The following is a series of emails I sent to friends and families as I was travelling through Hong Kong, Thailand and Japan in early 2017.
The story continues…
The first night wasn’t too bad. I have few problems getting from my airport to the hostel. Well…it could have been smoother.
The hostel instructed me to call them once I was outside the airport, and then they’d pick me up. Seemed simple enough.
However there were 2 hiccups in this plan:
1) I didn’t have a SIM card.
2) For reasons I may get into in another email, I only have the following phone:
Needless to say, it doesn’t have wifi, let alone Whatsapp.
And so I arrive at Phuket and make my way outside, searching for SIM card shops on the way. I end up outside, SIM-less, and I start sweating. Not just because of the heat and humidity (which was palpable even though it was about 10pm), but because I didn’t want to sleep outside Phuket airport.
Fortunately, there was a little Thai man squatting outside the airport with a smartphone in his hands. I asked if he’d be so kind as to let me borrow it for a call. He seemed to oblige. I’m saved!
I showed him the number and he typed it in. Then he did something I didn’t expect. He put the phone to his ear.
How to convey in sign language the sentence “It’s my phone call not yours?”
I wasn’t sure who he was expecting to speak to or what they might say. Luckily I made enough “Can I speak?” gestures that he passed it over – though not before getting a few words in. I’d love to know what he said.
Luckily the hostel didn’t hang up and block his number, and I managed to get a ride. Thank you to the strange Thai man for that.
After checking in, shedding my clothes, showering, an attempt at sleep, shedding more clothes and a duvet, and showering again, I fell peacefully to sleep.
If only it’d been as easy the rest of the week.
P.S. Here’s a poorly-taken photograph of a water buffalo in Hong Kong