oh boy... what a great and amazing trip
I made many new friends on this trip. I met alot of tourists from all parts of mainland china, I even considered applying for a mainland china visa unrelated to the tourists I met but instead I re-applied for a taiwan student visa to continue studying chinese. I don't think going to mainland china is really a critical thing for me to do at this point in time.
However, recently I've been thinking about the future and if I wanted to continue more advanced Chinese language studies to take it somewhere in mainland china, somewhere that doesn't suffer all the air pollution that you hear about in the news.
Taiwan has been decent to me, but I feel like I've reached the end point of exploration there.
Anyway on the visa note, I spent close to 3 months in Thailand on this summer trip. BUT, before I started this summer trip, I put in my 30 day notice on my room in Taipei and had to throw out all the stuff that I couldn't carry with me.
At the airport I ran into an issue that I've never run into in the USA, and that's carry on baggage weight. In the USA it's always been the case that I can just buy more weight allowance but here they have some crap rule where they charge by kilogram. very expensive practice. I had to throw out a lot of good stuff at the airport...
Out of all the stuff I threw out, I only had to rebuy half of the stuff, so I guess it was a good thing to force me to purge extra stuff out. there's a lot of people online who say something about being able to travel with only one carry on bag, yeah that's impossible for me man. my carry on roller consists computer and camera gear and I don't see this bag reducing anytime soon. the camera gear I use is always evolving so maybe one day in the future I will have less gear.
Also I have a check in suitcase where I put all my clothes and analog camera gear that is over the weight limit and health care items and liquids.
I would love to dump more weight from my luggage, it would make anytime I have to travel to a place that doesn't have an elevator and lots of steps a lot easier to deal with.
Anyway I digress, I went back to Bangkok, I rented an apartment there for a bit, real convenient spot, right next to the BTS station, which if you don't know is an above ground train that travels through the central parts of Bangkok, also right next door across the street I had a Tesco lotus supermarket which I went to every freakin' day to buy fruits, vegetables, juices and eat at their many optioned foodcourt.
This time I did more stuff that I didn't get to do the last time and I also did some repeat stuff and I discovered many more things that made my life easier.
Aside from the new friends I made, I ate a lot of great Thai food, aside from the great Thai food, I found not bad Mexican food, aside from food in general I hired a Thai language teacher and spent one month studying Thai. Now I can roll my tongue, count in Thai, express other general feelings in the Thai language, and read and write a little bit also. compared to Chinese Thai is a lot easier and compared to english the Thai language shares similarities in that the written characters have both consonants and vowels and by being able to read the language you can go pretty far.
To relax, I would go for a swim in the pool at my apartment complex and I would go down to the spa down the street and use their Japanese Onsen room to take a dip in some nice hot water and meditate for an hour with a tall bottle of cold water.
To in summary, airlines are a bitch unless you 1, pre-buy more weight and 2, shove all the unimportant weight into the check-in luggage. also Bangkok see's a lot of Chinese tourists, convenience is king and great food and finding ways to relax was a few of the highlights of this trip.