Asia · 53 Days · 14 Moments · December 2017

Eric's work trip in Thailand

25 January 2018

As you may know by now, I am currently in Indonesia for work. After being in Thailand almost 2 months, its extra boring here. Not only am I alone, but there’s just nothing to do weeknights after work. Nowhere to walk to, nowhere really to go. So I’ve been in a bit of a funk, and wish i were back in Thailand. Plus there was always company there, between colleagues and people I met. Anyways, in developing news, I will be leaving Friday night and flying to Singapore. I will have all day Saturday and Saturday night there, then on Sunday I fly to Korea, where I have one day of work on Monday - we will stay near Seoul, and then plant is maybe 1 hour from there. So this weekend I’m knocking off 2 new places. I also just found out that it is around freezing or below in Korea, and the warmest thing I have is 1 sweatshirt. So I may have to buy a jacket for the 1 day. Going to try and convince work to pay for it.

9 January 2018

Haven’t posted since the Philippines so thought I’d give an update. Everything has been great. Tomorrow will be 7 days in row of 12 hour shifts, but tomorrow should be last long day. Then I will take of Thursday, short day Friday, take off Saturday. Originally, the plan was Friday last day, then Indonesia for 1 week (my first trip last February), but today I was able to prolong my time here until middle next week :) I was hoping to stay longer and get back to some easier days and time off before I leave, so I’m pretty happy about it! So yeah, I’d be fine staying another month or 2 here.

2 January 2018

Currently sitting in Philippines airport, about to head back to Thailand. I spent 2 nights, 1 full day here. The area I’m in is called “Manila.” Overall, it was a mixed experience. Since it was just a 1 day trip to renew visa, I just stayed in city near airport. It’s well developed with a more western Caribbean feel (Catholic Churches, drive on same side road as us, everyone speak English very well), but it’s dirtier and more run down than Thailand. It reminds me more of Jakarta in Indonesia. The night life is pretty good, and I did some walking around, but not a whole lot to see. People are super friendly, but service is worse, and people really try and scam you for money, and lots of beggars. I know there are a lot of good places away from city on beach, in jungle, but would require more time to visit. Maybe I’ll make another trip here in the future, but I enjoyed Thailand and Indonesia more.

25 December 2017

My Christmas Day in Thailand: Woke up to find that Santa visited and left me a book (first picture). The lab tech from my team, the only lady of our 8 person group, got us all presents... skittles and yo-yo’s! Very nice surprise. It’s funny how much we have used them over the past few days while at work. (Second picture) Then plant shutdown in the morning after running for only 24 hours. So we went home at lunch and had afternoon to relax in room and by the pool! Here is view from room with my nutcracker (third picture). Sunset on Christmas from hotel walkway (fourth picture). Hotel left a cookie as a present in our rooms (no picture). Christmas dinner = chicken kabob with fries, ice lemon tea, and a beer (fifth picture). Christmas night walk to see the big tree (sixth picture).

24 December 2017

Had what turned out to be a pretty splendid Christmas Eve. I didn’t leave for work until around 11, which meant I had an hour of pool time this morning after a relaxing breakfast. I was at work late though until 8, so didn’t get back to hotel until 9. They brought us KFC for dinner at the plant. I just got back from a short walk that included eating a slice of pizza, even though I wasn’t hungry, for tradition. Now I’m sitting on my balcony eating mango!

22 December 2017

3 tidbits from my day off: 1) got my first international haircut today 2) watched the cops for a few minutes standing by the side of the road. The only asked tourists on motorbikes to stop. The smart ones didn’t stop, knowing they won’t be chased. 3) there is a white guy I’ve seen multiple nights along the beach hoola-hooping. He not doing it for money, I think just a strange guy. Tonight he chase after 2 kids with their parents. One laughed, the other cried.

20 December 2017

This morning as I went to go eat breakfast at 7 in the morning, it was a brisk 64 degrees. I asked to sit outside, and the girl who takes room number and seats you thought as was nuts, saying “aren’t you cold?” Sure it was a bit chilly, but I told her it’s a lot warmer than where I’m from. Plus after last week being in the mid 90’s it was nice to feel some fall like weather for 1 morning.

18 December 2017

One underrated benefit of Thailand is the exposure to food I’m familiar with. I love the local food here, but this being my third trip here this year (currently in my seventh week in Thailand), it’s starting to lose its “spark”. I’ve come to realize with these travels that food is one of the most difficult things to deal with (boy do I sound fat and privileged saying that). Ordering western food is very hit or miss... for every good meal, there’s an equally bad meal. That’s why I try for local as much as possible, cause it’s usually always good, even simple meal of fried rice, which is one of my favorite things to get here - fried rice with seafood, and a margarita. That being said, mixing in the occasional Starbucks - enjoyed by the pool on Saturday - DQ blizzard - last nights treat - and the first good local pizza place I’ve found outside of North America - tonight’s dinner - helps keep Thai food “new” and keep at bay some of my American cravings. Props to Pog for Africa food!

13 December 2017

I ran out of space.... anyways for lunch on days they don’t go, I go out with people from plant for good local food. And luckily I’m good being alone ( don’t get lonely) so the nights are still enjoyable grabbing dinner and drink... and I get to choose each night. We did all meet up Friday evening which was fun. Plus, without Yue here, I have more down time, which makes things more relaxing and way less tiring. Able to get normal sleep, more time to read, and work out which is a first on any of my travels. I’m realizing now that to avoid getting burn out i need to try to keep things normal as possible without always feeling like I have to be out doing stuff.... fitting in more western food to not get burnt out on local food, working out, sleeping normal hours, keeping up on sports, being healthy. Okay I’m stuffed from my mango and it’s too hot. That’s all folks.
I am currently on my patio eating mango and sticky rice. Delicious! Though I don’t know how long I’ll be out here because it is quite warm and humid tonight.... most nights it’s cooled off ok, but apparently not tonight as of yet. Traveling is a little bit different without anyone from my group here. Yes, there is our startup team (currently 5, another guy coming Monday), but they are living a few miles from me in apartments. They also get a per diem daily pay (essentially a daily living expense) and get to keep whatever they don’t spend, so they like to live cheap. Meanwhile, everything of mine is expensed, so I might as well live expensive. Nice hotel, go out to eat every lunch and dinner. They only go out for lunch Wednesday and Friday (and when they do it’s something boring like KFC), and they cook themselves each night, or eat somewhere by where they live. So it’s a different dynamic this time eating most my meals alone and hanging out alone most days.

9 December 2017

Unfortunately I can’t post videos on here cause I have a cool one to show of some parade that I saw go done Beach Road while I was laying on the beach. Anyways, had a fairly low key Saturday afternoon and all day today, sitting by the pool, on the beach, and lots of swimming and walking around... and lots of reading and watching some shows on my iPad. It wasn’t too exciting, but I’ve been here enough so that’s ok. Plus I wanted to get in a bum beach day before work gets hectic over the next few weeks. For lunch today I had some seafood and vegetable soup out of a coconut! Very delicious. And here’s a pic of me in full blown tourist mode with my dumb chacos.

7 December 2017

Well it’s not mango season here in Thailand, but they’re still pretty darn good. After eating and having a beer, I decided to grab this bad boy at one of the many fruit stands on my way back to the hotel. The proceeded to eat it on my balcony over looking the ocean while watching people walk by below. Almost a great end to the day, until I had to do a stupid “let’s check on how Eric is doing” phone call with back office, which turns into a 30 min phone call about work when all I want to do is lay in bed, read, and go to sleep. Ugh, one of my least favorite parts of this work. And it was signaled as something to work on in my mid year review, so I feel like now I have to go out of my way to do these phone calls a few times each week. I’d prefer to just call if I need to, and not call just for the heck of it like I did tonight.

4 December 2017

After a solid 3 hours of sleep, today’s goal was to stay awake as late as possible.... yay jet lag. It’s almost 8:00 so I’d say I did a pretty good job. Worked out, swam, then headed to Pattaya, which is where I stay for work. Swam again once I arrived, walked around, enjoyed a nice sunset, and went to one of my favorite places here to eat. Probably the highlight of the trip so far is finding out that Christmas seems to be pretty well celebrated here, I’m assuming because of so much tourism. Decorations, Christmas music playing in hotels and malls, a huge Christmas tree along the beach in the heart of Pattaya, and a nutcracker in my room brought from home.
Landed successfully in Thailand. Got here around midnight. Staying the night in Bangkok before heading to Pattaya - where I’ll be staying for work- tomorrow. The hotel car I took from airport to hotel had WiFi, so I got to read up on all the sports I missed while in the air. Had room service for dinner, and currently wide awake due to the time change. It’s 3:30 am local time.