Entry Info

8th (Fri)
Jan 2010

[day1] Trapped!

continued from the previous entry.

Well, he was ripping me off as suspected. The price was not super high for me but I was very disappointed as I hadn't been able to figure out this trick. I almost lost my words with the shock but firstly I have to protect myself from this stupid game. I'm somehow very getting used to reducing damages from any sort of accidents though this means I'm always involved with trouble.

Anyhow, 150,000baht for 3 hours drinking was too expensive for the service. By my own estimation, I would have paid 6000baht for the maximum but how did I get a discount in these circumstances?

First of all, I had told Shcad that I hadn’t had enough cash before the entrance. However, he must have seen a credit card in my wallet and reckoned that I have ability to pay. It was possible to withdraw money from ATMs.

Incidentally, I tried to pay by credit card at the first and get 15,000baht cash from him, he rejected very strongly. According to him, the credit card company would charge more fees for my Japanese credit card but I suspect there was a gap to the real payment to the bar. Besides, he might not have wanted to make an official record for this. Although I judged him as guilty in my head, I kept acting as if I was still trusting him because he also talked to me in a friendly manner.

An important point is, I had some credit cards at the moment but only one card was enabled for the international cashing. The other cards were left in the hostel's locker. I secretly took the card from my wallet and slipped into jeans' pocket.

And we went to the nearest ATM. "I will pay for you because I enjoyed a lot. It was more expensive than I anticipated though." Pretending gently, I inserted the credit card, which were actually not enabled for international cash, to the ATM and entered my PIN number. If I had entered the wrong number, an error message would have appeared immediately; however I passed this step. Nonetheless, eventually an error message popped up when I decided the amount of money for the withdrawal. I started panicking "Oh, why? I could get money from ATM. This is way I have money at this moment." And Schad replied doubtfully, "Don't you have another card?" Even if I tried another one, the result was of course failure. We tried with other ATMs too as Schad suspected the error was due to the bank’s problem but nothing was given.

This was a huge trouble for me, superficially though. How could I manage to get money for about a week in Thailand? I acted slightly panicking and sat down a bench nearby. Phew, I now could hide the real agitation and consider about the next step. Schad walked to me with a worried face. "Well, we should go to the airport." Oh, he was levying very earnestly. But even if we had gone there, the result would have been the same because of the card I used. The airport runs 24 hours but it would be a waste of the taxi fee.

Saying the airport was too far, I was pretending being bewildered and Schad suggested an interesting point. "Don't you have Japanese yen now?" Oh yeah, I had a 10,000 yen note in my wallet for emergencies. "I have only this but isn't it enough?" I showed the note to him. "Not enough." said Schad. But the speed of fetching the note from my hand was incredibly fast. Well, what was the next option?

I supposed that this must have been dangerous if we had remained there longer and I really wanted to go back to the hostel and sleep peacefully but this old guy would not let me go. So I proposed to him, "I might have 20,000yen at the accommodation. And could you let me go with it?" "Well, O.K. You are my friend Satoshi. I give you a discount" I didn't totally agree with myself though, we got a tuk-tuk again and moved to the accommodation. Left him at the front, I entered the room and opened my locker. Yes, I found some Japanese yen notes. However, it was absurd to give him 20,000yen. I made up my mind to submit him 2 sheets of 5000 yen notes instead of the same number of 10,000 yen notes.

When I backed to the front, he somehow moved to the outside of the building. "Why? It's cool inside isn't it?", bluffed a little but very sincerely I showed him a decorated small bag. "I'm sorry I thought I had 2 Japanese notes but both of them are actually 5000 yen". "Not enough." said he but picked the cash extremely fast again. Well, that was problematic. It was going to far exceed my budget.

The final word was uttered, "Uh, I gonna ask the people at the accommodation to borrow some". No sooner had I mumbled the phrase than he changed his attitude completely. "Well, it's enough. I'm sleepy and I'll go back to my hotel." "Oh, thank you. Is it really OK for you?" I thankfully posed to Schad who was drawing his feet back. I assume it must have been more than enough even though it eventually became half price of the initial demand.

At the night, I fell asleep wearily as I was just disappointed myself who made such a blunder on the first day of the trip. The shock remained the next day too and I didn't feel like going out. After all, I rationalised myself as the total cost includes an extra fee for a personal guided tour and a travel lesson as well as drinking at the bar. I reasoned to myself and so I was able to tour around Bangkok on the next day.

After all, I should make use of this experience for the future. What I learnt from this incident is "Be very careful with someone who tries to talk on the street" and "Go to the bar which has cash-on system or clear fee table if it's really necessary". I know they are common sense of travellers but maybe I was affected by a fever in Bangkok which was indeed the first destination of this trip. Well, the price I lost was actually not too bad and anyway physically I’m unharmed. I'll take this lesson for this trip afterwards. I guess 20,000 yen is still a big deal though.

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17:57 9th Jan 2010


モン said:


19:26 9th Jan 2010


hiroko said:


00:42 10th Jan 2010


ぶる said:


21:35 10th Jan 2010


ひと美 said:


職場の皆も兄ちゃんの安否を心配してくれている毎日です 笑


06:44 11th Jan 2010


obana said:


07:31 11th Jan 2010


よしこ said:


07:44 11th Jan 2010


wilson said:

really beware especially you have a big camera on your neck. which means ” i am a tourist “... take care!

20:05 11th Jan 2010


misapra said:


09:09 12th Jan 2010


Jason said:

Hey Satoshi, love reading about your adventures. I want to encourage you to keep the posts coming.

I’ve been to Thailand many times over the years and have traveled most parts of SE Asia. I spent 9 months backpacking and by the end, still every once in a while I’d figure out I was getting milked.

My theory is you can resist to a point, but in the long run the extra cash means much less to us than the shopkeepers, bar owners, or scammers so don’t feel too bad about paying a reasonable tourist price.

What this guy was trying to pull was definitely way too much and I think you hit a nice balance without having any confrontation. Remember, there are special English speaking Tourist Police in those parts of Thailand and they are used to mediating sticky situations like that if you don’t see a way out.

I highly recommend spending time in Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam where I feel safe enough to have recently traveled with my wife and two young kids.

Have fun

21:00 14th Jan 2010


satoshi said:

Thank you for a lot of comments here. I think your responses compensated the money I lost at the night. So far, I haven’t been victimised with this kind of fraud no matter the type and size is. Yeah, I learnt a lot. Maybe I should be aware of my own life bit more and enjoy this trip.

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