A Disturbing Lack of Plaid

Days 1-2: Exotic Portlandia and San Francisco


Sunset over Portland

Since I already had a previously-purchased, non-refundable ticket to San Francisco (long story), I thought that spending some time in SF on my way out of the country sounded like a fun thing to do. This wasn’t my most convenient idea ever. Hanging out in the grey city of fog with only the clothes I packed for Thailand is… chilly. The hipsters don’t understand my rain jacket, sundress, sandals, and distinct lack of plaid.

In trip-planning news, Citibank’s automated anti-fraud credit card measures are so aggressive that it was nearly impossible for me to book my Thai hotels & train tickets online this weekend. They blocked every charge, crashed whichever website I was trying to use to purchase something, and then notified me via text or voicemail that I needed to call them back within 2 days or my credit card account would be suspended. At this point, I count 7 hours of my life lost to dealing with this nonsense.

I’ve let them know where I will be, that I won’t have ANY phone access while I’m traveling, and if they pull these kind of shenanigans while I’m gone, I will be royally screwed. Citibank swears they have my travel plans noted and will stop blocking my account, but I guess I’m now mentally prepared to end up moneyless, credit card-less, and stranded. My cardboard sign will say “Will Project Manage for Airplane Tickets.”

I did eventually manage to book places to stay for my entire trip, so I probably won’t be sleeping on the beach. Here’s the trip:

PDX -> SF -> LAX -> Tokyo -> Bangkok -> Cambodia (Angkor Wat!) -> Laos (Malaria!) -> Bangkok -> Chiang Mai (Monks and Elephants!) -> Koh Samui (Island beaches!) -> Seattle -> PDX -> home!

It’s going to be strange, wonderful, and disorienting to be disconnected from the holiday markers of time in the outside world.

  • Christmas
  • New Year’s Eve
  • The End of the World (according to the Mayan Calendar)
  • And perhaps most importantly – The Hobbit Premiere. Hope someone will go see it with me when it’s a month old!

Edit: I just realized that I lost the 3rd & 4th doses of my typhoid vaccine pills.  I may not be able to get as adventurous with street food as I had planned.

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