When the clouds rolled back through and our view of the mighty mountains was blocked, Saleem and I decided it was time for dinner.  We walked down the muddy path towards the hookah bar that we saw the day before.  The place was dark and we were worried it was closed, but then we realized it was only because the power was out.  All throughout Nepal there are blocks of time when there is no power.  By the last day we finally figured out the schedule and charged the computer and our iPods accordingly.  We took a seat across from one another in the big comfy booths and read the menu with Saleem’s iPhone flashlight.  Saleem ordered a Nepali dish and I got a bowl of banana porridge.  We also ordered a hookah filled with double apple tobacco.  After the owner left I noticed something called magic cake on the menu.  Saleem asked what it was and the waiter explained exactly what I had thought, so we ordered one of those also.  We hung out for a while eating slowly, sipping tea and smoking hookah.  When it was just about time to leave, a Nepali man introduced himself and starting chatting with us.  
In no time we were invited to sit down and drink Nepali Roxy, a homemade alcohol, with him and his brother, his friend and the owner.  We ended up sitting, smoking and drinking with the men for two hours.  During that time we listened to many jokes and stories.  We also learned a little about the men and Nepal.  Gopi, the main talker, also shared his love for acronyms with us.  Here are a few that I remember: NEPAL-Never Ending Peace And Love, INDIA- I’ll Never Do It Again, ITALY- I’ll Truly Always Love You, AFRICA-After F*cking Rest In Cool Area, and lastly NAGARKOT-Naturally Always Gives Adventure Remember Keep In Touch.  As we sat around and talked, our glasses of Nepali Roxy were emptied and refilled numerous times.  As Gopi and his brother Karam got increasingly drunk, Saleem and I watched as joking and fun-poking turned slightly serious and hostile.  We decided to excuse ourselves when we realized Gopi was starting to fall asleep, but not before promising we would meet again some day.  
Saleem and I stumbled up the deserted pitch-black mountain to our hotel.  We set an alarm for 5:45 a.m. and quickly passed out.  We woke up early to catch a glimpse of the mountains before the clouds rolled in and then headed down to the breakfast spot from the day before for a quick meal before our taxi man came.  The night before we stopped in at the breakfast joint and preordered our meal so when we got there in the morning everything was ready for us.  Right when we sat down our taxi driver came speeding up the hill.  We invited him to sit with us and share our big breakfasts.  After finishing off the porridge and chai we got into the tiny car and made our way down the mountain.  We stopped frequently to admire the views and take photos.  Again Saleem and the driver chatted the whole way home, which made nice background noise for my bumpy ride back to the city center.
We immediately found a cheap hotel with wifi for $10 a night.  We settled in and took advantage of the Internet that we had been craving for the last five days.  After I posted a blog and downloaded a book on my iPod and Saleem updated his instagram we decided it was time to hit the streets for some lunch and some shopping.  Once I stepped outside I embraced the busy streets of Nepal.  I quickly learned how to stay alert while window-shopping among the traffic.  I had my sunglasses on to keep the dust from going in my eyes and my scarf wrapped tight around my mouth and nose to avoid breathing in all the pollution and dirt.  While in the thick of the thamel I missed the clean mountain air of Nagarkot.  The skinny streets of Kathmandu are lined with shops and packed with cars, motorcycles and people.  Most of the shops generally sell the same type of merchandise so it’s easy to be indecisive while browsing.  If a shop didn’t have exactly what I was looking for, I was always hopeful I would find it down the line.   It took me awhile to finally make a purchase, but once I started there was no stopping.  Usually I’m the only one buying things, but Saleem surprised me by buying several pairs of pants and shirts for himself and his parents.  I couldn’t let him out shop me so I started getting serious.  By the end of day two my arms were sore from carrying all my bags.  I managed to spend my Nepal budget plus a little more and buy some traditional and unique items for friends and family.  I want to post photos, but some most of the items are presents so I’ll wait until I gift them to show them here.  

Here is a rundown of what was weighing me down:
(The first price is in Nepalese Rupees and the second is USD)

Handmade Nepali blanket made of yak’s wool for 1,100 or  $13.75
Traditional Nepali hat for 250 or $3
Beaded tribal looking bracelet for 140 or $1.75
Three handmade Nepali shawls made of yak’s wool for a total of 1600 or $20
Nepali playing cards for 300 or $3.75
A skein of natural wool for 150 or $1.88
A big bundle of Tibetan prayer flags of all different sizes for 600 or $7.50
A handful of handmade notebooks on homemade paper and a dozen hand-painted cards for 1000 or $12.50
Four hand-painted 2013 calendars for a total of 600 or $7.50
Hand cut pop-up style stationary depicting the mountains and rivers of Nepal 300 or $3.75

Which brings my bill to about 6,000 NR or $75.

 I don’t know exactly how many things I purchased between all of the notebooks, cards and prayer flags, but I came away with at least twenty items.  After a big shopping trip I always like to divide my price by the total number of purchases and in this case that means I spent less than $4 an item.  I felt so accomplished shoving all the shawls, notebooks and prayer flags down in my pack knowing that I’d taken care of all of my family members and a handful of friends and most importantly the people of Nepal.  I’m certain that everything I bought with the exception of the prayer flags and the playing cards was actually made in Nepal and a portion of the proceeds will go back to the people who crafted each item.  Almost everything I purchased had a handmade and artistic quality.  The hand-painted cards and calendars are especially unique because they’re individually drawn and painted.   Having successful shopping trips like this one adds a little bit more water to my seed of a dream of one day owning a shop with goods from around the world.  It would resemble something similar to 10,000 villages, which is an amazing shop by the way, except I would personally buy everything that would be sold in the store.  It would be a fun way to meet people as both the buyer and the seller and it would be nice to pass along stories of how I ended up choosing the merchandise.  I guess in a way my future store would be my little contribution to responsible globalization.   When the clouds rolled back through and our view of the mighty mountains was blocked, Saleem and I decided it was time for dinner.  We walked down the muddy path towards the hookah bar that we saw the day before.  The place was dark and we were worried it was closed, but then we realized it was only because the power was out.  All throughout Nepal there are blocks of time when there is no power.  By the last day we finally figured out the schedule and charged the computer and our iPods accordingly.  We took a seat across from one another in the big comfy booths and read the menu with Saleem’s iPhone flashlight.  Saleem ordered a Nepali dish and I got a bowl of banana porridge.  We also ordered a hookah filled with double apple tobacco.  After the owner left I noticed something called magic cake on the menu.  Saleem asked what it was and the waiter explained exactly what I had thought, so we ordered one of those also.  We hung out for a while eating slowly, sipping tea and smoking hookah.  When it was just about time to leave, a Nepali man introduced himself and starting chatting with us.  
In no time we were invited to sit down and drink Nepali Roxy, a homemade alcohol, with him and his brother, his friend and the owner.  We ended up sitting, smoking and drinking with the men for two hours.  During that time we listened to many jokes and stories.  We also learned a little about the men and Nepal.  Gopi, the main talker, also shared his love for acronyms with us.  Here are a few that I remember: NEPAL-Never Ending Peace And Love, INDIA- I’ll Never Do It Again, ITALY- I’ll Truly Always Love You, AFRICA-After F*cking Rest In Cool Area, and lastly NAGARKOT-Naturally Always Gives Adventure Remember Keep In Touch.  As we sat around and talked, our glasses of Nepali Roxy were emptied and refilled numerous times.  As Gopi and his brother Karam got increasingly drunk, Saleem and I watched as joking and fun-poking turned slightly serious and hostile.  We decided to excuse ourselves when we realized Gopi was starting to fall asleep, but not before promising we would meet again some day.  
Saleem and I stumbled up the deserted pitch-black mountain to our hotel.  We set an alarm for 5:45 a.m. and quickly passed out.  We woke up early to catch a glimpse of the mountains before the clouds rolled in and then headed down to the breakfast spot from the day before for a quick meal before our taxi man came.  The night before we stopped in at the breakfast joint and preordered our meal so when we got there in the morning everything was ready for us.  Right when we sat down our taxi driver came speeding up the hill.  We invited him to sit with us and share our big breakfasts.  After finishing off the porridge and chai we got into the tiny car and made our way down the mountain.  We stopped frequently to admire the views and take photos.  Again Saleem and the driver chatted the whole way home, which made nice background noise for my bumpy ride back to the city center.
We immediately found a cheap hotel with wifi for $10 a night.  We settled in and took advantage of the Internet that we had been craving for the last five days.  After I posted a blog and downloaded a book on my iPod and Saleem updated his instagram we decided it was time to hit the streets for some lunch and some shopping.  Once I stepped outside I embraced the busy streets of Nepal.  I quickly learned how to stay alert while window-shopping among the traffic.  I had my sunglasses on to keep the dust from going in my eyes and my scarf wrapped tight around my mouth and nose to avoid breathing in all the pollution and dirt.  While in the thick of the thamel I missed the clean mountain air of Nagarkot.  The skinny streets of Kathmandu are lined with shops and packed with cars, motorcycles and people.  Most of the shops generally sell the same type of merchandise so it’s easy to be indecisive while browsing.  If a shop didn’t have exactly what I was looking for, I was always hopeful I would find it down the line.   It took me awhile to finally make a purchase, but once I started there was no stopping.  Usually I’m the only one buying things, but Saleem surprised me by buying several pairs of pants and shirts for himself and his parents.  I couldn’t let him out shop me so I started getting serious.  By the end of day two my arms were sore from carrying all my bags.  I managed to spend my Nepal budget plus a little more and buy some traditional and unique items for friends and family.  I want to post photos, but some most of the items are presents so I’ll wait until I gift them to show them here.  

Here is a rundown of what was weighing me down:
(The first price is in Nepalese Rupees and the second is USD)

Handmade Nepali blanket made of yak’s wool for 1,100 or  $13.75
Traditional Nepali hat for 250 or $3
Beaded tribal looking bracelet for 140 or $1.75
Three handmade Nepali shawls made of yak’s wool for a total of 1600 or $20
Nepali playing cards for 300 or $3.75
A skein of natural wool for 150 or $1.88
A big bundle of Tibetan prayer flags of all different sizes for 600 or $7.50
A handful of handmade notebooks on homemade paper and a dozen hand-painted cards for 1000 or $12.50
Four hand-painted 2013 calendars for a total of 600 or $7.50
Hand cut pop-up style stationary depicting the mountains and rivers of Nepal 300 or $3.75

Which brings my bill to about 6,000 NR or $75.

 I don’t know exactly how many things I purchased between all of the notebooks, cards and prayer flags, but I came away with at least twenty items.  After a big shopping trip I always like to divide my price by the total number of purchases and in this case that means I spent less than $4 an item.  I felt so accomplished shoving all the shawls, notebooks and prayer flags down in my pack knowing that I’d taken care of all of my family members and a handful of friends and most importantly the people of Nepal.  I’m certain that everything I bought with the exception of the prayer flags and the playing cards was actually made in Nepal and a portion of the proceeds will go back to the people who crafted each item.  Almost everything I purchased had a handmade and artistic quality.  The hand-painted cards and calendars are especially unique because they’re individually drawn and painted.   Having successful shopping trips like this one adds a little bit more water to my seed of a dream of one day owning a shop with goods from around the world.  It would resemble something similar to 10,000 villages, which is an amazing shop by the way, except I would personally buy everything that would be sold in the store.  It would be a fun way to meet people as both the buyer and the seller and it would be nice to pass along stories of how I ended up choosing the merchandise.  I guess in a way my future store would be my little contribution to responsible globalization.   When the clouds rolled back through and our view of the mighty mountains was blocked, Saleem and I decided it was time for dinner.  We walked down the muddy path towards the hookah bar that we saw the day before.  The place was dark and we were worried it was closed, but then we realized it was only because the power was out.  All throughout Nepal there are blocks of time when there is no power.  By the last day we finally figured out the schedule and charged the computer and our iPods accordingly.  We took a seat across from one another in the big comfy booths and read the menu with Saleem’s iPhone flashlight.  Saleem ordered a Nepali dish and I got a bowl of banana porridge.  We also ordered a hookah filled with double apple tobacco.  After the owner left I noticed something called magic cake on the menu.  Saleem asked what it was and the waiter explained exactly what I had thought, so we ordered one of those also.  We hung out for a while eating slowly, sipping tea and smoking hookah.  When it was just about time to leave, a Nepali man introduced himself and starting chatting with us.  
In no time we were invited to sit down and drink Nepali Roxy, a homemade alcohol, with him and his brother, his friend and the owner.  We ended up sitting, smoking and drinking with the men for two hours.  During that time we listened to many jokes and stories.  We also learned a little about the men and Nepal.  Gopi, the main talker, also shared his love for acronyms with us.  Here are a few that I remember: NEPAL-Never Ending Peace And Love, INDIA- I’ll Never Do It Again, ITALY- I’ll Truly Always Love You, AFRICA-After F*cking Rest In Cool Area, and lastly NAGARKOT-Naturally Always Gives Adventure Remember Keep In Touch.  As we sat around and talked, our glasses of Nepali Roxy were emptied and refilled numerous times.  As Gopi and his brother Karam got increasingly drunk, Saleem and I watched as joking and fun-poking turned slightly serious and hostile.  We decided to excuse ourselves when we realized Gopi was starting to fall asleep, but not before promising we would meet again some day.  
Saleem and I stumbled up the deserted pitch-black mountain to our hotel.  We set an alarm for 5:45 a.m. and quickly passed out.  We woke up early to catch a glimpse of the mountains before the clouds rolled in and then headed down to the breakfast spot from the day before for a quick meal before our taxi man came.  The night before we stopped in at the breakfast joint and preordered our meal so when we got there in the morning everything was ready for us.  Right when we sat down our taxi driver came speeding up the hill.  We invited him to sit with us and share our big breakfasts.  After finishing off the porridge and chai we got into the tiny car and made our way down the mountain.  We stopped frequently to admire the views and take photos.  Again Saleem and the driver chatted the whole way home, which made nice background noise for my bumpy ride back to the city center.
We immediately found a cheap hotel with wifi for $10 a night.  We settled in and took advantage of the Internet that we had been craving for the last five days.  After I posted a blog and downloaded a book on my iPod and Saleem updated his instagram we decided it was time to hit the streets for some lunch and some shopping.  Once I stepped outside I embraced the busy streets of Nepal.  I quickly learned how to stay alert while window-shopping among the traffic.  I had my sunglasses on to keep the dust from going in my eyes and my scarf wrapped tight around my mouth and nose to avoid breathing in all the pollution and dirt.  While in the thick of the thamel I missed the clean mountain air of Nagarkot.  The skinny streets of Kathmandu are lined with shops and packed with cars, motorcycles and people.  Most of the shops generally sell the same type of merchandise so it’s easy to be indecisive while browsing.  If a shop didn’t have exactly what I was looking for, I was always hopeful I would find it down the line.   It took me awhile to finally make a purchase, but once I started there was no stopping.  Usually I’m the only one buying things, but Saleem surprised me by buying several pairs of pants and shirts for himself and his parents.  I couldn’t let him out shop me so I started getting serious.  By the end of day two my arms were sore from carrying all my bags.  I managed to spend my Nepal budget plus a little more and buy some traditional and unique items for friends and family.  I want to post photos, but some most of the items are presents so I’ll wait until I gift them to show them here.  

Here is a rundown of what was weighing me down:
(The first price is in Nepalese Rupees and the second is USD)

Handmade Nepali blanket made of yak’s wool for 1,100 or  $13.75
Traditional Nepali hat for 250 or $3
Beaded tribal looking bracelet for 140 or $1.75
Three handmade Nepali shawls made of yak’s wool for a total of 1600 or $20
Nepali playing cards for 300 or $3.75
A skein of natural wool for 150 or $1.88
A big bundle of Tibetan prayer flags of all different sizes for 600 or $7.50
A handful of handmade notebooks on homemade paper and a dozen hand-painted cards for 1000 or $12.50
Four hand-painted 2013 calendars for a total of 600 or $7.50
Hand cut pop-up style stationary depicting the mountains and rivers of Nepal 300 or $3.75

Which brings my bill to about 6,000 NR or $75.

 I don’t know exactly how many things I purchased between all of the notebooks, cards and prayer flags, but I came away with at least twenty items.  After a big shopping trip I always like to divide my price by the total number of purchases and in this case that means I spent less than $4 an item.  I felt so accomplished shoving all the shawls, notebooks and prayer flags down in my pack knowing that I’d taken care of all of my family members and a handful of friends and most importantly the people of Nepal.  I’m certain that everything I bought with the exception of the prayer flags and the playing cards was actually made in Nepal and a portion of the proceeds will go back to the people who crafted each item.  Almost everything I purchased had a handmade and artistic quality.  The hand-painted cards and calendars are especially unique because they’re individually drawn and painted.   Having successful shopping trips like this one adds a little bit more water to my seed of a dream of one day owning a shop with goods from around the world.  It would resemble something similar to 10,000 villages, which is an amazing shop by the way, except I would personally buy everything that would be sold in the store.  It would be a fun way to meet people as both the buyer and the seller and it would be nice to pass along stories of how I ended up choosing the merchandise.  I guess in a way my future store would be my little contribution to responsible globalization.   When the clouds rolled back through and our view of the mighty mountains was blocked, Saleem and I decided it was time for dinner.  We walked down the muddy path towards the hookah bar that we saw the day before.  The place was dark and we were worried it was closed, but then we realized it was only because the power was out.  All throughout Nepal there are blocks of time when there is no power.  By the last day we finally figured out the schedule and charged the computer and our iPods accordingly.  We took a seat across from one another in the big comfy booths and read the menu with Saleem’s iPhone flashlight.  Saleem ordered a Nepali dish and I got a bowl of banana porridge.  We also ordered a hookah filled with double apple tobacco.  After the owner left I noticed something called magic cake on the menu.  Saleem asked what it was and the waiter explained exactly what I had thought, so we ordered one of those also.  We hung out for a while eating slowly, sipping tea and smoking hookah.  When it was just about time to leave, a Nepali man introduced himself and starting chatting with us.  
In no time we were invited to sit down and drink Nepali Roxy, a homemade alcohol, with him and his brother, his friend and the owner.  We ended up sitting, smoking and drinking with the men for two hours.  During that time we listened to many jokes and stories.  We also learned a little about the men and Nepal.  Gopi, the main talker, also shared his love for acronyms with us.  Here are a few that I remember: NEPAL-Never Ending Peace And Love, INDIA- I’ll Never Do It Again, ITALY- I’ll Truly Always Love You, AFRICA-After F*cking Rest In Cool Area, and lastly NAGARKOT-Naturally Always Gives Adventure Remember Keep In Touch.  As we sat around and talked, our glasses of Nepali Roxy were emptied and refilled numerous times.  As Gopi and his brother Karam got increasingly drunk, Saleem and I watched as joking and fun-poking turned slightly serious and hostile.  We decided to excuse ourselves when we realized Gopi was starting to fall asleep, but not before promising we would meet again some day.  
Saleem and I stumbled up the deserted pitch-black mountain to our hotel.  We set an alarm for 5:45 a.m. and quickly passed out.  We woke up early to catch a glimpse of the mountains before the clouds rolled in and then headed down to the breakfast spot from the day before for a quick meal before our taxi man came.  The night before we stopped in at the breakfast joint and preordered our meal so when we got there in the morning everything was ready for us.  Right when we sat down our taxi driver came speeding up the hill.  We invited him to sit with us and share our big breakfasts.  After finishing off the porridge and chai we got into the tiny car and made our way down the mountain.  We stopped frequently to admire the views and take photos.  Again Saleem and the driver chatted the whole way home, which made nice background noise for my bumpy ride back to the city center.
We immediately found a cheap hotel with wifi for $10 a night.  We settled in and took advantage of the Internet that we had been craving for the last five days.  After I posted a blog and downloaded a book on my iPod and Saleem updated his instagram we decided it was time to hit the streets for some lunch and some shopping.  Once I stepped outside I embraced the busy streets of Nepal.  I quickly learned how to stay alert while window-shopping among the traffic.  I had my sunglasses on to keep the dust from going in my eyes and my scarf wrapped tight around my mouth and nose to avoid breathing in all the pollution and dirt.  While in the thick of the thamel I missed the clean mountain air of Nagarkot.  The skinny streets of Kathmandu are lined with shops and packed with cars, motorcycles and people.  Most of the shops generally sell the same type of merchandise so it’s easy to be indecisive while browsing.  If a shop didn’t have exactly what I was looking for, I was always hopeful I would find it down the line.   It took me awhile to finally make a purchase, but once I started there was no stopping.  Usually I’m the only one buying things, but Saleem surprised me by buying several pairs of pants and shirts for himself and his parents.  I couldn’t let him out shop me so I started getting serious.  By the end of day two my arms were sore from carrying all my bags.  I managed to spend my Nepal budget plus a little more and buy some traditional and unique items for friends and family.  I want to post photos, but some most of the items are presents so I’ll wait until I gift them to show them here.  

Here is a rundown of what was weighing me down:
(The first price is in Nepalese Rupees and the second is USD)

Handmade Nepali blanket made of yak’s wool for 1,100 or  $13.75
Traditional Nepali hat for 250 or $3
Beaded tribal looking bracelet for 140 or $1.75
Three handmade Nepali shawls made of yak’s wool for a total of 1600 or $20
Nepali playing cards for 300 or $3.75
A skein of natural wool for 150 or $1.88
A big bundle of Tibetan prayer flags of all different sizes for 600 or $7.50
A handful of handmade notebooks on homemade paper and a dozen hand-painted cards for 1000 or $12.50
Four hand-painted 2013 calendars for a total of 600 or $7.50
Hand cut pop-up style stationary depicting the mountains and rivers of Nepal 300 or $3.75

Which brings my bill to about 6,000 NR or $75.

 I don’t know exactly how many things I purchased between all of the notebooks, cards and prayer flags, but I came away with at least twenty items.  After a big shopping trip I always like to divide my price by the total number of purchases and in this case that means I spent less than $4 an item.  I felt so accomplished shoving all the shawls, notebooks and prayer flags down in my pack knowing that I’d taken care of all of my family members and a handful of friends and most importantly the people of Nepal.  I’m certain that everything I bought with the exception of the prayer flags and the playing cards was actually made in Nepal and a portion of the proceeds will go back to the people who crafted each item.  Almost everything I purchased had a handmade and artistic quality.  The hand-painted cards and calendars are especially unique because they’re individually drawn and painted.   Having successful shopping trips like this one adds a little bit more water to my seed of a dream of one day owning a shop with goods from around the world.  It would resemble something similar to 10,000 villages, which is an amazing shop by the way, except I would personally buy everything that would be sold in the store.  It would be a fun way to meet people as both the buyer and the seller and it would be nice to pass along stories of how I ended up choosing the merchandise.  I guess in a way my future store would be my little contribution to responsible globalization.   When the clouds rolled back through and our view of the mighty mountains was blocked, Saleem and I decided it was time for dinner.  We walked down the muddy path towards the hookah bar that we saw the day before.  The place was dark and we were worried it was closed, but then we realized it was only because the power was out.  All throughout Nepal there are blocks of time when there is no power.  By the last day we finally figured out the schedule and charged the computer and our iPods accordingly.  We took a seat across from one another in the big comfy booths and read the menu with Saleem’s iPhone flashlight.  Saleem ordered a Nepali dish and I got a bowl of banana porridge.  We also ordered a hookah filled with double apple tobacco.  After the owner left I noticed something called magic cake on the menu.  Saleem asked what it was and the waiter explained exactly what I had thought, so we ordered one of those also.  We hung out for a while eating slowly, sipping tea and smoking hookah.  When it was just about time to leave, a Nepali man introduced himself and starting chatting with us.  
In no time we were invited to sit down and drink Nepali Roxy, a homemade alcohol, with him and his brother, his friend and the owner.  We ended up sitting, smoking and drinking with the men for two hours.  During that time we listened to many jokes and stories.  We also learned a little about the men and Nepal.  Gopi, the main talker, also shared his love for acronyms with us.  Here are a few that I remember: NEPAL-Never Ending Peace And Love, INDIA- I’ll Never Do It Again, ITALY- I’ll Truly Always Love You, AFRICA-After F*cking Rest In Cool Area, and lastly NAGARKOT-Naturally Always Gives Adventure Remember Keep In Touch.  As we sat around and talked, our glasses of Nepali Roxy were emptied and refilled numerous times.  As Gopi and his brother Karam got increasingly drunk, Saleem and I watched as joking and fun-poking turned slightly serious and hostile.  We decided to excuse ourselves when we realized Gopi was starting to fall asleep, but not before promising we would meet again some day.  
Saleem and I stumbled up the deserted pitch-black mountain to our hotel.  We set an alarm for 5:45 a.m. and quickly passed out.  We woke up early to catch a glimpse of the mountains before the clouds rolled in and then headed down to the breakfast spot from the day before for a quick meal before our taxi man came.  The night before we stopped in at the breakfast joint and preordered our meal so when we got there in the morning everything was ready for us.  Right when we sat down our taxi driver came speeding up the hill.  We invited him to sit with us and share our big breakfasts.  After finishing off the porridge and chai we got into the tiny car and made our way down the mountain.  We stopped frequently to admire the views and take photos.  Again Saleem and the driver chatted the whole way home, which made nice background noise for my bumpy ride back to the city center.
We immediately found a cheap hotel with wifi for $10 a night.  We settled in and took advantage of the Internet that we had been craving for the last five days.  After I posted a blog and downloaded a book on my iPod and Saleem updated his instagram we decided it was time to hit the streets for some lunch and some shopping.  Once I stepped outside I embraced the busy streets of Nepal.  I quickly learned how to stay alert while window-shopping among the traffic.  I had my sunglasses on to keep the dust from going in my eyes and my scarf wrapped tight around my mouth and nose to avoid breathing in all the pollution and dirt.  While in the thick of the thamel I missed the clean mountain air of Nagarkot.  The skinny streets of Kathmandu are lined with shops and packed with cars, motorcycles and people.  Most of the shops generally sell the same type of merchandise so it’s easy to be indecisive while browsing.  If a shop didn’t have exactly what I was looking for, I was always hopeful I would find it down the line.   It took me awhile to finally make a purchase, but once I started there was no stopping.  Usually I’m the only one buying things, but Saleem surprised me by buying several pairs of pants and shirts for himself and his parents.  I couldn’t let him out shop me so I started getting serious.  By the end of day two my arms were sore from carrying all my bags.  I managed to spend my Nepal budget plus a little more and buy some traditional and unique items for friends and family.  I want to post photos, but some most of the items are presents so I’ll wait until I gift them to show them here.  

Here is a rundown of what was weighing me down:
(The first price is in Nepalese Rupees and the second is USD)

Handmade Nepali blanket made of yak’s wool for 1,100 or  $13.75
Traditional Nepali hat for 250 or $3
Beaded tribal looking bracelet for 140 or $1.75
Three handmade Nepali shawls made of yak’s wool for a total of 1600 or $20
Nepali playing cards for 300 or $3.75
A skein of natural wool for 150 or $1.88
A big bundle of Tibetan prayer flags of all different sizes for 600 or $7.50
A handful of handmade notebooks on homemade paper and a dozen hand-painted cards for 1000 or $12.50
Four hand-painted 2013 calendars for a total of 600 or $7.50
Hand cut pop-up style stationary depicting the mountains and rivers of Nepal 300 or $3.75

Which brings my bill to about 6,000 NR or $75.

 I don’t know exactly how many things I purchased between all of the notebooks, cards and prayer flags, but I came away with at least twenty items.  After a big shopping trip I always like to divide my price by the total number of purchases and in this case that means I spent less than $4 an item.  I felt so accomplished shoving all the shawls, notebooks and prayer flags down in my pack knowing that I’d taken care of all of my family members and a handful of friends and most importantly the people of Nepal.  I’m certain that everything I bought with the exception of the prayer flags and the playing cards was actually made in Nepal and a portion of the proceeds will go back to the people who crafted each item.  Almost everything I purchased had a handmade and artistic quality.  The hand-painted cards and calendars are especially unique because they’re individually drawn and painted.   Having successful shopping trips like this one adds a little bit more water to my seed of a dream of one day owning a shop with goods from around the world.  It would resemble something similar to 10,000 villages, which is an amazing shop by the way, except I would personally buy everything that would be sold in the store.  It would be a fun way to meet people as both the buyer and the seller and it would be nice to pass along stories of how I ended up choosing the merchandise.  I guess in a way my future store would be my little contribution to responsible globalization.   When the clouds rolled back through and our view of the mighty mountains was blocked, Saleem and I decided it was time for dinner.  We walked down the muddy path towards the hookah bar that we saw the day before.  The place was dark and we were worried it was closed, but then we realized it was only because the power was out.  All throughout Nepal there are blocks of time when there is no power.  By the last day we finally figured out the schedule and charged the computer and our iPods accordingly.  We took a seat across from one another in the big comfy booths and read the menu with Saleem’s iPhone flashlight.  Saleem ordered a Nepali dish and I got a bowl of banana porridge.  We also ordered a hookah filled with double apple tobacco.  After the owner left I noticed something called magic cake on the menu.  Saleem asked what it was and the waiter explained exactly what I had thought, so we ordered one of those also.  We hung out for a while eating slowly, sipping tea and smoking hookah.  When it was just about time to leave, a Nepali man introduced himself and starting chatting with us.  
In no time we were invited to sit down and drink Nepali Roxy, a homemade alcohol, with him and his brother, his friend and the owner.  We ended up sitting, smoking and drinking with the men for two hours.  During that time we listened to many jokes and stories.  We also learned a little about the men and Nepal.  Gopi, the main talker, also shared his love for acronyms with us.  Here are a few that I remember: NEPAL-Never Ending Peace And Love, INDIA- I’ll Never Do It Again, ITALY- I’ll Truly Always Love You, AFRICA-After F*cking Rest In Cool Area, and lastly NAGARKOT-Naturally Always Gives Adventure Remember Keep In Touch.  As we sat around and talked, our glasses of Nepali Roxy were emptied and refilled numerous times.  As Gopi and his brother Karam got increasingly drunk, Saleem and I watched as joking and fun-poking turned slightly serious and hostile.  We decided to excuse ourselves when we realized Gopi was starting to fall asleep, but not before promising we would meet again some day.  
Saleem and I stumbled up the deserted pitch-black mountain to our hotel.  We set an alarm for 5:45 a.m. and quickly passed out.  We woke up early to catch a glimpse of the mountains before the clouds rolled in and then headed down to the breakfast spot from the day before for a quick meal before our taxi man came.  The night before we stopped in at the breakfast joint and preordered our meal so when we got there in the morning everything was ready for us.  Right when we sat down our taxi driver came speeding up the hill.  We invited him to sit with us and share our big breakfasts.  After finishing off the porridge and chai we got into the tiny car and made our way down the mountain.  We stopped frequently to admire the views and take photos.  Again Saleem and the driver chatted the whole way home, which made nice background noise for my bumpy ride back to the city center.
We immediately found a cheap hotel with wifi for $10 a night.  We settled in and took advantage of the Internet that we had been craving for the last five days.  After I posted a blog and downloaded a book on my iPod and Saleem updated his instagram we decided it was time to hit the streets for some lunch and some shopping.  Once I stepped outside I embraced the busy streets of Nepal.  I quickly learned how to stay alert while window-shopping among the traffic.  I had my sunglasses on to keep the dust from going in my eyes and my scarf wrapped tight around my mouth and nose to avoid breathing in all the pollution and dirt.  While in the thick of the thamel I missed the clean mountain air of Nagarkot.  The skinny streets of Kathmandu are lined with shops and packed with cars, motorcycles and people.  Most of the shops generally sell the same type of merchandise so it’s easy to be indecisive while browsing.  If a shop didn’t have exactly what I was looking for, I was always hopeful I would find it down the line.   It took me awhile to finally make a purchase, but once I started there was no stopping.  Usually I’m the only one buying things, but Saleem surprised me by buying several pairs of pants and shirts for himself and his parents.  I couldn’t let him out shop me so I started getting serious.  By the end of day two my arms were sore from carrying all my bags.  I managed to spend my Nepal budget plus a little more and buy some traditional and unique items for friends and family.  I want to post photos, but some most of the items are presents so I’ll wait until I gift them to show them here.  

Here is a rundown of what was weighing me down:
(The first price is in Nepalese Rupees and the second is USD)

Handmade Nepali blanket made of yak’s wool for 1,100 or  $13.75
Traditional Nepali hat for 250 or $3
Beaded tribal looking bracelet for 140 or $1.75
Three handmade Nepali shawls made of yak’s wool for a total of 1600 or $20
Nepali playing cards for 300 or $3.75
A skein of natural wool for 150 or $1.88
A big bundle of Tibetan prayer flags of all different sizes for 600 or $7.50
A handful of handmade notebooks on homemade paper and a dozen hand-painted cards for 1000 or $12.50
Four hand-painted 2013 calendars for a total of 600 or $7.50
Hand cut pop-up style stationary depicting the mountains and rivers of Nepal 300 or $3.75

Which brings my bill to about 6,000 NR or $75.

 I don’t know exactly how many things I purchased between all of the notebooks, cards and prayer flags, but I came away with at least twenty items.  After a big shopping trip I always like to divide my price by the total number of purchases and in this case that means I spent less than $4 an item.  I felt so accomplished shoving all the shawls, notebooks and prayer flags down in my pack knowing that I’d taken care of all of my family members and a handful of friends and most importantly the people of Nepal.  I’m certain that everything I bought with the exception of the prayer flags and the playing cards was actually made in Nepal and a portion of the proceeds will go back to the people who crafted each item.  Almost everything I purchased had a handmade and artistic quality.  The hand-painted cards and calendars are especially unique because they’re individually drawn and painted.   Having successful shopping trips like this one adds a little bit more water to my seed of a dream of one day owning a shop with goods from around the world.  It would resemble something similar to 10,000 villages, which is an amazing shop by the way, except I would personally buy everything that would be sold in the store.  It would be a fun way to meet people as both the buyer and the seller and it would be nice to pass along stories of how I ended up choosing the merchandise.  I guess in a way my future store would be my little contribution to responsible globalization.   When the clouds rolled back through and our view of the mighty mountains was blocked, Saleem and I decided it was time for dinner.  We walked down the muddy path towards the hookah bar that we saw the day before.  The place was dark and we were worried it was closed, but then we realized it was only because the power was out.  All throughout Nepal there are blocks of time when there is no power.  By the last day we finally figured out the schedule and charged the computer and our iPods accordingly.  We took a seat across from one another in the big comfy booths and read the menu with Saleem’s iPhone flashlight.  Saleem ordered a Nepali dish and I got a bowl of banana porridge.  We also ordered a hookah filled with double apple tobacco.  After the owner left I noticed something called magic cake on the menu.  Saleem asked what it was and the waiter explained exactly what I had thought, so we ordered one of those also.  We hung out for a while eating slowly, sipping tea and smoking hookah.  When it was just about time to leave, a Nepali man introduced himself and starting chatting with us.  
In no time we were invited to sit down and drink Nepali Roxy, a homemade alcohol, with him and his brother, his friend and the owner.  We ended up sitting, smoking and drinking with the men for two hours.  During that time we listened to many jokes and stories.  We also learned a little about the men and Nepal.  Gopi, the main talker, also shared his love for acronyms with us.  Here are a few that I remember: NEPAL-Never Ending Peace And Love, INDIA- I’ll Never Do It Again, ITALY- I’ll Truly Always Love You, AFRICA-After F*cking Rest In Cool Area, and lastly NAGARKOT-Naturally Always Gives Adventure Remember Keep In Touch.  As we sat around and talked, our glasses of Nepali Roxy were emptied and refilled numerous times.  As Gopi and his brother Karam got increasingly drunk, Saleem and I watched as joking and fun-poking turned slightly serious and hostile.  We decided to excuse ourselves when we realized Gopi was starting to fall asleep, but not before promising we would meet again some day.  
Saleem and I stumbled up the deserted pitch-black mountain to our hotel.  We set an alarm for 5:45 a.m. and quickly passed out.  We woke up early to catch a glimpse of the mountains before the clouds rolled in and then headed down to the breakfast spot from the day before for a quick meal before our taxi man came.  The night before we stopped in at the breakfast joint and preordered our meal so when we got there in the morning everything was ready for us.  Right when we sat down our taxi driver came speeding up the hill.  We invited him to sit with us and share our big breakfasts.  After finishing off the porridge and chai we got into the tiny car and made our way down the mountain.  We stopped frequently to admire the views and take photos.  Again Saleem and the driver chatted the whole way home, which made nice background noise for my bumpy ride back to the city center.
We immediately found a cheap hotel with wifi for $10 a night.  We settled in and took advantage of the Internet that we had been craving for the last five days.  After I posted a blog and downloaded a book on my iPod and Saleem updated his instagram we decided it was time to hit the streets for some lunch and some shopping.  Once I stepped outside I embraced the busy streets of Nepal.  I quickly learned how to stay alert while window-shopping among the traffic.  I had my sunglasses on to keep the dust from going in my eyes and my scarf wrapped tight around my mouth and nose to avoid breathing in all the pollution and dirt.  While in the thick of the thamel I missed the clean mountain air of Nagarkot.  The skinny streets of Kathmandu are lined with shops and packed with cars, motorcycles and people.  Most of the shops generally sell the same type of merchandise so it’s easy to be indecisive while browsing.  If a shop didn’t have exactly what I was looking for, I was always hopeful I would find it down the line.   It took me awhile to finally make a purchase, but once I started there was no stopping.  Usually I’m the only one buying things, but Saleem surprised me by buying several pairs of pants and shirts for himself and his parents.  I couldn’t let him out shop me so I started getting serious.  By the end of day two my arms were sore from carrying all my bags.  I managed to spend my Nepal budget plus a little more and buy some traditional and unique items for friends and family.  I want to post photos, but some most of the items are presents so I’ll wait until I gift them to show them here.  

Here is a rundown of what was weighing me down:
(The first price is in Nepalese Rupees and the second is USD)

Handmade Nepali blanket made of yak’s wool for 1,100 or  $13.75
Traditional Nepali hat for 250 or $3
Beaded tribal looking bracelet for 140 or $1.75
Three handmade Nepali shawls made of yak’s wool for a total of 1600 or $20
Nepali playing cards for 300 or $3.75
A skein of natural wool for 150 or $1.88
A big bundle of Tibetan prayer flags of all different sizes for 600 or $7.50
A handful of handmade notebooks on homemade paper and a dozen hand-painted cards for 1000 or $12.50
Four hand-painted 2013 calendars for a total of 600 or $7.50
Hand cut pop-up style stationary depicting the mountains and rivers of Nepal 300 or $3.75

Which brings my bill to about 6,000 NR or $75.

 I don’t know exactly how many things I purchased between all of the notebooks, cards and prayer flags, but I came away with at least twenty items.  After a big shopping trip I always like to divide my price by the total number of purchases and in this case that means I spent less than $4 an item.  I felt so accomplished shoving all the shawls, notebooks and prayer flags down in my pack knowing that I’d taken care of all of my family members and a handful of friends and most importantly the people of Nepal.  I’m certain that everything I bought with the exception of the prayer flags and the playing cards was actually made in Nepal and a portion of the proceeds will go back to the people who crafted each item.  Almost everything I purchased had a handmade and artistic quality.  The hand-painted cards and calendars are especially unique because they’re individually drawn and painted.   Having successful shopping trips like this one adds a little bit more water to my seed of a dream of one day owning a shop with goods from around the world.  It would resemble something similar to 10,000 villages, which is an amazing shop by the way, except I would personally buy everything that would be sold in the store.  It would be a fun way to meet people as both the buyer and the seller and it would be nice to pass along stories of how I ended up choosing the merchandise.  I guess in a way my future store would be my little contribution to responsible globalization.   When the clouds rolled back through and our view of the mighty mountains was blocked, Saleem and I decided it was time for dinner.  We walked down the muddy path towards the hookah bar that we saw the day before.  The place was dark and we were worried it was closed, but then we realized it was only because the power was out.  All throughout Nepal there are blocks of time when there is no power.  By the last day we finally figured out the schedule and charged the computer and our iPods accordingly.  We took a seat across from one another in the big comfy booths and read the menu with Saleem’s iPhone flashlight.  Saleem ordered a Nepali dish and I got a bowl of banana porridge.  We also ordered a hookah filled with double apple tobacco.  After the owner left I noticed something called magic cake on the menu.  Saleem asked what it was and the waiter explained exactly what I had thought, so we ordered one of those also.  We hung out for a while eating slowly, sipping tea and smoking hookah.  When it was just about time to leave, a Nepali man introduced himself and starting chatting with us.  
In no time we were invited to sit down and drink Nepali Roxy, a homemade alcohol, with him and his brother, his friend and the owner.  We ended up sitting, smoking and drinking with the men for two hours.  During that time we listened to many jokes and stories.  We also learned a little about the men and Nepal.  Gopi, the main talker, also shared his love for acronyms with us.  Here are a few that I remember: NEPAL-Never Ending Peace And Love, INDIA- I’ll Never Do It Again, ITALY- I’ll Truly Always Love You, AFRICA-After F*cking Rest In Cool Area, and lastly NAGARKOT-Naturally Always Gives Adventure Remember Keep In Touch.  As we sat around and talked, our glasses of Nepali Roxy were emptied and refilled numerous times.  As Gopi and his brother Karam got increasingly drunk, Saleem and I watched as joking and fun-poking turned slightly serious and hostile.  We decided to excuse ourselves when we realized Gopi was starting to fall asleep, but not before promising we would meet again some day.  
Saleem and I stumbled up the deserted pitch-black mountain to our hotel.  We set an alarm for 5:45 a.m. and quickly passed out.  We woke up early to catch a glimpse of the mountains before the clouds rolled in and then headed down to the breakfast spot from the day before for a quick meal before our taxi man came.  The night before we stopped in at the breakfast joint and preordered our meal so when we got there in the morning everything was ready for us.  Right when we sat down our taxi driver came speeding up the hill.  We invited him to sit with us and share our big breakfasts.  After finishing off the porridge and chai we got into the tiny car and made our way down the mountain.  We stopped frequently to admire the views and take photos.  Again Saleem and the driver chatted the whole way home, which made nice background noise for my bumpy ride back to the city center.
We immediately found a cheap hotel with wifi for $10 a night.  We settled in and took advantage of the Internet that we had been craving for the last five days.  After I posted a blog and downloaded a book on my iPod and Saleem updated his instagram we decided it was time to hit the streets for some lunch and some shopping.  Once I stepped outside I embraced the busy streets of Nepal.  I quickly learned how to stay alert while window-shopping among the traffic.  I had my sunglasses on to keep the dust from going in my eyes and my scarf wrapped tight around my mouth and nose to avoid breathing in all the pollution and dirt.  While in the thick of the thamel I missed the clean mountain air of Nagarkot.  The skinny streets of Kathmandu are lined with shops and packed with cars, motorcycles and people.  Most of the shops generally sell the same type of merchandise so it’s easy to be indecisive while browsing.  If a shop didn’t have exactly what I was looking for, I was always hopeful I would find it down the line.   It took me awhile to finally make a purchase, but once I started there was no stopping.  Usually I’m the only one buying things, but Saleem surprised me by buying several pairs of pants and shirts for himself and his parents.  I couldn’t let him out shop me so I started getting serious.  By the end of day two my arms were sore from carrying all my bags.  I managed to spend my Nepal budget plus a little more and buy some traditional and unique items for friends and family.  I want to post photos, but some most of the items are presents so I’ll wait until I gift them to show them here.  

Here is a rundown of what was weighing me down:
(The first price is in Nepalese Rupees and the second is USD)

Handmade Nepali blanket made of yak’s wool for 1,100 or  $13.75
Traditional Nepali hat for 250 or $3
Beaded tribal looking bracelet for 140 or $1.75
Three handmade Nepali shawls made of yak’s wool for a total of 1600 or $20
Nepali playing cards for 300 or $3.75
A skein of natural wool for 150 or $1.88
A big bundle of Tibetan prayer flags of all different sizes for 600 or $7.50
A handful of handmade notebooks on homemade paper and a dozen hand-painted cards for 1000 or $12.50
Four hand-painted 2013 calendars for a total of 600 or $7.50
Hand cut pop-up style stationary depicting the mountains and rivers of Nepal 300 or $3.75

Which brings my bill to about 6,000 NR or $75.

 I don’t know exactly how many things I purchased between all of the notebooks, cards and prayer flags, but I came away with at least twenty items.  After a big shopping trip I always like to divide my price by the total number of purchases and in this case that means I spent less than $4 an item.  I felt so accomplished shoving all the shawls, notebooks and prayer flags down in my pack knowing that I’d taken care of all of my family members and a handful of friends and most importantly the people of Nepal.  I’m certain that everything I bought with the exception of the prayer flags and the playing cards was actually made in Nepal and a portion of the proceeds will go back to the people who crafted each item.  Almost everything I purchased had a handmade and artistic quality.  The hand-painted cards and calendars are especially unique because they’re individually drawn and painted.   Having successful shopping trips like this one adds a little bit more water to my seed of a dream of one day owning a shop with goods from around the world.  It would resemble something similar to 10,000 villages, which is an amazing shop by the way, except I would personally buy everything that would be sold in the store.  It would be a fun way to meet people as both the buyer and the seller and it would be nice to pass along stories of how I ended up choosing the merchandise.  I guess in a way my future store would be my little contribution to responsible globalization.   When the clouds rolled back through and our view of the mighty mountains was blocked, Saleem and I decided it was time for dinner.  We walked down the muddy path towards the hookah bar that we saw the day before.  The place was dark and we were worried it was closed, but then we realized it was only because the power was out.  All throughout Nepal there are blocks of time when there is no power.  By the last day we finally figured out the schedule and charged the computer and our iPods accordingly.  We took a seat across from one another in the big comfy booths and read the menu with Saleem’s iPhone flashlight.  Saleem ordered a Nepali dish and I got a bowl of banana porridge.  We also ordered a hookah filled with double apple tobacco.  After the owner left I noticed something called magic cake on the menu.  Saleem asked what it was and the waiter explained exactly what I had thought, so we ordered one of those also.  We hung out for a while eating slowly, sipping tea and smoking hookah.  When it was just about time to leave, a Nepali man introduced himself and starting chatting with us.  
In no time we were invited to sit down and drink Nepali Roxy, a homemade alcohol, with him and his brother, his friend and the owner.  We ended up sitting, smoking and drinking with the men for two hours.  During that time we listened to many jokes and stories.  We also learned a little about the men and Nepal.  Gopi, the main talker, also shared his love for acronyms with us.  Here are a few that I remember: NEPAL-Never Ending Peace And Love, INDIA- I’ll Never Do It Again, ITALY- I’ll Truly Always Love You, AFRICA-After F*cking Rest In Cool Area, and lastly NAGARKOT-Naturally Always Gives Adventure Remember Keep In Touch.  As we sat around and talked, our glasses of Nepali Roxy were emptied and refilled numerous times.  As Gopi and his brother Karam got increasingly drunk, Saleem and I watched as joking and fun-poking turned slightly serious and hostile.  We decided to excuse ourselves when we realized Gopi was starting to fall asleep, but not before promising we would meet again some day.  
Saleem and I stumbled up the deserted pitch-black mountain to our hotel.  We set an alarm for 5:45 a.m. and quickly passed out.  We woke up early to catch a glimpse of the mountains before the clouds rolled in and then headed down to the breakfast spot from the day before for a quick meal before our taxi man came.  The night before we stopped in at the breakfast joint and preordered our meal so when we got there in the morning everything was ready for us.  Right when we sat down our taxi driver came speeding up the hill.  We invited him to sit with us and share our big breakfasts.  After finishing off the porridge and chai we got into the tiny car and made our way down the mountain.  We stopped frequently to admire the views and take photos.  Again Saleem and the driver chatted the whole way home, which made nice background noise for my bumpy ride back to the city center.
We immediately found a cheap hotel with wifi for $10 a night.  We settled in and took advantage of the Internet that we had been craving for the last five days.  After I posted a blog and downloaded a book on my iPod and Saleem updated his instagram we decided it was time to hit the streets for some lunch and some shopping.  Once I stepped outside I embraced the busy streets of Nepal.  I quickly learned how to stay alert while window-shopping among the traffic.  I had my sunglasses on to keep the dust from going in my eyes and my scarf wrapped tight around my mouth and nose to avoid breathing in all the pollution and dirt.  While in the thick of the thamel I missed the clean mountain air of Nagarkot.  The skinny streets of Kathmandu are lined with shops and packed with cars, motorcycles and people.  Most of the shops generally sell the same type of merchandise so it’s easy to be indecisive while browsing.  If a shop didn’t have exactly what I was looking for, I was always hopeful I would find it down the line.   It took me awhile to finally make a purchase, but once I started there was no stopping.  Usually I’m the only one buying things, but Saleem surprised me by buying several pairs of pants and shirts for himself and his parents.  I couldn’t let him out shop me so I started getting serious.  By the end of day two my arms were sore from carrying all my bags.  I managed to spend my Nepal budget plus a little more and buy some traditional and unique items for friends and family.  I want to post photos, but some most of the items are presents so I’ll wait until I gift them to show them here.  

Here is a rundown of what was weighing me down:
(The first price is in Nepalese Rupees and the second is USD)

Handmade Nepali blanket made of yak’s wool for 1,100 or  $13.75
Traditional Nepali hat for 250 or $3
Beaded tribal looking bracelet for 140 or $1.75
Three handmade Nepali shawls made of yak’s wool for a total of 1600 or $20
Nepali playing cards for 300 or $3.75
A skein of natural wool for 150 or $1.88
A big bundle of Tibetan prayer flags of all different sizes for 600 or $7.50
A handful of handmade notebooks on homemade paper and a dozen hand-painted cards for 1000 or $12.50
Four hand-painted 2013 calendars for a total of 600 or $7.50
Hand cut pop-up style stationary depicting the mountains and rivers of Nepal 300 or $3.75

Which brings my bill to about 6,000 NR or $75.

 I don’t know exactly how many things I purchased between all of the notebooks, cards and prayer flags, but I came away with at least twenty items.  After a big shopping trip I always like to divide my price by the total number of purchases and in this case that means I spent less than $4 an item.  I felt so accomplished shoving all the shawls, notebooks and prayer flags down in my pack knowing that I’d taken care of all of my family members and a handful of friends and most importantly the people of Nepal.  I’m certain that everything I bought with the exception of the prayer flags and the playing cards was actually made in Nepal and a portion of the proceeds will go back to the people who crafted each item.  Almost everything I purchased had a handmade and artistic quality.  The hand-painted cards and calendars are especially unique because they’re individually drawn and painted.   Having successful shopping trips like this one adds a little bit more water to my seed of a dream of one day owning a shop with goods from around the world.  It would resemble something similar to 10,000 villages, which is an amazing shop by the way, except I would personally buy everything that would be sold in the store.  It would be a fun way to meet people as both the buyer and the seller and it would be nice to pass along stories of how I ended up choosing the merchandise.  I guess in a way my future store would be my little contribution to responsible globalization.   When the clouds rolled back through and our view of the mighty mountains was blocked, Saleem and I decided it was time for dinner.  We walked down the muddy path towards the hookah bar that we saw the day before.  The place was dark and we were worried it was closed, but then we realized it was only because the power was out.  All throughout Nepal there are blocks of time when there is no power.  By the last day we finally figured out the schedule and charged the computer and our iPods accordingly.  We took a seat across from one another in the big comfy booths and read the menu with Saleem’s iPhone flashlight.  Saleem ordered a Nepali dish and I got a bowl of banana porridge.  We also ordered a hookah filled with double apple tobacco.  After the owner left I noticed something called magic cake on the menu.  Saleem asked what it was and the waiter explained exactly what I had thought, so we ordered one of those also.  We hung out for a while eating slowly, sipping tea and smoking hookah.  When it was just about time to leave, a Nepali man introduced himself and starting chatting with us.  
In no time we were invited to sit down and drink Nepali Roxy, a homemade alcohol, with him and his brother, his friend and the owner.  We ended up sitting, smoking and drinking with the men for two hours.  During that time we listened to many jokes and stories.  We also learned a little about the men and Nepal.  Gopi, the main talker, also shared his love for acronyms with us.  Here are a few that I remember: NEPAL-Never Ending Peace And Love, INDIA- I’ll Never Do It Again, ITALY- I’ll Truly Always Love You, AFRICA-After F*cking Rest In Cool Area, and lastly NAGARKOT-Naturally Always Gives Adventure Remember Keep In Touch.  As we sat around and talked, our glasses of Nepali Roxy were emptied and refilled numerous times.  As Gopi and his brother Karam got increasingly drunk, Saleem and I watched as joking and fun-poking turned slightly serious and hostile.  We decided to excuse ourselves when we realized Gopi was starting to fall asleep, but not before promising we would meet again some day.  
Saleem and I stumbled up the deserted pitch-black mountain to our hotel.  We set an alarm for 5:45 a.m. and quickly passed out.  We woke up early to catch a glimpse of the mountains before the clouds rolled in and then headed down to the breakfast spot from the day before for a quick meal before our taxi man came.  The night before we stopped in at the breakfast joint and preordered our meal so when we got there in the morning everything was ready for us.  Right when we sat down our taxi driver came speeding up the hill.  We invited him to sit with us and share our big breakfasts.  After finishing off the porridge and chai we got into the tiny car and made our way down the mountain.  We stopped frequently to admire the views and take photos.  Again Saleem and the driver chatted the whole way home, which made nice background noise for my bumpy ride back to the city center.
We immediately found a cheap hotel with wifi for $10 a night.  We settled in and took advantage of the Internet that we had been craving for the last five days.  After I posted a blog and downloaded a book on my iPod and Saleem updated his instagram we decided it was time to hit the streets for some lunch and some shopping.  Once I stepped outside I embraced the busy streets of Nepal.  I quickly learned how to stay alert while window-shopping among the traffic.  I had my sunglasses on to keep the dust from going in my eyes and my scarf wrapped tight around my mouth and nose to avoid breathing in all the pollution and dirt.  While in the thick of the thamel I missed the clean mountain air of Nagarkot.  The skinny streets of Kathmandu are lined with shops and packed with cars, motorcycles and people.  Most of the shops generally sell the same type of merchandise so it’s easy to be indecisive while browsing.  If a shop didn’t have exactly what I was looking for, I was always hopeful I would find it down the line.   It took me awhile to finally make a purchase, but once I started there was no stopping.  Usually I’m the only one buying things, but Saleem surprised me by buying several pairs of pants and shirts for himself and his parents.  I couldn’t let him out shop me so I started getting serious.  By the end of day two my arms were sore from carrying all my bags.  I managed to spend my Nepal budget plus a little more and buy some traditional and unique items for friends and family.  I want to post photos, but some most of the items are presents so I’ll wait until I gift them to show them here.  

Here is a rundown of what was weighing me down:
(The first price is in Nepalese Rupees and the second is USD)

Handmade Nepali blanket made of yak’s wool for 1,100 or  $13.75
Traditional Nepali hat for 250 or $3
Beaded tribal looking bracelet for 140 or $1.75
Three handmade Nepali shawls made of yak’s wool for a total of 1600 or $20
Nepali playing cards for 300 or $3.75
A skein of natural wool for 150 or $1.88
A big bundle of Tibetan prayer flags of all different sizes for 600 or $7.50
A handful of handmade notebooks on homemade paper and a dozen hand-painted cards for 1000 or $12.50
Four hand-painted 2013 calendars for a total of 600 or $7.50
Hand cut pop-up style stationary depicting the mountains and rivers of Nepal 300 or $3.75

Which brings my bill to about 6,000 NR or $75.

 I don’t know exactly how many things I purchased between all of the notebooks, cards and prayer flags, but I came away with at least twenty items.  After a big shopping trip I always like to divide my price by the total number of purchases and in this case that means I spent less than $4 an item.  I felt so accomplished shoving all the shawls, notebooks and prayer flags down in my pack knowing that I’d taken care of all of my family members and a handful of friends and most importantly the people of Nepal.  I’m certain that everything I bought with the exception of the prayer flags and the playing cards was actually made in Nepal and a portion of the proceeds will go back to the people who crafted each item.  Almost everything I purchased had a handmade and artistic quality.  The hand-painted cards and calendars are especially unique because they’re individually drawn and painted.   Having successful shopping trips like this one adds a little bit more water to my seed of a dream of one day owning a shop with goods from around the world.  It would resemble something similar to 10,000 villages, which is an amazing shop by the way, except I would personally buy everything that would be sold in the store.  It would be a fun way to meet people as both the buyer and the seller and it would be nice to pass along stories of how I ended up choosing the merchandise.  I guess in a way my future store would be my little contribution to responsible globalization.  

When the clouds rolled back through and our view of the mighty mountains was blocked, Saleem and I decided it was time for dinner.  We walked down the muddy path towards the hookah bar that we saw the day before.  The place was dark and we were worried it was closed, but then we realized it was only because the power was out.  All throughout Nepal there are blocks of time when there is no power.  By the last day we finally figured out the schedule and charged the computer and our iPods accordingly.  We took a seat across from one another in the big comfy booths and read the menu with Saleem’s iPhone flashlight.  Saleem ordered a Nepali dish and I got a bowl of banana porridge.  We also ordered a hookah filled with double apple tobacco.  After the owner left I noticed something called magic cake on the menu.  Saleem asked what it was and the waiter explained exactly what I had thought, so we ordered one of those also.  We hung out for a while eating slowly, sipping tea and smoking hookah.  When it was just about time to leave, a Nepali man introduced himself and starting chatting with us. 

In no time we were invited to sit down and drink Nepali Roxy, a homemade alcohol, with him and his brother, his friend and the owner.  We ended up sitting, smoking and drinking with the men for two hours.  During that time we listened to many jokes and stories.  We also learned a little about the men and Nepal.  Gopi, the main talker, also shared his love for acronyms with us.  Here are a few that I remember: NEPAL-Never Ending Peace And Love, INDIA- I’ll Never Do It Again, ITALY- I’ll Truly Always Love You, AFRICA-After F*cking Rest In Cool Area, and lastly NAGARKOT-Naturally Always Gives Adventure Remember Keep In Touch.  As we sat around and talked, our glasses of Nepali Roxy were emptied and refilled numerous times.  As Gopi and his brother Karam got increasingly drunk, Saleem and I watched as joking and fun-poking turned slightly serious and hostile.  We decided to excuse ourselves when we realized Gopi was starting to fall asleep, but not before promising we would meet again some day. 

Saleem and I stumbled up the deserted pitch-black mountain to our hotel.  We set an alarm for 5:45 a.m. and quickly passed out.  We woke up early to catch a glimpse of the mountains before the clouds rolled in and then headed down to the breakfast spot from the day before for a quick meal before our taxi man came.  The night before we stopped in at the breakfast joint and preordered our meal so when we got there in the morning everything was ready for us.  Right when we sat down our taxi driver came speeding up the hill.  We invited him to sit with us and share our big breakfasts.  After finishing off the porridge and chai we got into the tiny car and made our way down the mountain.  We stopped frequently to admire the views and take photos.  Again Saleem and the driver chatted the whole way home, which made nice background noise for my bumpy ride back to the city center.

We immediately found a cheap hotel with wifi for $10 a night.  We settled in and took advantage of the Internet that we had been craving for the last five days.  After I posted a blog and downloaded a book on my iPod and Saleem updated his instagram we decided it was time to hit the streets for some lunch and some shopping.  Once I stepped outside I embraced the busy streets of Nepal.  I quickly learned how to stay alert while window-shopping among the traffic.  I had my sunglasses on to keep the dust from going in my eyes and my scarf wrapped tight around my mouth and nose to avoid breathing in all the pollution and dirt.  While in the thick of the thamel I missed the clean mountain air of Nagarkot.  The skinny streets of Kathmandu are lined with shops and packed with cars, motorcycles and people.  Most of the shops generally sell the same type of merchandise so it’s easy to be indecisive while browsing.  If a shop didn’t have exactly what I was looking for, I was always hopeful I would find it down the line.   It took me awhile to finally make a purchase, but once I started there was no stopping.  Usually I’m the only one buying things, but Saleem surprised me by buying several pairs of pants and shirts for himself and his parents.  I couldn’t let him out shop me so I started getting serious.  By the end of day two my arms were sore from carrying all my bags.  I managed to spend my Nepal budget plus a little more and buy some traditional and unique items for friends and family.  I want to post photos, but some most of the items are presents so I’ll wait until I gift them to show them here. 

Here is a rundown of what was weighing me down:

(The first price is in Nepalese Rupees and the second is USD)

Handmade Nepali blanket made of yak’s wool for 1,100 or  $13.75

Traditional Nepali hat for 250 or $3

Beaded tribal looking bracelet for 140 or $1.75

Three handmade Nepali shawls made of yak’s wool for a total of 1600 or $20

Nepali playing cards for 300 or $3.75

A skein of natural wool for 150 or $1.88

A big bundle of Tibetan prayer flags of all different sizes for 600 or $7.50

A handful of handmade notebooks on homemade paper and a dozen hand-painted cards for 1000 or $12.50

Four hand-painted 2013 calendars for a total of 600 or $7.50

Hand cut pop-up style stationary depicting the mountains and rivers of Nepal 300 or $3.75

Which brings my bill to about 6,000 NR or $75.

 I don’t know exactly how many things I purchased between all of the notebooks, cards and prayer flags, but I came away with at least twenty items.  After a big shopping trip I always like to divide my price by the total number of purchases and in this case that means I spent less than $4 an item.  I felt so accomplished shoving all the shawls, notebooks and prayer flags down in my pack knowing that I’d taken care of all of my family members and a handful of friends and most importantly the people of Nepal.  I’m certain that everything I bought with the exception of the prayer flags and the playing cards was actually made in Nepal and a portion of the proceeds will go back to the people who crafted each item.  Almost everything I purchased had a handmade and artistic quality.  The hand-painted cards and calendars are especially unique because they’re individually drawn and painted.   Having successful shopping trips like this one adds a little bit more water to my seed of a dream of one day owning a shop with goods from around the world.  It would resemble something similar to 10,000 villages, which is an amazing shop by the way, except I would personally buy everything that would be sold in the store.  It would be a fun way to meet people as both the buyer and the seller and it would be nice to pass along stories of how I ended up choosing the merchandise.  I guess in a way my future store would be my little contribution to responsible globalization.  

I love shopping, but I hate spending money.  In the states that puts me in a hard position-here it puts me in the best position. My favorite purchase is a wooden lamp that a man named Nit made.  He was super friendly and we were able to have a short conversation about the lamp and how much I love it.  I really hope I get to go back to Chiang Rai.  I keep asking myself why I didn’t buy all his lamps.  Maybe because my bag wasn’t big enough or maybe I wasn’t thinking clearly.  It is so unique and earthly yet elegant.  If I had to define my interior design style with one item it would be this lamp.  Dark wood, flowing lines, simplicity… can you tell how much I love the lamp?  I LOVE LAMP! (<That was a movie reference, I’m not crazy)  Guess what movie and I’ll buy you a lamp if I return to Kit’s stand.  
Like I said, everything is so cheap, which makes it so much fun to shop for yourself, but mostly others.  I don’t feel guilty when I’m spending money on other people so I tend to do a lot of that here.  I can’t wait to go back home and act like Santa for a day. Most things are shown above, but some aren’t because they’re gifts.  I might be a little vague on the description because I don’t want to give away any Christmas surprises.  Some of the items pictured are gifts too, so keep your fingers crossed that one is for you.
Here’s a run down of everything I bought this weekend.  It cost me a total of 1,943B which is $64.  Twenty dollars was spent on artwork.  I wish I could show them here, but again they’re surprises.  I will post them in about a month, so hold onto your seats. So twenty bucks on artwork, ten on a lamp, which I’ve now deemed priceless and six on a snow leopard hat that saved my life.  You’ll hear about that in tomorrow’s post.  The rest is chump change and in total I bought 28 items, 18 of which are gifts.  I’d say I did pretty well.
Prints of Buddha, elephants and other fun stuff                         620B
Two pairs of shoelaces                                                                 40B
Hammock (the blue thing under the shoe laces)                        159B
Cloth calendar                                                                              90B
Three hand-dyed tank tops                                                       100B
Little handmade purse                                                                 25B
Hand decorated fanny pack                                                       100B
Handmade clay incense holder                                                   49B
12 unique notebooks                                                               120B
Snow leopard hat                                                                     190B
Handmade picture frame                                                         170B
Lamp made by Nit                                                                    280B
I love shopping, but I hate spending money.  In the states that puts me in a hard position-here it puts me in the best position. My favorite purchase is a wooden lamp that a man named Nit made.  He was super friendly and we were able to have a short conversation about the lamp and how much I love it.  I really hope I get to go back to Chiang Rai.  I keep asking myself why I didn’t buy all his lamps.  Maybe because my bag wasn’t big enough or maybe I wasn’t thinking clearly.  It is so unique and earthly yet elegant.  If I had to define my interior design style with one item it would be this lamp.  Dark wood, flowing lines, simplicity… can you tell how much I love the lamp?  I LOVE LAMP! (<That was a movie reference, I’m not crazy)  Guess what movie and I’ll buy you a lamp if I return to Kit’s stand.  
Like I said, everything is so cheap, which makes it so much fun to shop for yourself, but mostly others.  I don’t feel guilty when I’m spending money on other people so I tend to do a lot of that here.  I can’t wait to go back home and act like Santa for a day. Most things are shown above, but some aren’t because they’re gifts.  I might be a little vague on the description because I don’t want to give away any Christmas surprises.  Some of the items pictured are gifts too, so keep your fingers crossed that one is for you.
Here’s a run down of everything I bought this weekend.  It cost me a total of 1,943B which is $64.  Twenty dollars was spent on artwork.  I wish I could show them here, but again they’re surprises.  I will post them in about a month, so hold onto your seats. So twenty bucks on artwork, ten on a lamp, which I’ve now deemed priceless and six on a snow leopard hat that saved my life.  You’ll hear about that in tomorrow’s post.  The rest is chump change and in total I bought 28 items, 18 of which are gifts.  I’d say I did pretty well.
Prints of Buddha, elephants and other fun stuff                         620B
Two pairs of shoelaces                                                                 40B
Hammock (the blue thing under the shoe laces)                        159B
Cloth calendar                                                                              90B
Three hand-dyed tank tops                                                       100B
Little handmade purse                                                                 25B
Hand decorated fanny pack                                                       100B
Handmade clay incense holder                                                   49B
12 unique notebooks                                                               120B
Snow leopard hat                                                                     190B
Handmade picture frame                                                         170B
Lamp made by Nit                                                                    280B
I love shopping, but I hate spending money.  In the states that puts me in a hard position-here it puts me in the best position. My favorite purchase is a wooden lamp that a man named Nit made.  He was super friendly and we were able to have a short conversation about the lamp and how much I love it.  I really hope I get to go back to Chiang Rai.  I keep asking myself why I didn’t buy all his lamps.  Maybe because my bag wasn’t big enough or maybe I wasn’t thinking clearly.  It is so unique and earthly yet elegant.  If I had to define my interior design style with one item it would be this lamp.  Dark wood, flowing lines, simplicity… can you tell how much I love the lamp?  I LOVE LAMP! (<That was a movie reference, I’m not crazy)  Guess what movie and I’ll buy you a lamp if I return to Kit’s stand.  
Like I said, everything is so cheap, which makes it so much fun to shop for yourself, but mostly others.  I don’t feel guilty when I’m spending money on other people so I tend to do a lot of that here.  I can’t wait to go back home and act like Santa for a day. Most things are shown above, but some aren’t because they’re gifts.  I might be a little vague on the description because I don’t want to give away any Christmas surprises.  Some of the items pictured are gifts too, so keep your fingers crossed that one is for you.
Here’s a run down of everything I bought this weekend.  It cost me a total of 1,943B which is $64.  Twenty dollars was spent on artwork.  I wish I could show them here, but again they’re surprises.  I will post them in about a month, so hold onto your seats. So twenty bucks on artwork, ten on a lamp, which I’ve now deemed priceless and six on a snow leopard hat that saved my life.  You’ll hear about that in tomorrow’s post.  The rest is chump change and in total I bought 28 items, 18 of which are gifts.  I’d say I did pretty well.
Prints of Buddha, elephants and other fun stuff                         620B
Two pairs of shoelaces                                                                 40B
Hammock (the blue thing under the shoe laces)                        159B
Cloth calendar                                                                              90B
Three hand-dyed tank tops                                                       100B
Little handmade purse                                                                 25B
Hand decorated fanny pack                                                       100B
Handmade clay incense holder                                                   49B
12 unique notebooks                                                               120B
Snow leopard hat                                                                     190B
Handmade picture frame                                                         170B
Lamp made by Nit                                                                    280B
I love shopping, but I hate spending money.  In the states that puts me in a hard position-here it puts me in the best position. My favorite purchase is a wooden lamp that a man named Nit made.  He was super friendly and we were able to have a short conversation about the lamp and how much I love it.  I really hope I get to go back to Chiang Rai.  I keep asking myself why I didn’t buy all his lamps.  Maybe because my bag wasn’t big enough or maybe I wasn’t thinking clearly.  It is so unique and earthly yet elegant.  If I had to define my interior design style with one item it would be this lamp.  Dark wood, flowing lines, simplicity… can you tell how much I love the lamp?  I LOVE LAMP! (<That was a movie reference, I’m not crazy)  Guess what movie and I’ll buy you a lamp if I return to Kit’s stand.  
Like I said, everything is so cheap, which makes it so much fun to shop for yourself, but mostly others.  I don’t feel guilty when I’m spending money on other people so I tend to do a lot of that here.  I can’t wait to go back home and act like Santa for a day. Most things are shown above, but some aren’t because they’re gifts.  I might be a little vague on the description because I don’t want to give away any Christmas surprises.  Some of the items pictured are gifts too, so keep your fingers crossed that one is for you.
Here’s a run down of everything I bought this weekend.  It cost me a total of 1,943B which is $64.  Twenty dollars was spent on artwork.  I wish I could show them here, but again they’re surprises.  I will post them in about a month, so hold onto your seats. So twenty bucks on artwork, ten on a lamp, which I’ve now deemed priceless and six on a snow leopard hat that saved my life.  You’ll hear about that in tomorrow’s post.  The rest is chump change and in total I bought 28 items, 18 of which are gifts.  I’d say I did pretty well.
Prints of Buddha, elephants and other fun stuff                         620B
Two pairs of shoelaces                                                                 40B
Hammock (the blue thing under the shoe laces)                        159B
Cloth calendar                                                                              90B
Three hand-dyed tank tops                                                       100B
Little handmade purse                                                                 25B
Hand decorated fanny pack                                                       100B
Handmade clay incense holder                                                   49B
12 unique notebooks                                                               120B
Snow leopard hat                                                                     190B
Handmade picture frame                                                         170B
Lamp made by Nit                                                                    280B
I love shopping, but I hate spending money.  In the states that puts me in a hard position-here it puts me in the best position. My favorite purchase is a wooden lamp that a man named Nit made.  He was super friendly and we were able to have a short conversation about the lamp and how much I love it.  I really hope I get to go back to Chiang Rai.  I keep asking myself why I didn’t buy all his lamps.  Maybe because my bag wasn’t big enough or maybe I wasn’t thinking clearly.  It is so unique and earthly yet elegant.  If I had to define my interior design style with one item it would be this lamp.  Dark wood, flowing lines, simplicity… can you tell how much I love the lamp?  I LOVE LAMP! (<That was a movie reference, I’m not crazy)  Guess what movie and I’ll buy you a lamp if I return to Kit’s stand.  
Like I said, everything is so cheap, which makes it so much fun to shop for yourself, but mostly others.  I don’t feel guilty when I’m spending money on other people so I tend to do a lot of that here.  I can’t wait to go back home and act like Santa for a day. Most things are shown above, but some aren’t because they’re gifts.  I might be a little vague on the description because I don’t want to give away any Christmas surprises.  Some of the items pictured are gifts too, so keep your fingers crossed that one is for you.
Here’s a run down of everything I bought this weekend.  It cost me a total of 1,943B which is $64.  Twenty dollars was spent on artwork.  I wish I could show them here, but again they’re surprises.  I will post them in about a month, so hold onto your seats. So twenty bucks on artwork, ten on a lamp, which I’ve now deemed priceless and six on a snow leopard hat that saved my life.  You’ll hear about that in tomorrow’s post.  The rest is chump change and in total I bought 28 items, 18 of which are gifts.  I’d say I did pretty well.
Prints of Buddha, elephants and other fun stuff                         620B
Two pairs of shoelaces                                                                 40B
Hammock (the blue thing under the shoe laces)                        159B
Cloth calendar                                                                              90B
Three hand-dyed tank tops                                                       100B
Little handmade purse                                                                 25B
Hand decorated fanny pack                                                       100B
Handmade clay incense holder                                                   49B
12 unique notebooks                                                               120B
Snow leopard hat                                                                     190B
Handmade picture frame                                                         170B
Lamp made by Nit                                                                    280B
I love shopping, but I hate spending money.  In the states that puts me in a hard position-here it puts me in the best position. My favorite purchase is a wooden lamp that a man named Nit made.  He was super friendly and we were able to have a short conversation about the lamp and how much I love it.  I really hope I get to go back to Chiang Rai.  I keep asking myself why I didn’t buy all his lamps.  Maybe because my bag wasn’t big enough or maybe I wasn’t thinking clearly.  It is so unique and earthly yet elegant.  If I had to define my interior design style with one item it would be this lamp.  Dark wood, flowing lines, simplicity… can you tell how much I love the lamp?  I LOVE LAMP! (<That was a movie reference, I’m not crazy)  Guess what movie and I’ll buy you a lamp if I return to Kit’s stand.  
Like I said, everything is so cheap, which makes it so much fun to shop for yourself, but mostly others.  I don’t feel guilty when I’m spending money on other people so I tend to do a lot of that here.  I can’t wait to go back home and act like Santa for a day. Most things are shown above, but some aren’t because they’re gifts.  I might be a little vague on the description because I don’t want to give away any Christmas surprises.  Some of the items pictured are gifts too, so keep your fingers crossed that one is for you.
Here’s a run down of everything I bought this weekend.  It cost me a total of 1,943B which is $64.  Twenty dollars was spent on artwork.  I wish I could show them here, but again they’re surprises.  I will post them in about a month, so hold onto your seats. So twenty bucks on artwork, ten on a lamp, which I’ve now deemed priceless and six on a snow leopard hat that saved my life.  You’ll hear about that in tomorrow’s post.  The rest is chump change and in total I bought 28 items, 18 of which are gifts.  I’d say I did pretty well.
Prints of Buddha, elephants and other fun stuff                         620B
Two pairs of shoelaces                                                                 40B
Hammock (the blue thing under the shoe laces)                        159B
Cloth calendar                                                                              90B
Three hand-dyed tank tops                                                       100B
Little handmade purse                                                                 25B
Hand decorated fanny pack                                                       100B
Handmade clay incense holder                                                   49B
12 unique notebooks                                                               120B
Snow leopard hat                                                                     190B
Handmade picture frame                                                         170B
Lamp made by Nit                                                                    280B
I love shopping, but I hate spending money.  In the states that puts me in a hard position-here it puts me in the best position. My favorite purchase is a wooden lamp that a man named Nit made.  He was super friendly and we were able to have a short conversation about the lamp and how much I love it.  I really hope I get to go back to Chiang Rai.  I keep asking myself why I didn’t buy all his lamps.  Maybe because my bag wasn’t big enough or maybe I wasn’t thinking clearly.  It is so unique and earthly yet elegant.  If I had to define my interior design style with one item it would be this lamp.  Dark wood, flowing lines, simplicity… can you tell how much I love the lamp?  I LOVE LAMP! (<That was a movie reference, I’m not crazy)  Guess what movie and I’ll buy you a lamp if I return to Kit’s stand.  
Like I said, everything is so cheap, which makes it so much fun to shop for yourself, but mostly others.  I don’t feel guilty when I’m spending money on other people so I tend to do a lot of that here.  I can’t wait to go back home and act like Santa for a day. Most things are shown above, but some aren’t because they’re gifts.  I might be a little vague on the description because I don’t want to give away any Christmas surprises.  Some of the items pictured are gifts too, so keep your fingers crossed that one is for you.
Here’s a run down of everything I bought this weekend.  It cost me a total of 1,943B which is $64.  Twenty dollars was spent on artwork.  I wish I could show them here, but again they’re surprises.  I will post them in about a month, so hold onto your seats. So twenty bucks on artwork, ten on a lamp, which I’ve now deemed priceless and six on a snow leopard hat that saved my life.  You’ll hear about that in tomorrow’s post.  The rest is chump change and in total I bought 28 items, 18 of which are gifts.  I’d say I did pretty well.
Prints of Buddha, elephants and other fun stuff                         620B
Two pairs of shoelaces                                                                 40B
Hammock (the blue thing under the shoe laces)                        159B
Cloth calendar                                                                              90B
Three hand-dyed tank tops                                                       100B
Little handmade purse                                                                 25B
Hand decorated fanny pack                                                       100B
Handmade clay incense holder                                                   49B
12 unique notebooks                                                               120B
Snow leopard hat                                                                     190B
Handmade picture frame                                                         170B
Lamp made by Nit                                                                    280B
I love shopping, but I hate spending money.  In the states that puts me in a hard position-here it puts me in the best position. My favorite purchase is a wooden lamp that a man named Nit made.  He was super friendly and we were able to have a short conversation about the lamp and how much I love it.  I really hope I get to go back to Chiang Rai.  I keep asking myself why I didn’t buy all his lamps.  Maybe because my bag wasn’t big enough or maybe I wasn’t thinking clearly.  It is so unique and earthly yet elegant.  If I had to define my interior design style with one item it would be this lamp.  Dark wood, flowing lines, simplicity… can you tell how much I love the lamp?  I LOVE LAMP! (<That was a movie reference, I’m not crazy)  Guess what movie and I’ll buy you a lamp if I return to Kit’s stand.  
Like I said, everything is so cheap, which makes it so much fun to shop for yourself, but mostly others.  I don’t feel guilty when I’m spending money on other people so I tend to do a lot of that here.  I can’t wait to go back home and act like Santa for a day. Most things are shown above, but some aren’t because they’re gifts.  I might be a little vague on the description because I don’t want to give away any Christmas surprises.  Some of the items pictured are gifts too, so keep your fingers crossed that one is for you.
Here’s a run down of everything I bought this weekend.  It cost me a total of 1,943B which is $64.  Twenty dollars was spent on artwork.  I wish I could show them here, but again they’re surprises.  I will post them in about a month, so hold onto your seats. So twenty bucks on artwork, ten on a lamp, which I’ve now deemed priceless and six on a snow leopard hat that saved my life.  You’ll hear about that in tomorrow’s post.  The rest is chump change and in total I bought 28 items, 18 of which are gifts.  I’d say I did pretty well.
Prints of Buddha, elephants and other fun stuff                         620B
Two pairs of shoelaces                                                                 40B
Hammock (the blue thing under the shoe laces)                        159B
Cloth calendar                                                                              90B
Three hand-dyed tank tops                                                       100B
Little handmade purse                                                                 25B
Hand decorated fanny pack                                                       100B
Handmade clay incense holder                                                   49B
12 unique notebooks                                                               120B
Snow leopard hat                                                                     190B
Handmade picture frame                                                         170B
Lamp made by Nit                                                                    280B
I love shopping, but I hate spending money.  In the states that puts me in a hard position-here it puts me in the best position. My favorite purchase is a wooden lamp that a man named Nit made.  He was super friendly and we were able to have a short conversation about the lamp and how much I love it.  I really hope I get to go back to Chiang Rai.  I keep asking myself why I didn’t buy all his lamps.  Maybe because my bag wasn’t big enough or maybe I wasn’t thinking clearly.  It is so unique and earthly yet elegant.  If I had to define my interior design style with one item it would be this lamp.  Dark wood, flowing lines, simplicity… can you tell how much I love the lamp?  I LOVE LAMP! (<That was a movie reference, I’m not crazy)  Guess what movie and I’ll buy you a lamp if I return to Kit’s stand.  
Like I said, everything is so cheap, which makes it so much fun to shop for yourself, but mostly others.  I don’t feel guilty when I’m spending money on other people so I tend to do a lot of that here.  I can’t wait to go back home and act like Santa for a day. Most things are shown above, but some aren’t because they’re gifts.  I might be a little vague on the description because I don’t want to give away any Christmas surprises.  Some of the items pictured are gifts too, so keep your fingers crossed that one is for you.
Here’s a run down of everything I bought this weekend.  It cost me a total of 1,943B which is $64.  Twenty dollars was spent on artwork.  I wish I could show them here, but again they’re surprises.  I will post them in about a month, so hold onto your seats. So twenty bucks on artwork, ten on a lamp, which I’ve now deemed priceless and six on a snow leopard hat that saved my life.  You’ll hear about that in tomorrow’s post.  The rest is chump change and in total I bought 28 items, 18 of which are gifts.  I’d say I did pretty well.
Prints of Buddha, elephants and other fun stuff                         620B
Two pairs of shoelaces                                                                 40B
Hammock (the blue thing under the shoe laces)                        159B
Cloth calendar                                                                              90B
Three hand-dyed tank tops                                                       100B
Little handmade purse                                                                 25B
Hand decorated fanny pack                                                       100B
Handmade clay incense holder                                                   49B
12 unique notebooks                                                               120B
Snow leopard hat                                                                     190B
Handmade picture frame                                                         170B
Lamp made by Nit                                                                    280B
I love shopping, but I hate spending money.  In the states that puts me in a hard position-here it puts me in the best position. My favorite purchase is a wooden lamp that a man named Nit made.  He was super friendly and we were able to have a short conversation about the lamp and how much I love it.  I really hope I get to go back to Chiang Rai.  I keep asking myself why I didn’t buy all his lamps.  Maybe because my bag wasn’t big enough or maybe I wasn’t thinking clearly.  It is so unique and earthly yet elegant.  If I had to define my interior design style with one item it would be this lamp.  Dark wood, flowing lines, simplicity… can you tell how much I love the lamp?  I LOVE LAMP! (<That was a movie reference, I’m not crazy)  Guess what movie and I’ll buy you a lamp if I return to Kit’s stand.  
Like I said, everything is so cheap, which makes it so much fun to shop for yourself, but mostly others.  I don’t feel guilty when I’m spending money on other people so I tend to do a lot of that here.  I can’t wait to go back home and act like Santa for a day. Most things are shown above, but some aren’t because they’re gifts.  I might be a little vague on the description because I don’t want to give away any Christmas surprises.  Some of the items pictured are gifts too, so keep your fingers crossed that one is for you.
Here’s a run down of everything I bought this weekend.  It cost me a total of 1,943B which is $64.  Twenty dollars was spent on artwork.  I wish I could show them here, but again they’re surprises.  I will post them in about a month, so hold onto your seats. So twenty bucks on artwork, ten on a lamp, which I’ve now deemed priceless and six on a snow leopard hat that saved my life.  You’ll hear about that in tomorrow’s post.  The rest is chump change and in total I bought 28 items, 18 of which are gifts.  I’d say I did pretty well.
Prints of Buddha, elephants and other fun stuff                         620B
Two pairs of shoelaces                                                                 40B
Hammock (the blue thing under the shoe laces)                        159B
Cloth calendar                                                                              90B
Three hand-dyed tank tops                                                       100B
Little handmade purse                                                                 25B
Hand decorated fanny pack                                                       100B
Handmade clay incense holder                                                   49B
12 unique notebooks                                                               120B
Snow leopard hat                                                                     190B
Handmade picture frame                                                         170B
Lamp made by Nit                                                                    280B

I love shopping, but I hate spending money.  In the states that puts me in a hard position-here it puts me in the best position. My favorite purchase is a wooden lamp that a man named Nit made.  He was super friendly and we were able to have a short conversation about the lamp and how much I love it.  I really hope I get to go back to Chiang Rai.  I keep asking myself why I didn’t buy all his lamps.  Maybe because my bag wasn’t big enough or maybe I wasn’t thinking clearly.  It is so unique and earthly yet elegant.  If I had to define my interior design style with one item it would be this lamp.  Dark wood, flowing lines, simplicity… can you tell how much I love the lamp?  I LOVE LAMP! (<That was a movie reference, I’m not crazy)  Guess what movie and I’ll buy you a lamp if I return to Kit’s stand. 

Like I said, everything is so cheap, which makes it so much fun to shop for yourself, but mostly others.  I don’t feel guilty when I’m spending money on other people so I tend to do a lot of that here.  I can’t wait to go back home and act like Santa for a day. Most things are shown above, but some aren’t because they’re gifts.  I might be a little vague on the description because I don’t want to give away any Christmas surprises.  Some of the items pictured are gifts too, so keep your fingers crossed that one is for you.

Here’s a run down of everything I bought this weekend.  It cost me a total of 1,943B which is $64.  Twenty dollars was spent on artwork.  I wish I could show them here, but again they’re surprises.  I will post them in about a month, so hold onto your seats. So twenty bucks on artwork, ten on a lamp, which I’ve now deemed priceless and six on a snow leopard hat that saved my life.  You’ll hear about that in tomorrow’s post.  The rest is chump change and in total I bought 28 items, 18 of which are gifts.  I’d say I did pretty well.

Prints of Buddha, elephants and other fun stuff                         620B

Two pairs of shoelaces                                                                 40B

Hammock (the blue thing under the shoe laces)                        159B

Cloth calendar                                                                              90B

Three hand-dyed tank tops                                                       100B

Little handmade purse                                                                 25B

Hand decorated fanny pack                                                       100B

Handmade clay incense holder                                                   49B

12 unique notebooks                                                               120B

Snow leopard hat                                                                     190B

Handmade picture frame                                                         170B

Lamp made by Nit                                                                    280B

Balancing a baht budget.
Since I’ve arrived in Thailand I’ve been living off of money I’ve saved over the summer.  I will not receive my first paycheck until November 30th and it will be significantly smaller than future checks.  My school has already deducted two months rent, one for the month of November and one for a security deposit.  All I want to do is shop, shop, shop, but I’ve been really good about reigning in my spending until I get that check.  I wasn’t really paying attention when our coordinator told us how much we would be getting paid, but I think after rent and utilities it will be about $800 a month.  If you’re shocked, don’t be.  That’s damn good for Thailand and you’ll realize that by the end of this post.
I’ve been keeping track of every single thing I bought since I got here.  You think I’m kidding? I literally have pages of items.  Every time I make a purchase I pull out my cute little green notebook that Jessie Fox gave to me and I write it down.  At the end of each page I tally up all my expenses in categories like food, transportation, clothing, hotels, random, etc.  I used to not keep track of my money while traveling, but it gets really stressful when you don’t know how you spent hundreds of dollars.  Now I have piece of mind that I spent it on things I really needed or wanted and there’s no mystery so there’s no feeling guilty.  Well there’s still buyer’s remorse, but at least I know what I bought that I probably shouldn’t have and I can learn from it.  Like yesterday when I dropped my smoothie after the first sip and I immediately went back and bought another.  Or today when I couldn’t find my smoothie lady so I went to another stand and bought the worst smoothie ever (only in comparison to my regular one) and then I spotted my smoothie stand in an obscure location so I gave my smoothie away and bought one from my regular lady, that’s me being lavish.  I now realize I just told two double smoothie incidents, but I buy other things I don’t need… like dessert twice a day, other than the smoothies.  This is starting to make me look bad, on to the baht budgeting.
I’ve been here since October 19th so about a month and since then I’ve spent roughly $500.  That’s more than I planned on spending in the first month, but after looking at everything I bought I feel pretty good about it and here’s why:
4,178 Baht or $140 was spent on meals.  I ate roughly sixty meals and had twenty drinks whether they were smoothies, beer, coconut water or plain old H20 for only $140.  An entire month’s worth of food for $140; I’m pretty pumped about that.  I’m also splurging a lot on food.  Since I don’t have a kitchen I have to eat out for every meal so I get whatever I want when I want, that means I eat a lot of ice cream.
1,363 Baht was spent on transportation.  That’s roughly $45.  I spend at least double that each month just on gas and even more on oil for my poor old car, parking tickets and tows, taxi and subway rides.  That $45 dollars paid for at least a dozen song tow rides, some tuk tuks, taxis, bus rides and a few ferry rides.
1,100 Baht was spent on hotel rooms and bungalows.  Only $36 for four nights, that’s about how much a campsite costs for one night in Chincoteague, Virginia, so no complaints here.
1,270 Baht was spent in markets on various types of merchandise.  I bought ten shirts, two bags, one ring, watch and a lace dress for only $42.  See that sweet strawberry shirt? Only six bucks and if I really tried I probably could have had it for less than five.  Those bags were three bucks and again, once I get better at numbers I can bargain like a champ.  I can’t wait to tally up all my items by the end of the trip.  Maybe when I get back to the states I’ll be a personal shopper.  I can only shop for myself in other countries because it doesn’t cost a fortune, it feels like every buy is a deal and that’s what I’m all about.
750 Baht or $25 was spent on fun stuff like snorkeling, massages, club cover charges and things of that sort.  I file that away under entertainment expenses.
A big chunk of change was spent on things I didn’t really want to buy or don’t have to buy again, so that’s a relief.  I spent over $200 on items for my apartment like bed sheets, hangers, a trashcan, a cell phone and all that kind of junk.  I also had to buy a couple uniforms for school and pay for photos and blood tests for my work visa.  All things I didn’t plan on buying, but at least I won’t have to buy them again.
Since I’ve been living off my savings, I haven’t set up a budget for myself, but once I get my first paycheck I have a general plan for how to spend and save my money.  I would like to spend less than $4 a weekday, which is more than possible.  That will leave me with $720 for weekend excursions, shopping and saving.  Some weekends will be expensive because prices in tourist hotspots are inevitably more expensive, but weekends spent in national parks or on quiet beaches will be as cheap as life in Chonburi.  If I stick to this plan I can continue my five-month shopping spree while still saving some money for my travels through South East Asia after the semester is over.  I am itching for my first paycheck. I already have the money spent.  I’ve seen so many cute vintage looking clothes in the market and I’ve been working on my shopping terms in Thai.  Hopefully I’ll buy so many articles of clothing I won’t have to shop until the next time I’m back in Asia. Balancing a baht budget.
Since I’ve arrived in Thailand I’ve been living off of money I’ve saved over the summer.  I will not receive my first paycheck until November 30th and it will be significantly smaller than future checks.  My school has already deducted two months rent, one for the month of November and one for a security deposit.  All I want to do is shop, shop, shop, but I’ve been really good about reigning in my spending until I get that check.  I wasn’t really paying attention when our coordinator told us how much we would be getting paid, but I think after rent and utilities it will be about $800 a month.  If you’re shocked, don’t be.  That’s damn good for Thailand and you’ll realize that by the end of this post.
I’ve been keeping track of every single thing I bought since I got here.  You think I’m kidding? I literally have pages of items.  Every time I make a purchase I pull out my cute little green notebook that Jessie Fox gave to me and I write it down.  At the end of each page I tally up all my expenses in categories like food, transportation, clothing, hotels, random, etc.  I used to not keep track of my money while traveling, but it gets really stressful when you don’t know how you spent hundreds of dollars.  Now I have piece of mind that I spent it on things I really needed or wanted and there’s no mystery so there’s no feeling guilty.  Well there’s still buyer’s remorse, but at least I know what I bought that I probably shouldn’t have and I can learn from it.  Like yesterday when I dropped my smoothie after the first sip and I immediately went back and bought another.  Or today when I couldn’t find my smoothie lady so I went to another stand and bought the worst smoothie ever (only in comparison to my regular one) and then I spotted my smoothie stand in an obscure location so I gave my smoothie away and bought one from my regular lady, that’s me being lavish.  I now realize I just told two double smoothie incidents, but I buy other things I don’t need… like dessert twice a day, other than the smoothies.  This is starting to make me look bad, on to the baht budgeting.
I’ve been here since October 19th so about a month and since then I’ve spent roughly $500.  That’s more than I planned on spending in the first month, but after looking at everything I bought I feel pretty good about it and here’s why:
4,178 Baht or $140 was spent on meals.  I ate roughly sixty meals and had twenty drinks whether they were smoothies, beer, coconut water or plain old H20 for only $140.  An entire month’s worth of food for $140; I’m pretty pumped about that.  I’m also splurging a lot on food.  Since I don’t have a kitchen I have to eat out for every meal so I get whatever I want when I want, that means I eat a lot of ice cream.
1,363 Baht was spent on transportation.  That’s roughly $45.  I spend at least double that each month just on gas and even more on oil for my poor old car, parking tickets and tows, taxi and subway rides.  That $45 dollars paid for at least a dozen song tow rides, some tuk tuks, taxis, bus rides and a few ferry rides.
1,100 Baht was spent on hotel rooms and bungalows.  Only $36 for four nights, that’s about how much a campsite costs for one night in Chincoteague, Virginia, so no complaints here.
1,270 Baht was spent in markets on various types of merchandise.  I bought ten shirts, two bags, one ring, watch and a lace dress for only $42.  See that sweet strawberry shirt? Only six bucks and if I really tried I probably could have had it for less than five.  Those bags were three bucks and again, once I get better at numbers I can bargain like a champ.  I can’t wait to tally up all my items by the end of the trip.  Maybe when I get back to the states I’ll be a personal shopper.  I can only shop for myself in other countries because it doesn’t cost a fortune, it feels like every buy is a deal and that’s what I’m all about.
750 Baht or $25 was spent on fun stuff like snorkeling, massages, club cover charges and things of that sort.  I file that away under entertainment expenses.
A big chunk of change was spent on things I didn’t really want to buy or don’t have to buy again, so that’s a relief.  I spent over $200 on items for my apartment like bed sheets, hangers, a trashcan, a cell phone and all that kind of junk.  I also had to buy a couple uniforms for school and pay for photos and blood tests for my work visa.  All things I didn’t plan on buying, but at least I won’t have to buy them again.
Since I’ve been living off my savings, I haven’t set up a budget for myself, but once I get my first paycheck I have a general plan for how to spend and save my money.  I would like to spend less than $4 a weekday, which is more than possible.  That will leave me with $720 for weekend excursions, shopping and saving.  Some weekends will be expensive because prices in tourist hotspots are inevitably more expensive, but weekends spent in national parks or on quiet beaches will be as cheap as life in Chonburi.  If I stick to this plan I can continue my five-month shopping spree while still saving some money for my travels through South East Asia after the semester is over.  I am itching for my first paycheck. I already have the money spent.  I’ve seen so many cute vintage looking clothes in the market and I’ve been working on my shopping terms in Thai.  Hopefully I’ll buy so many articles of clothing I won’t have to shop until the next time I’m back in Asia. Balancing a baht budget.
Since I’ve arrived in Thailand I’ve been living off of money I’ve saved over the summer.  I will not receive my first paycheck until November 30th and it will be significantly smaller than future checks.  My school has already deducted two months rent, one for the month of November and one for a security deposit.  All I want to do is shop, shop, shop, but I’ve been really good about reigning in my spending until I get that check.  I wasn’t really paying attention when our coordinator told us how much we would be getting paid, but I think after rent and utilities it will be about $800 a month.  If you’re shocked, don’t be.  That’s damn good for Thailand and you’ll realize that by the end of this post.
I’ve been keeping track of every single thing I bought since I got here.  You think I’m kidding? I literally have pages of items.  Every time I make a purchase I pull out my cute little green notebook that Jessie Fox gave to me and I write it down.  At the end of each page I tally up all my expenses in categories like food, transportation, clothing, hotels, random, etc.  I used to not keep track of my money while traveling, but it gets really stressful when you don’t know how you spent hundreds of dollars.  Now I have piece of mind that I spent it on things I really needed or wanted and there’s no mystery so there’s no feeling guilty.  Well there’s still buyer’s remorse, but at least I know what I bought that I probably shouldn’t have and I can learn from it.  Like yesterday when I dropped my smoothie after the first sip and I immediately went back and bought another.  Or today when I couldn’t find my smoothie lady so I went to another stand and bought the worst smoothie ever (only in comparison to my regular one) and then I spotted my smoothie stand in an obscure location so I gave my smoothie away and bought one from my regular lady, that’s me being lavish.  I now realize I just told two double smoothie incidents, but I buy other things I don’t need… like dessert twice a day, other than the smoothies.  This is starting to make me look bad, on to the baht budgeting.
I’ve been here since October 19th so about a month and since then I’ve spent roughly $500.  That’s more than I planned on spending in the first month, but after looking at everything I bought I feel pretty good about it and here’s why:
4,178 Baht or $140 was spent on meals.  I ate roughly sixty meals and had twenty drinks whether they were smoothies, beer, coconut water or plain old H20 for only $140.  An entire month’s worth of food for $140; I’m pretty pumped about that.  I’m also splurging a lot on food.  Since I don’t have a kitchen I have to eat out for every meal so I get whatever I want when I want, that means I eat a lot of ice cream.
1,363 Baht was spent on transportation.  That’s roughly $45.  I spend at least double that each month just on gas and even more on oil for my poor old car, parking tickets and tows, taxi and subway rides.  That $45 dollars paid for at least a dozen song tow rides, some tuk tuks, taxis, bus rides and a few ferry rides.
1,100 Baht was spent on hotel rooms and bungalows.  Only $36 for four nights, that’s about how much a campsite costs for one night in Chincoteague, Virginia, so no complaints here.
1,270 Baht was spent in markets on various types of merchandise.  I bought ten shirts, two bags, one ring, watch and a lace dress for only $42.  See that sweet strawberry shirt? Only six bucks and if I really tried I probably could have had it for less than five.  Those bags were three bucks and again, once I get better at numbers I can bargain like a champ.  I can’t wait to tally up all my items by the end of the trip.  Maybe when I get back to the states I’ll be a personal shopper.  I can only shop for myself in other countries because it doesn’t cost a fortune, it feels like every buy is a deal and that’s what I’m all about.
750 Baht or $25 was spent on fun stuff like snorkeling, massages, club cover charges and things of that sort.  I file that away under entertainment expenses.
A big chunk of change was spent on things I didn’t really want to buy or don’t have to buy again, so that’s a relief.  I spent over $200 on items for my apartment like bed sheets, hangers, a trashcan, a cell phone and all that kind of junk.  I also had to buy a couple uniforms for school and pay for photos and blood tests for my work visa.  All things I didn’t plan on buying, but at least I won’t have to buy them again.
Since I’ve been living off my savings, I haven’t set up a budget for myself, but once I get my first paycheck I have a general plan for how to spend and save my money.  I would like to spend less than $4 a weekday, which is more than possible.  That will leave me with $720 for weekend excursions, shopping and saving.  Some weekends will be expensive because prices in tourist hotspots are inevitably more expensive, but weekends spent in national parks or on quiet beaches will be as cheap as life in Chonburi.  If I stick to this plan I can continue my five-month shopping spree while still saving some money for my travels through South East Asia after the semester is over.  I am itching for my first paycheck. I already have the money spent.  I’ve seen so many cute vintage looking clothes in the market and I’ve been working on my shopping terms in Thai.  Hopefully I’ll buy so many articles of clothing I won’t have to shop until the next time I’m back in Asia. Balancing a baht budget.
Since I’ve arrived in Thailand I’ve been living off of money I’ve saved over the summer.  I will not receive my first paycheck until November 30th and it will be significantly smaller than future checks.  My school has already deducted two months rent, one for the month of November and one for a security deposit.  All I want to do is shop, shop, shop, but I’ve been really good about reigning in my spending until I get that check.  I wasn’t really paying attention when our coordinator told us how much we would be getting paid, but I think after rent and utilities it will be about $800 a month.  If you’re shocked, don’t be.  That’s damn good for Thailand and you’ll realize that by the end of this post.
I’ve been keeping track of every single thing I bought since I got here.  You think I’m kidding? I literally have pages of items.  Every time I make a purchase I pull out my cute little green notebook that Jessie Fox gave to me and I write it down.  At the end of each page I tally up all my expenses in categories like food, transportation, clothing, hotels, random, etc.  I used to not keep track of my money while traveling, but it gets really stressful when you don’t know how you spent hundreds of dollars.  Now I have piece of mind that I spent it on things I really needed or wanted and there’s no mystery so there’s no feeling guilty.  Well there’s still buyer’s remorse, but at least I know what I bought that I probably shouldn’t have and I can learn from it.  Like yesterday when I dropped my smoothie after the first sip and I immediately went back and bought another.  Or today when I couldn’t find my smoothie lady so I went to another stand and bought the worst smoothie ever (only in comparison to my regular one) and then I spotted my smoothie stand in an obscure location so I gave my smoothie away and bought one from my regular lady, that’s me being lavish.  I now realize I just told two double smoothie incidents, but I buy other things I don’t need… like dessert twice a day, other than the smoothies.  This is starting to make me look bad, on to the baht budgeting.
I’ve been here since October 19th so about a month and since then I’ve spent roughly $500.  That’s more than I planned on spending in the first month, but after looking at everything I bought I feel pretty good about it and here’s why:
4,178 Baht or $140 was spent on meals.  I ate roughly sixty meals and had twenty drinks whether they were smoothies, beer, coconut water or plain old H20 for only $140.  An entire month’s worth of food for $140; I’m pretty pumped about that.  I’m also splurging a lot on food.  Since I don’t have a kitchen I have to eat out for every meal so I get whatever I want when I want, that means I eat a lot of ice cream.
1,363 Baht was spent on transportation.  That’s roughly $45.  I spend at least double that each month just on gas and even more on oil for my poor old car, parking tickets and tows, taxi and subway rides.  That $45 dollars paid for at least a dozen song tow rides, some tuk tuks, taxis, bus rides and a few ferry rides.
1,100 Baht was spent on hotel rooms and bungalows.  Only $36 for four nights, that’s about how much a campsite costs for one night in Chincoteague, Virginia, so no complaints here.
1,270 Baht was spent in markets on various types of merchandise.  I bought ten shirts, two bags, one ring, watch and a lace dress for only $42.  See that sweet strawberry shirt? Only six bucks and if I really tried I probably could have had it for less than five.  Those bags were three bucks and again, once I get better at numbers I can bargain like a champ.  I can’t wait to tally up all my items by the end of the trip.  Maybe when I get back to the states I’ll be a personal shopper.  I can only shop for myself in other countries because it doesn’t cost a fortune, it feels like every buy is a deal and that’s what I’m all about.
750 Baht or $25 was spent on fun stuff like snorkeling, massages, club cover charges and things of that sort.  I file that away under entertainment expenses.
A big chunk of change was spent on things I didn’t really want to buy or don’t have to buy again, so that’s a relief.  I spent over $200 on items for my apartment like bed sheets, hangers, a trashcan, a cell phone and all that kind of junk.  I also had to buy a couple uniforms for school and pay for photos and blood tests for my work visa.  All things I didn’t plan on buying, but at least I won’t have to buy them again.
Since I’ve been living off my savings, I haven’t set up a budget for myself, but once I get my first paycheck I have a general plan for how to spend and save my money.  I would like to spend less than $4 a weekday, which is more than possible.  That will leave me with $720 for weekend excursions, shopping and saving.  Some weekends will be expensive because prices in tourist hotspots are inevitably more expensive, but weekends spent in national parks or on quiet beaches will be as cheap as life in Chonburi.  If I stick to this plan I can continue my five-month shopping spree while still saving some money for my travels through South East Asia after the semester is over.  I am itching for my first paycheck. I already have the money spent.  I’ve seen so many cute vintage looking clothes in the market and I’ve been working on my shopping terms in Thai.  Hopefully I’ll buy so many articles of clothing I won’t have to shop until the next time I’m back in Asia. Balancing a baht budget.
Since I’ve arrived in Thailand I’ve been living off of money I’ve saved over the summer.  I will not receive my first paycheck until November 30th and it will be significantly smaller than future checks.  My school has already deducted two months rent, one for the month of November and one for a security deposit.  All I want to do is shop, shop, shop, but I’ve been really good about reigning in my spending until I get that check.  I wasn’t really paying attention when our coordinator told us how much we would be getting paid, but I think after rent and utilities it will be about $800 a month.  If you’re shocked, don’t be.  That’s damn good for Thailand and you’ll realize that by the end of this post.
I’ve been keeping track of every single thing I bought since I got here.  You think I’m kidding? I literally have pages of items.  Every time I make a purchase I pull out my cute little green notebook that Jessie Fox gave to me and I write it down.  At the end of each page I tally up all my expenses in categories like food, transportation, clothing, hotels, random, etc.  I used to not keep track of my money while traveling, but it gets really stressful when you don’t know how you spent hundreds of dollars.  Now I have piece of mind that I spent it on things I really needed or wanted and there’s no mystery so there’s no feeling guilty.  Well there’s still buyer’s remorse, but at least I know what I bought that I probably shouldn’t have and I can learn from it.  Like yesterday when I dropped my smoothie after the first sip and I immediately went back and bought another.  Or today when I couldn’t find my smoothie lady so I went to another stand and bought the worst smoothie ever (only in comparison to my regular one) and then I spotted my smoothie stand in an obscure location so I gave my smoothie away and bought one from my regular lady, that’s me being lavish.  I now realize I just told two double smoothie incidents, but I buy other things I don’t need… like dessert twice a day, other than the smoothies.  This is starting to make me look bad, on to the baht budgeting.
I’ve been here since October 19th so about a month and since then I’ve spent roughly $500.  That’s more than I planned on spending in the first month, but after looking at everything I bought I feel pretty good about it and here’s why:
4,178 Baht or $140 was spent on meals.  I ate roughly sixty meals and had twenty drinks whether they were smoothies, beer, coconut water or plain old H20 for only $140.  An entire month’s worth of food for $140; I’m pretty pumped about that.  I’m also splurging a lot on food.  Since I don’t have a kitchen I have to eat out for every meal so I get whatever I want when I want, that means I eat a lot of ice cream.
1,363 Baht was spent on transportation.  That’s roughly $45.  I spend at least double that each month just on gas and even more on oil for my poor old car, parking tickets and tows, taxi and subway rides.  That $45 dollars paid for at least a dozen song tow rides, some tuk tuks, taxis, bus rides and a few ferry rides.
1,100 Baht was spent on hotel rooms and bungalows.  Only $36 for four nights, that’s about how much a campsite costs for one night in Chincoteague, Virginia, so no complaints here.
1,270 Baht was spent in markets on various types of merchandise.  I bought ten shirts, two bags, one ring, watch and a lace dress for only $42.  See that sweet strawberry shirt? Only six bucks and if I really tried I probably could have had it for less than five.  Those bags were three bucks and again, once I get better at numbers I can bargain like a champ.  I can’t wait to tally up all my items by the end of the trip.  Maybe when I get back to the states I’ll be a personal shopper.  I can only shop for myself in other countries because it doesn’t cost a fortune, it feels like every buy is a deal and that’s what I’m all about.
750 Baht or $25 was spent on fun stuff like snorkeling, massages, club cover charges and things of that sort.  I file that away under entertainment expenses.
A big chunk of change was spent on things I didn’t really want to buy or don’t have to buy again, so that’s a relief.  I spent over $200 on items for my apartment like bed sheets, hangers, a trashcan, a cell phone and all that kind of junk.  I also had to buy a couple uniforms for school and pay for photos and blood tests for my work visa.  All things I didn’t plan on buying, but at least I won’t have to buy them again.
Since I’ve been living off my savings, I haven’t set up a budget for myself, but once I get my first paycheck I have a general plan for how to spend and save my money.  I would like to spend less than $4 a weekday, which is more than possible.  That will leave me with $720 for weekend excursions, shopping and saving.  Some weekends will be expensive because prices in tourist hotspots are inevitably more expensive, but weekends spent in national parks or on quiet beaches will be as cheap as life in Chonburi.  If I stick to this plan I can continue my five-month shopping spree while still saving some money for my travels through South East Asia after the semester is over.  I am itching for my first paycheck. I already have the money spent.  I’ve seen so many cute vintage looking clothes in the market and I’ve been working on my shopping terms in Thai.  Hopefully I’ll buy so many articles of clothing I won’t have to shop until the next time I’m back in Asia. Balancing a baht budget.
Since I’ve arrived in Thailand I’ve been living off of money I’ve saved over the summer.  I will not receive my first paycheck until November 30th and it will be significantly smaller than future checks.  My school has already deducted two months rent, one for the month of November and one for a security deposit.  All I want to do is shop, shop, shop, but I’ve been really good about reigning in my spending until I get that check.  I wasn’t really paying attention when our coordinator told us how much we would be getting paid, but I think after rent and utilities it will be about $800 a month.  If you’re shocked, don’t be.  That’s damn good for Thailand and you’ll realize that by the end of this post.
I’ve been keeping track of every single thing I bought since I got here.  You think I’m kidding? I literally have pages of items.  Every time I make a purchase I pull out my cute little green notebook that Jessie Fox gave to me and I write it down.  At the end of each page I tally up all my expenses in categories like food, transportation, clothing, hotels, random, etc.  I used to not keep track of my money while traveling, but it gets really stressful when you don’t know how you spent hundreds of dollars.  Now I have piece of mind that I spent it on things I really needed or wanted and there’s no mystery so there’s no feeling guilty.  Well there’s still buyer’s remorse, but at least I know what I bought that I probably shouldn’t have and I can learn from it.  Like yesterday when I dropped my smoothie after the first sip and I immediately went back and bought another.  Or today when I couldn’t find my smoothie lady so I went to another stand and bought the worst smoothie ever (only in comparison to my regular one) and then I spotted my smoothie stand in an obscure location so I gave my smoothie away and bought one from my regular lady, that’s me being lavish.  I now realize I just told two double smoothie incidents, but I buy other things I don’t need… like dessert twice a day, other than the smoothies.  This is starting to make me look bad, on to the baht budgeting.
I’ve been here since October 19th so about a month and since then I’ve spent roughly $500.  That’s more than I planned on spending in the first month, but after looking at everything I bought I feel pretty good about it and here’s why:
4,178 Baht or $140 was spent on meals.  I ate roughly sixty meals and had twenty drinks whether they were smoothies, beer, coconut water or plain old H20 for only $140.  An entire month’s worth of food for $140; I’m pretty pumped about that.  I’m also splurging a lot on food.  Since I don’t have a kitchen I have to eat out for every meal so I get whatever I want when I want, that means I eat a lot of ice cream.
1,363 Baht was spent on transportation.  That’s roughly $45.  I spend at least double that each month just on gas and even more on oil for my poor old car, parking tickets and tows, taxi and subway rides.  That $45 dollars paid for at least a dozen song tow rides, some tuk tuks, taxis, bus rides and a few ferry rides.
1,100 Baht was spent on hotel rooms and bungalows.  Only $36 for four nights, that’s about how much a campsite costs for one night in Chincoteague, Virginia, so no complaints here.
1,270 Baht was spent in markets on various types of merchandise.  I bought ten shirts, two bags, one ring, watch and a lace dress for only $42.  See that sweet strawberry shirt? Only six bucks and if I really tried I probably could have had it for less than five.  Those bags were three bucks and again, once I get better at numbers I can bargain like a champ.  I can’t wait to tally up all my items by the end of the trip.  Maybe when I get back to the states I’ll be a personal shopper.  I can only shop for myself in other countries because it doesn’t cost a fortune, it feels like every buy is a deal and that’s what I’m all about.
750 Baht or $25 was spent on fun stuff like snorkeling, massages, club cover charges and things of that sort.  I file that away under entertainment expenses.
A big chunk of change was spent on things I didn’t really want to buy or don’t have to buy again, so that’s a relief.  I spent over $200 on items for my apartment like bed sheets, hangers, a trashcan, a cell phone and all that kind of junk.  I also had to buy a couple uniforms for school and pay for photos and blood tests for my work visa.  All things I didn’t plan on buying, but at least I won’t have to buy them again.
Since I’ve been living off my savings, I haven’t set up a budget for myself, but once I get my first paycheck I have a general plan for how to spend and save my money.  I would like to spend less than $4 a weekday, which is more than possible.  That will leave me with $720 for weekend excursions, shopping and saving.  Some weekends will be expensive because prices in tourist hotspots are inevitably more expensive, but weekends spent in national parks or on quiet beaches will be as cheap as life in Chonburi.  If I stick to this plan I can continue my five-month shopping spree while still saving some money for my travels through South East Asia after the semester is over.  I am itching for my first paycheck. I already have the money spent.  I’ve seen so many cute vintage looking clothes in the market and I’ve been working on my shopping terms in Thai.  Hopefully I’ll buy so many articles of clothing I won’t have to shop until the next time I’m back in Asia. Balancing a baht budget.
Since I’ve arrived in Thailand I’ve been living off of money I’ve saved over the summer.  I will not receive my first paycheck until November 30th and it will be significantly smaller than future checks.  My school has already deducted two months rent, one for the month of November and one for a security deposit.  All I want to do is shop, shop, shop, but I’ve been really good about reigning in my spending until I get that check.  I wasn’t really paying attention when our coordinator told us how much we would be getting paid, but I think after rent and utilities it will be about $800 a month.  If you’re shocked, don’t be.  That’s damn good for Thailand and you’ll realize that by the end of this post.
I’ve been keeping track of every single thing I bought since I got here.  You think I’m kidding? I literally have pages of items.  Every time I make a purchase I pull out my cute little green notebook that Jessie Fox gave to me and I write it down.  At the end of each page I tally up all my expenses in categories like food, transportation, clothing, hotels, random, etc.  I used to not keep track of my money while traveling, but it gets really stressful when you don’t know how you spent hundreds of dollars.  Now I have piece of mind that I spent it on things I really needed or wanted and there’s no mystery so there’s no feeling guilty.  Well there’s still buyer’s remorse, but at least I know what I bought that I probably shouldn’t have and I can learn from it.  Like yesterday when I dropped my smoothie after the first sip and I immediately went back and bought another.  Or today when I couldn’t find my smoothie lady so I went to another stand and bought the worst smoothie ever (only in comparison to my regular one) and then I spotted my smoothie stand in an obscure location so I gave my smoothie away and bought one from my regular lady, that’s me being lavish.  I now realize I just told two double smoothie incidents, but I buy other things I don’t need… like dessert twice a day, other than the smoothies.  This is starting to make me look bad, on to the baht budgeting.
I’ve been here since October 19th so about a month and since then I’ve spent roughly $500.  That’s more than I planned on spending in the first month, but after looking at everything I bought I feel pretty good about it and here’s why:
4,178 Baht or $140 was spent on meals.  I ate roughly sixty meals and had twenty drinks whether they were smoothies, beer, coconut water or plain old H20 for only $140.  An entire month’s worth of food for $140; I’m pretty pumped about that.  I’m also splurging a lot on food.  Since I don’t have a kitchen I have to eat out for every meal so I get whatever I want when I want, that means I eat a lot of ice cream.
1,363 Baht was spent on transportation.  That’s roughly $45.  I spend at least double that each month just on gas and even more on oil for my poor old car, parking tickets and tows, taxi and subway rides.  That $45 dollars paid for at least a dozen song tow rides, some tuk tuks, taxis, bus rides and a few ferry rides.
1,100 Baht was spent on hotel rooms and bungalows.  Only $36 for four nights, that’s about how much a campsite costs for one night in Chincoteague, Virginia, so no complaints here.
1,270 Baht was spent in markets on various types of merchandise.  I bought ten shirts, two bags, one ring, watch and a lace dress for only $42.  See that sweet strawberry shirt? Only six bucks and if I really tried I probably could have had it for less than five.  Those bags were three bucks and again, once I get better at numbers I can bargain like a champ.  I can’t wait to tally up all my items by the end of the trip.  Maybe when I get back to the states I’ll be a personal shopper.  I can only shop for myself in other countries because it doesn’t cost a fortune, it feels like every buy is a deal and that’s what I’m all about.
750 Baht or $25 was spent on fun stuff like snorkeling, massages, club cover charges and things of that sort.  I file that away under entertainment expenses.
A big chunk of change was spent on things I didn’t really want to buy or don’t have to buy again, so that’s a relief.  I spent over $200 on items for my apartment like bed sheets, hangers, a trashcan, a cell phone and all that kind of junk.  I also had to buy a couple uniforms for school and pay for photos and blood tests for my work visa.  All things I didn’t plan on buying, but at least I won’t have to buy them again.
Since I’ve been living off my savings, I haven’t set up a budget for myself, but once I get my first paycheck I have a general plan for how to spend and save my money.  I would like to spend less than $4 a weekday, which is more than possible.  That will leave me with $720 for weekend excursions, shopping and saving.  Some weekends will be expensive because prices in tourist hotspots are inevitably more expensive, but weekends spent in national parks or on quiet beaches will be as cheap as life in Chonburi.  If I stick to this plan I can continue my five-month shopping spree while still saving some money for my travels through South East Asia after the semester is over.  I am itching for my first paycheck. I already have the money spent.  I’ve seen so many cute vintage looking clothes in the market and I’ve been working on my shopping terms in Thai.  Hopefully I’ll buy so many articles of clothing I won’t have to shop until the next time I’m back in Asia. Balancing a baht budget.
Since I’ve arrived in Thailand I’ve been living off of money I’ve saved over the summer.  I will not receive my first paycheck until November 30th and it will be significantly smaller than future checks.  My school has already deducted two months rent, one for the month of November and one for a security deposit.  All I want to do is shop, shop, shop, but I’ve been really good about reigning in my spending until I get that check.  I wasn’t really paying attention when our coordinator told us how much we would be getting paid, but I think after rent and utilities it will be about $800 a month.  If you’re shocked, don’t be.  That’s damn good for Thailand and you’ll realize that by the end of this post.
I’ve been keeping track of every single thing I bought since I got here.  You think I’m kidding? I literally have pages of items.  Every time I make a purchase I pull out my cute little green notebook that Jessie Fox gave to me and I write it down.  At the end of each page I tally up all my expenses in categories like food, transportation, clothing, hotels, random, etc.  I used to not keep track of my money while traveling, but it gets really stressful when you don’t know how you spent hundreds of dollars.  Now I have piece of mind that I spent it on things I really needed or wanted and there’s no mystery so there’s no feeling guilty.  Well there’s still buyer’s remorse, but at least I know what I bought that I probably shouldn’t have and I can learn from it.  Like yesterday when I dropped my smoothie after the first sip and I immediately went back and bought another.  Or today when I couldn’t find my smoothie lady so I went to another stand and bought the worst smoothie ever (only in comparison to my regular one) and then I spotted my smoothie stand in an obscure location so I gave my smoothie away and bought one from my regular lady, that’s me being lavish.  I now realize I just told two double smoothie incidents, but I buy other things I don’t need… like dessert twice a day, other than the smoothies.  This is starting to make me look bad, on to the baht budgeting.
I’ve been here since October 19th so about a month and since then I’ve spent roughly $500.  That’s more than I planned on spending in the first month, but after looking at everything I bought I feel pretty good about it and here’s why:
4,178 Baht or $140 was spent on meals.  I ate roughly sixty meals and had twenty drinks whether they were smoothies, beer, coconut water or plain old H20 for only $140.  An entire month’s worth of food for $140; I’m pretty pumped about that.  I’m also splurging a lot on food.  Since I don’t have a kitchen I have to eat out for every meal so I get whatever I want when I want, that means I eat a lot of ice cream.
1,363 Baht was spent on transportation.  That’s roughly $45.  I spend at least double that each month just on gas and even more on oil for my poor old car, parking tickets and tows, taxi and subway rides.  That $45 dollars paid for at least a dozen song tow rides, some tuk tuks, taxis, bus rides and a few ferry rides.
1,100 Baht was spent on hotel rooms and bungalows.  Only $36 for four nights, that’s about how much a campsite costs for one night in Chincoteague, Virginia, so no complaints here.
1,270 Baht was spent in markets on various types of merchandise.  I bought ten shirts, two bags, one ring, watch and a lace dress for only $42.  See that sweet strawberry shirt? Only six bucks and if I really tried I probably could have had it for less than five.  Those bags were three bucks and again, once I get better at numbers I can bargain like a champ.  I can’t wait to tally up all my items by the end of the trip.  Maybe when I get back to the states I’ll be a personal shopper.  I can only shop for myself in other countries because it doesn’t cost a fortune, it feels like every buy is a deal and that’s what I’m all about.
750 Baht or $25 was spent on fun stuff like snorkeling, massages, club cover charges and things of that sort.  I file that away under entertainment expenses.
A big chunk of change was spent on things I didn’t really want to buy or don’t have to buy again, so that’s a relief.  I spent over $200 on items for my apartment like bed sheets, hangers, a trashcan, a cell phone and all that kind of junk.  I also had to buy a couple uniforms for school and pay for photos and blood tests for my work visa.  All things I didn’t plan on buying, but at least I won’t have to buy them again.
Since I’ve been living off my savings, I haven’t set up a budget for myself, but once I get my first paycheck I have a general plan for how to spend and save my money.  I would like to spend less than $4 a weekday, which is more than possible.  That will leave me with $720 for weekend excursions, shopping and saving.  Some weekends will be expensive because prices in tourist hotspots are inevitably more expensive, but weekends spent in national parks or on quiet beaches will be as cheap as life in Chonburi.  If I stick to this plan I can continue my five-month shopping spree while still saving some money for my travels through South East Asia after the semester is over.  I am itching for my first paycheck. I already have the money spent.  I’ve seen so many cute vintage looking clothes in the market and I’ve been working on my shopping terms in Thai.  Hopefully I’ll buy so many articles of clothing I won’t have to shop until the next time I’m back in Asia. Balancing a baht budget.
Since I’ve arrived in Thailand I’ve been living off of money I’ve saved over the summer.  I will not receive my first paycheck until November 30th and it will be significantly smaller than future checks.  My school has already deducted two months rent, one for the month of November and one for a security deposit.  All I want to do is shop, shop, shop, but I’ve been really good about reigning in my spending until I get that check.  I wasn’t really paying attention when our coordinator told us how much we would be getting paid, but I think after rent and utilities it will be about $800 a month.  If you’re shocked, don’t be.  That’s damn good for Thailand and you’ll realize that by the end of this post.
I’ve been keeping track of every single thing I bought since I got here.  You think I’m kidding? I literally have pages of items.  Every time I make a purchase I pull out my cute little green notebook that Jessie Fox gave to me and I write it down.  At the end of each page I tally up all my expenses in categories like food, transportation, clothing, hotels, random, etc.  I used to not keep track of my money while traveling, but it gets really stressful when you don’t know how you spent hundreds of dollars.  Now I have piece of mind that I spent it on things I really needed or wanted and there’s no mystery so there’s no feeling guilty.  Well there’s still buyer’s remorse, but at least I know what I bought that I probably shouldn’t have and I can learn from it.  Like yesterday when I dropped my smoothie after the first sip and I immediately went back and bought another.  Or today when I couldn’t find my smoothie lady so I went to another stand and bought the worst smoothie ever (only in comparison to my regular one) and then I spotted my smoothie stand in an obscure location so I gave my smoothie away and bought one from my regular lady, that’s me being lavish.  I now realize I just told two double smoothie incidents, but I buy other things I don’t need… like dessert twice a day, other than the smoothies.  This is starting to make me look bad, on to the baht budgeting.
I’ve been here since October 19th so about a month and since then I’ve spent roughly $500.  That’s more than I planned on spending in the first month, but after looking at everything I bought I feel pretty good about it and here’s why:
4,178 Baht or $140 was spent on meals.  I ate roughly sixty meals and had twenty drinks whether they were smoothies, beer, coconut water or plain old H20 for only $140.  An entire month’s worth of food for $140; I’m pretty pumped about that.  I’m also splurging a lot on food.  Since I don’t have a kitchen I have to eat out for every meal so I get whatever I want when I want, that means I eat a lot of ice cream.
1,363 Baht was spent on transportation.  That’s roughly $45.  I spend at least double that each month just on gas and even more on oil for my poor old car, parking tickets and tows, taxi and subway rides.  That $45 dollars paid for at least a dozen song tow rides, some tuk tuks, taxis, bus rides and a few ferry rides.
1,100 Baht was spent on hotel rooms and bungalows.  Only $36 for four nights, that’s about how much a campsite costs for one night in Chincoteague, Virginia, so no complaints here.
1,270 Baht was spent in markets on various types of merchandise.  I bought ten shirts, two bags, one ring, watch and a lace dress for only $42.  See that sweet strawberry shirt? Only six bucks and if I really tried I probably could have had it for less than five.  Those bags were three bucks and again, once I get better at numbers I can bargain like a champ.  I can’t wait to tally up all my items by the end of the trip.  Maybe when I get back to the states I’ll be a personal shopper.  I can only shop for myself in other countries because it doesn’t cost a fortune, it feels like every buy is a deal and that’s what I’m all about.
750 Baht or $25 was spent on fun stuff like snorkeling, massages, club cover charges and things of that sort.  I file that away under entertainment expenses.
A big chunk of change was spent on things I didn’t really want to buy or don’t have to buy again, so that’s a relief.  I spent over $200 on items for my apartment like bed sheets, hangers, a trashcan, a cell phone and all that kind of junk.  I also had to buy a couple uniforms for school and pay for photos and blood tests for my work visa.  All things I didn’t plan on buying, but at least I won’t have to buy them again.
Since I’ve been living off my savings, I haven’t set up a budget for myself, but once I get my first paycheck I have a general plan for how to spend and save my money.  I would like to spend less than $4 a weekday, which is more than possible.  That will leave me with $720 for weekend excursions, shopping and saving.  Some weekends will be expensive because prices in tourist hotspots are inevitably more expensive, but weekends spent in national parks or on quiet beaches will be as cheap as life in Chonburi.  If I stick to this plan I can continue my five-month shopping spree while still saving some money for my travels through South East Asia after the semester is over.  I am itching for my first paycheck. I already have the money spent.  I’ve seen so many cute vintage looking clothes in the market and I’ve been working on my shopping terms in Thai.  Hopefully I’ll buy so many articles of clothing I won’t have to shop until the next time I’m back in Asia.

Balancing a baht budget.

Since I’ve arrived in Thailand I’ve been living off of money I’ve saved over the summer. I will not receive my first paycheck until November 30th and it will be significantly smaller than future checks. My school has already deducted two months rent, one for the month of November and one for a security deposit. All I want to do is shop, shop, shop, but I’ve been really good about reigning in my spending until I get that check. I wasn’t really paying attention when our coordinator told us how much we would be getting paid, but I think after rent and utilities it will be about $800 a month. If you’re shocked, don’t be. That’s damn good for Thailand and you’ll realize that by the end of this post.

I’ve been keeping track of every single thing I bought since I got here. You think I’m kidding? I literally have pages of items. Every time I make a purchase I pull out my cute little green notebook that Jessie Fox gave to me and I write it down. At the end of each page I tally up all my expenses in categories like food, transportation, clothing, hotels, random, etc. I used to not keep track of my money while traveling, but it gets really stressful when you don’t know how you spent hundreds of dollars. Now I have piece of mind that I spent it on things I really needed or wanted and there’s no mystery so there’s no feeling guilty. Well there’s still buyer’s remorse, but at least I know what I bought that I probably shouldn’t have and I can learn from it. Like yesterday when I dropped my smoothie after the first sip and I immediately went back and bought another. Or today when I couldn’t find my smoothie lady so I went to another stand and bought the worst smoothie ever (only in comparison to my regular one) and then I spotted my smoothie stand in an obscure location so I gave my smoothie away and bought one from my regular lady, that’s me being lavish. I now realize I just told two double smoothie incidents, but I buy other things I don’t need… like dessert twice a day, other than the smoothies. This is starting to make me look bad, on to the baht budgeting.

I’ve been here since October 19th so about a month and since then I’ve spent roughly $500. That’s more than I planned on spending in the first month, but after looking at everything I bought I feel pretty good about it and here’s why:

4,178 Baht or $140 was spent on meals. I ate roughly sixty meals and had twenty drinks whether they were smoothies, beer, coconut water or plain old H20 for only $140. An entire month’s worth of food for $140; I’m pretty pumped about that. I’m also splurging a lot on food. Since I don’t have a kitchen I have to eat out for every meal so I get whatever I want when I want, that means I eat a lot of ice cream.

1,363 Baht was spent on transportation. That’s roughly $45. I spend at least double that each month just on gas and even more on oil for my poor old car, parking tickets and tows, taxi and subway rides. That $45 dollars paid for at least a dozen song tow rides, some tuk tuks, taxis, bus rides and a few ferry rides.

1,100 Baht was spent on hotel rooms and bungalows. Only $36 for four nights, that’s about how much a campsite costs for one night in Chincoteague, Virginia, so no complaints here.

1,270 Baht was spent in markets on various types of merchandise. I bought ten shirts, two bags, one ring, watch and a lace dress for only $42. See that sweet strawberry shirt? Only six bucks and if I really tried I probably could have had it for less than five. Those bags were three bucks and again, once I get better at numbers I can bargain like a champ. I can’t wait to tally up all my items by the end of the trip. Maybe when I get back to the states I’ll be a personal shopper. I can only shop for myself in other countries because it doesn’t cost a fortune, it feels like every buy is a deal and that’s what I’m all about.

750 Baht or $25 was spent on fun stuff like snorkeling, massages, club cover charges and things of that sort. I file that away under entertainment expenses.

A big chunk of change was spent on things I didn’t really want to buy or don’t have to buy again, so that’s a relief. I spent over $200 on items for my apartment like bed sheets, hangers, a trashcan, a cell phone and all that kind of junk. I also had to buy a couple uniforms for school and pay for photos and blood tests for my work visa. All things I didn’t plan on buying, but at least I won’t have to buy them again.

Since I’ve been living off my savings, I haven’t set up a budget for myself, but once I get my first paycheck I have a general plan for how to spend and save my money. I would like to spend less than $4 a weekday, which is more than possible. That will leave me with $720 for weekend excursions, shopping and saving. Some weekends will be expensive because prices in tourist hotspots are inevitably more expensive, but weekends spent in national parks or on quiet beaches will be as cheap as life in Chonburi. If I stick to this plan I can continue my five-month shopping spree while still saving some money for my travels through South East Asia after the semester is over. I am itching for my first paycheck. I already have the money spent. I’ve seen so many cute vintage looking clothes in the market and I’ve been working on my shopping terms in Thai. Hopefully I’ll buy so many articles of clothing I won’t have to shop until the next time I’m back in Asia.

Shirts, shirts, shirts, shirts, shirts, shirts, shirts&#8230;. One of the reasons I love going to other countries is to shop.  I rarely splurge at home because I&#8217;m usually saving up for my next big adventure, but once I leave the U.S. my shopping game is on.  I am always looking for fun little things to buy whether I need them or not.  This is one of the reasons I brought an enormous suitcase with me.  I need room for everything I&#8217;ll be taking home.  We all know Asian countries are way ahead of the U.S. style wise and it is so evident in every store and market stall.  On my second day in Thailand I ventured to Chatuchak the world&#8217;s largest weekend market.  It is insane.  It&#8217;s 35 acres of stalls.  You can find anything there, but if you go with a shopping list it may be hard to actually locate what you want in a timely manner.  The entire day I had no idea where in the market I was, but I didn&#8217;t care.  I kept winding down skinny lanes and alley ways looking for things to buy or admire.  There was even a pet section that smelled of pee and puppies.  I didn&#8217;t buy an animal, but I did buy 8 tank tops, a ring, a watch and a cool graphic t-shirt for a friend.  I won&#8217;t post the t-shirt here because everyone deserves a surprise once in awhile, but it is super cool and colorful.  I only spent 80 baht on each tank top, that&#8217;s less than $3.  They are all pretty funky so I really couldn&#8217;t stop at just one.  I love the zebra that drips colors and the panda that has two handguns.  Sometimes I pretend I&#8217;m the shooting panda when I get annoyed or frustrated and that simple motion along with my friends laughing at me keeps my spirits up.  I wear my new watch everyday.  Believe it or not it is the first watch I&#8217;ve ever owned.  I went into the stall thinking I would get a sophisticated one, but I came out with a purple penguin slap watch.  The kids at school love it.  There were so many articles of clothing, house decorations, furniture and little gadgets I wanted to buy for myself and others, but I tried to keep myself in check.  Thank god I don&#8217;t have a niece or nephew because I saw so many trendy baby clothes that I would have needed another suitcase just to take them home.  I can&#8217;t wait to pick up all the things I saw for my friends and family&#8230; that means I&#8217;ll see you again Chatuchak.  
Oh and by the way, every Wednesday I&#8217;ll be updating you about fun things I&#8217;ve picked up and I&#8217;ll give you the inside scoop on spending baht in Thailand. Shirts, shirts, shirts, shirts, shirts, shirts, shirts&#8230;. One of the reasons I love going to other countries is to shop.  I rarely splurge at home because I&#8217;m usually saving up for my next big adventure, but once I leave the U.S. my shopping game is on.  I am always looking for fun little things to buy whether I need them or not.  This is one of the reasons I brought an enormous suitcase with me.  I need room for everything I&#8217;ll be taking home.  We all know Asian countries are way ahead of the U.S. style wise and it is so evident in every store and market stall.  On my second day in Thailand I ventured to Chatuchak the world&#8217;s largest weekend market.  It is insane.  It&#8217;s 35 acres of stalls.  You can find anything there, but if you go with a shopping list it may be hard to actually locate what you want in a timely manner.  The entire day I had no idea where in the market I was, but I didn&#8217;t care.  I kept winding down skinny lanes and alley ways looking for things to buy or admire.  There was even a pet section that smelled of pee and puppies.  I didn&#8217;t buy an animal, but I did buy 8 tank tops, a ring, a watch and a cool graphic t-shirt for a friend.  I won&#8217;t post the t-shirt here because everyone deserves a surprise once in awhile, but it is super cool and colorful.  I only spent 80 baht on each tank top, that&#8217;s less than $3.  They are all pretty funky so I really couldn&#8217;t stop at just one.  I love the zebra that drips colors and the panda that has two handguns.  Sometimes I pretend I&#8217;m the shooting panda when I get annoyed or frustrated and that simple motion along with my friends laughing at me keeps my spirits up.  I wear my new watch everyday.  Believe it or not it is the first watch I&#8217;ve ever owned.  I went into the stall thinking I would get a sophisticated one, but I came out with a purple penguin slap watch.  The kids at school love it.  There were so many articles of clothing, house decorations, furniture and little gadgets I wanted to buy for myself and others, but I tried to keep myself in check.  Thank god I don&#8217;t have a niece or nephew because I saw so many trendy baby clothes that I would have needed another suitcase just to take them home.  I can&#8217;t wait to pick up all the things I saw for my friends and family&#8230; that means I&#8217;ll see you again Chatuchak.  
Oh and by the way, every Wednesday I&#8217;ll be updating you about fun things I&#8217;ve picked up and I&#8217;ll give you the inside scoop on spending baht in Thailand. Shirts, shirts, shirts, shirts, shirts, shirts, shirts&#8230;. One of the reasons I love going to other countries is to shop.  I rarely splurge at home because I&#8217;m usually saving up for my next big adventure, but once I leave the U.S. my shopping game is on.  I am always looking for fun little things to buy whether I need them or not.  This is one of the reasons I brought an enormous suitcase with me.  I need room for everything I&#8217;ll be taking home.  We all know Asian countries are way ahead of the U.S. style wise and it is so evident in every store and market stall.  On my second day in Thailand I ventured to Chatuchak the world&#8217;s largest weekend market.  It is insane.  It&#8217;s 35 acres of stalls.  You can find anything there, but if you go with a shopping list it may be hard to actually locate what you want in a timely manner.  The entire day I had no idea where in the market I was, but I didn&#8217;t care.  I kept winding down skinny lanes and alley ways looking for things to buy or admire.  There was even a pet section that smelled of pee and puppies.  I didn&#8217;t buy an animal, but I did buy 8 tank tops, a ring, a watch and a cool graphic t-shirt for a friend.  I won&#8217;t post the t-shirt here because everyone deserves a surprise once in awhile, but it is super cool and colorful.  I only spent 80 baht on each tank top, that&#8217;s less than $3.  They are all pretty funky so I really couldn&#8217;t stop at just one.  I love the zebra that drips colors and the panda that has two handguns.  Sometimes I pretend I&#8217;m the shooting panda when I get annoyed or frustrated and that simple motion along with my friends laughing at me keeps my spirits up.  I wear my new watch everyday.  Believe it or not it is the first watch I&#8217;ve ever owned.  I went into the stall thinking I would get a sophisticated one, but I came out with a purple penguin slap watch.  The kids at school love it.  There were so many articles of clothing, house decorations, furniture and little gadgets I wanted to buy for myself and others, but I tried to keep myself in check.  Thank god I don&#8217;t have a niece or nephew because I saw so many trendy baby clothes that I would have needed another suitcase just to take them home.  I can&#8217;t wait to pick up all the things I saw for my friends and family&#8230; that means I&#8217;ll see you again Chatuchak.  
Oh and by the way, every Wednesday I&#8217;ll be updating you about fun things I&#8217;ve picked up and I&#8217;ll give you the inside scoop on spending baht in Thailand.

Shirts, shirts, shirts, shirts, shirts, shirts, shirts…. One of the reasons I love going to other countries is to shop.  I rarely splurge at home because I’m usually saving up for my next big adventure, but once I leave the U.S. my shopping game is on.  I am always looking for fun little things to buy whether I need them or not.  This is one of the reasons I brought an enormous suitcase with me.  I need room for everything I’ll be taking home.  We all know Asian countries are way ahead of the U.S. style wise and it is so evident in every store and market stall.  On my second day in Thailand I ventured to Chatuchak the world’s largest weekend market.  It is insane.  It’s 35 acres of stalls.  You can find anything there, but if you go with a shopping list it may be hard to actually locate what you want in a timely manner.  The entire day I had no idea where in the market I was, but I didn’t care.  I kept winding down skinny lanes and alley ways looking for things to buy or admire.  There was even a pet section that smelled of pee and puppies.  I didn’t buy an animal, but I did buy 8 tank tops, a ring, a watch and a cool graphic t-shirt for a friend.  I won’t post the t-shirt here because everyone deserves a surprise once in awhile, but it is super cool and colorful.  I only spent 80 baht on each tank top, that’s less than $3.  They are all pretty funky so I really couldn’t stop at just one.  I love the zebra that drips colors and the panda that has two handguns.  Sometimes I pretend I’m the shooting panda when I get annoyed or frustrated and that simple motion along with my friends laughing at me keeps my spirits up.  I wear my new watch everyday.  Believe it or not it is the first watch I’ve ever owned.  I went into the stall thinking I would get a sophisticated one, but I came out with a purple penguin slap watch.  The kids at school love it.  There were so many articles of clothing, house decorations, furniture and little gadgets I wanted to buy for myself and others, but I tried to keep myself in check.  Thank god I don’t have a niece or nephew because I saw so many trendy baby clothes that I would have needed another suitcase just to take them home.  I can’t wait to pick up all the things I saw for my friends and family… that means I’ll see you again Chatuchak.  

Oh and by the way, every Wednesday I’ll be updating you about fun things I’ve picked up and I’ll give you the inside scoop on spending baht in Thailand.