This is one is not so much a story as it is a funny anecdote. While in Thailand on our trip of a lifetime we cycled from Bangkok to Krabi. Being in a country with such a different culture and language was challenging and has caused a fair deal of misunderstandings.
My favorite one is the one concerning ‘short stay or long stay’ in hotels. Once we left touristy Bangkok and started cycling through smaller villages we mainly had to rely on pointing and gestures for our communication. As you can imagine this caused some miscommunication at times.
When we came to a lovely bungalow resort near the ocean we saw two prices advertised, but couldn’t make much of the rest of the signage. We stopped and after having a quick look around we decided to spend the night here. The lady at the counter spoke a few words of English and asked us if it was ‘short stay or long stay’. We very decidedly said short stay and tried to understand when we had to leave in the morning. She understood our question but said ‘no no no, LONG stay!’. We looked at each other and as we were only planning on staying one night tried to convince her we were having a short stay and would leave first thing in the morning. She countered again with ‘no, LONG stay’.
We decided to stop arguing with her and paid the long stay price. It was double that of the short stay, but still ridiculously cheap. We figured she was making us pay more as we were obviously tourists and she could see that we were going to stay here anyways. We paid her, bought an extra bottle of water and she showed us to our cabin.
I walked in and was surprised by how clean and luxurious the cabin was, we even had a private bathroom with shower. As I made my way through the door I remarked to my boyfriend that the mirror was in a bit of a weird position as it cut off my shoulders and head, but didn’t much think of it until I sat down on the bed. Sitting there I could see myself and the whole bed reflecting back at me. Next to the bed, on the side table, there was a complementary bottle of water and three condoms. That’s when our penny dropped.
The resort didn’t count on the guests spending the night (long stay), but rather an hour or two (short stay). You can imagine we felt quite silly and laughed at ourselves the rest of the night.