the areas hit by the tsunami. So far so good.

Found a flight, no problema. Tried to buy a ticket and was stumped. Neither of my credit cards worked on Philippine Airlines and they are the only carrier that flies from Manila to Bangkok.

So I got on the phone and found that a travel agent could verify the card through her business’s system and not via PAL. I give her the details and head over after she texts me that the ticket is reserved.

I get there and the power is out. Lunch, net surfing and a book chapter later the power is back on. But not the Internet. Another chapter and the net is back up and I get my ticket.

I also need a ticket to Phuket. Knowing there were many airlines to choose from I decided to make the reservation myself. Wrong choice. No credit card problems this time but the brain damaged browsers that run on my netbook gagged on all the airline sites I tried. Another call to the wonderful lady at the travel agent and another trip to pick up the tickets.

One outcome of this is I think I’m going to lose the Operating
System that came with my netbook and install Linux. The main reason I brought the thing was to have a secure place to access my bank and make credit card purchases. I’m 1 for 3 on the latter so I think it’s time for a new netbook. But I digress.

I made a reservation at a hotel at the Bangkok International airport (BKK) taking care that it was not next to the domestic airport.

Next day I head for Phuket island and Kamala beach. No responses on my reservation requests yet but it’s the low season which means mostly empty hotels and 50% off peak season rates. I’ll wing it, no pun intended.

Someone told me that if I register my credit cards with the MasterCard SecureCode service that may solve the online problems. I’ll check it out. But right now I’m going to go eat the last Lechon Manok and Puso I’m going to have access to for a few months.


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