Nothing To Riverview Review

, , , , | Right | August 2, 2019

(Rather embarrassingly, I am the customer in this story. My boyfriend and I are traveling in South East Asia and are staying one night in Bangkok before flying to Hong Kong. Unfortunately, we can’t remember the exact name of the hotel we’ve booked and can’t find anywhere in the airport to get Wi-Fi or access the Internet and look it up, so I go to the tourist information office.)

Me: “Excuse me, my boyfriend and I are booked into a hotel but we can’t quite remember the name. It’s the ‘Something’ Riverview, but I’m not sure exactly.”

Lady: *behind the desk* “Okay, do you know which street it’s on?”

Me: “No.”

Lady: “Do you know where in the city it is?”

Me: “Not exactly.”

Lady: “Do you know how many stars it has?”

Me: *turning beet red by this point* “Sorry, no.”

Lady: “Ma’am, I apologise, but do you know anything? There are hundreds of hotels in Bangkok!”

(Fortunately, another lady in the office looked up a list of names that roughly matched Riverview and I recognised one straight away. After that, they booked us a taxi to take us there!)

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Crossing The Road Paved With Good Intentions

, , , , , | Hopeless | December 28, 2018

Having grown up in a well-developed country, crossing the road is probably the least of our worries due to the abundance of traffic lights, zebra crossings, and pedestrian bridges. Recently, my family went for a vacation to Bangkok, Thailand as a group of eight people. Being a dense city area, the traffic is pretty nightmarish there. Around our hotel, to get to the other side of the main road will require you to either jaywalk or to walk a long distance to the overhead transit system and cross its bridge.

We saw what appeared to be a traffic light for pedestrians, and crossed the first half normally. The main road was quite wide and crossing it would require us to pass through two traffic lights, with each stopping cars flowing from a certain direction. Reaching the other half, we realized that the traffic light was either broken or disused, as it remained red — or didn’t even turn on at all; I can’t remember the details. So, we were stuck in the middle of the road, and it was difficult for us to cross as a large group and with all the cars moving at a pretty fast speed. I recalled us getting stuck there for at least a solid two minutes.

A motorcyclist saw eight of us, looking like lost tourists wanting to cross the road, and stopped for us in the middle lane — it was a three-lane road — and motioned for the cars to stop, as well. Surprisingly, the cars at the other lanes stopped, and he gestured for us to cross, which we did quickly and gratefully.

While this might seem like a small gesture, the kindness of the Thais did impress me significantly. While I had seen roads in other countries which were as “messy” as this one, this is definitely the first time I had seen someone stopping just to allow us jaywalkers to cross, even though they did not have to.

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Twisting The Truth

, , , , | Friendly | June 27, 2018

(I am with a tour group of young people in Bangkok. We are on the rotating observation deck of the tallest tower in the country. One of the girls in my group is not the brightest.)

Girl: “So, is it the deck that is rotating or the tower?”

Me: “Actually, neither the deck nor the tower are moving; the entire city rotates around the tower.”

(She didn’t appreciate my remark, but everyone else got a kick out of it.)

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We’ll Sit In The Ong-Back

, , , | Working | June 14, 2018

(My boyfriend and I are traveling in Thailand, and we decide to try and see a muay-thai match, so we go to a nearby stadium. At the ticket window, we check the prices, and decide on third-class for $20 instead of first for $60.)

Me: *tapping the seat chart, since my Thai isn’t great* “Third, please.”

(The ticket-seller glances at us, clearly the only white people in line, and also taps the chart.)

Ticket-Seller: “First.”

Me: “No, third.”

Ticket-Seller: “Farang—” *white people* “—always sit in first.”

Me: “We want tickets for third-class, please.”

Ticket-Seller: “But there will be Thai people there!”

Me: “I hope so; we’re in Thailand!”

(Third-class seats turned out to be perfectly comfortable, and everyone was too busy cheering the athletes on to notice or care about the white couple cheering, too. As an added bonus, my boyfriend checked out the first-class area in his way back from the bathroom, and it turned out they were selling the same beer for twice the price!)

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Baht Nothing

, , , , , , , | Right | December 15, 2017

(I am at a cafe at the departure lounge of the airport, queueing up behind some tourists heading home. Note: All the notes and coins are clearly marked.)

Tourist: “How much is this bottled water?”

Cashier: “It’s [amount], ma’am.”

Tourist: *shoving some change at the cashier* “Here.”

Cashier: “So sorry, but you are short by [amount].”

Tourist: *gives a note* “Fine. Here. I don’t understand your currency. I want my change in [Home Country’s currency].”

Cashier: “I’m sorry; I can only give you change in Thai Baht.”

Tourist: “This is outrageous! What kind of place is this that you can’t give me change in [Home Country’s currency]?!”

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