The Tour Guide incident:
This city is massive, we need to see the presidential palace and Kings residence. He has his very own zoo, right in his back yard.
Sure helps if you know the language here as we are finding out, smiling just doesn't cut it sometimes. I happened to see a sign advertising tour guides near our hotel and for 10 bucks US , it would be worth it. So the guy who runs it wants half up front and we pay the tour guide the remaining sum at the end of the day. sounds simple enough. He said all his tour guides were fluent in English,
we were expecting someone older and distinguished, when he brings this sweet young girl out from the back. She was a doll and very easy on the eyes and even though we were both sitting, we were giving her a standing ovation. Looking at her, I began to have my doubts about her linguistic skills and I'm sure that she had danced around a chrome pole at some point of her short life. Too late, we were on our way. Within minutes we realized that her English was very limited, the first place she took us was the bar she worked at in the evenings. This confirmed our suspicions about the chrome pole and her idea of a tour was in our hotel rooms. Now both Skip and I, being honorable men, and faithful to our girlfriends back home, decided that we would take her to all the shopping malls and make her earn her wage the honest way. Yes, we made her stand in line for us, negotiate prices with Thai sale staff, and she had to carry all our parcels and bags, all for lying to us that she could speak English. It was great,she did all the work while Skip and I strutted around the mall like Starsky and Hutch, wearing the latest in Armani fashions.
We didn't worry about her ripping us off, hell, we knew where she worked and besides she needed the remaining fee at the end of the day. I love it when a plan comes together and we seem to make the most out of every situation. And everything with Skip and I is a situation. In the end, we payed her double and she had a great meal too in a fine restaraunt, she was elated with our generosity but the message we tried to convey to her was that she could earn an honest days wages by not having to work on her back. It probably fell on deaf ears and it's a shame too, she was a good kid.
Longing for the sun.