Still here in San Diego.

Well I have been back in San Diego since December 27th, 2018.  I returned to America after a fellow American wound up in local government hospital in Siem Reap, Cambodia.  After being in touch with his brother and son in Texas he was transferred to non-government hospital run by Thais.  Beautiful hospital.  But the cost was a little high for his family.  I arranged an ambulance for him to be taken to hospital in Surin, Thailand.  He is now in Bang Sa Ray in Thailand at a care facility. My friend Leon helped the family set up things with the facility. He and his friend Nan visted him and the last visit the Americans brother flew to Thailand to take over. Hope it all works out. He was pretty sick.  

As I said I am in San Diego.  After arriving I stayed with a friend. Then stayed with other friend.  Then stayed at beautiful airbnb overlooking SanDiego Bay. Beautiful home. Warm and friendly host couple. Rode the bus at bottom of hill to hub and took bus, train, trolley. Great transportation. For $17 I bought a month pass for bus and trolley. Travelled to Ocean Beach and Pacific Beach.  Took trolley downtown. Took bus to see Scripps Oceanography and the Aquaium.  San Diego is a beautiful city.  Balboa Park.  San Diego Zoo. Fabulous restaurants.  Very enjoyable.

  • I did get cataract surgery on both eyes. Had all my labs done. I may need surgery. Waiting on that. Back up north in Riverside county at friends.

Binge watching

The one thing I didn’t have in Cambodia was TV. Well there was TV but no English speaking channels-at least very few. I had Netflix. But I have been staying at friends and binged watching “Newsroom”. Started to watch it long ago and maybe I moved. Anyway great show!! Jeff Daniels rocked. Where I am- husband likes show-wife goes to sleep. But the crazy part is they are Republicans, well hubby is. It is really hard. Anyway had to share. I guess because I was in Cambo when Trump won the election. I woke up in morning and immeduately turned on news. The time difference 12 hours or 14 so I was asleep. The time change is something you have to get use to. I had friends in NY and Cali-so figuring out the right time was a pain. I put a world clock on phone so I could check if I was confused. And it happens.People do not like getting calls at 1 am on Monday morning!!

Thinking South of the border down Mexico Way.

Well its been culture shock. I dont believe I can live in the USA and enjoy myself. I had looked into moving to Mexico before I travelled to Thailand. And now that I am back in California, Mexico is making more sense. Of course I don’t have the same money I had before living in Thailand and Cambodia. That was almost three years ago and many peso ago. But it may be the perfect solution. Being close to San Diego. Good for medical trips and close to family. I am really going to look into it before I book a flight back to Cambodia. It’s really an idea I have to revisit. I will keep you posted!

Living in the USA.

Well I have been back in California for two months now. Its been really rainy and cold. After living in Cambodia for the past year where it is sunny and humid everyday-its been a transition.

I left Cambodia on December 18th. I went to Pattaya to join my friend Leon. His former wife is Thai and had bought a new house in a gated community. She moved from Buriram a very Thai town maybe four or five hours away. I had been to Buriram on a visit to Leon. It was not an exciting town and the people were very close knit. I didn’t like it and returned to Cambodia. This was in 2016.

Anyway I left Pattaya to return to California.

Its not going great. I am retired collecting Social Security. Not enough SS.

California is very, very expensive. In Siem Rrap I lived in a hotel long term for $400 a month. This included a buffet breakfast. My room had a flat screen TV, a/c, cable, internet, refrigerator, coffee pot and housekeeping. A pool, restaurant and small bar. I had no car. I took a tuk-tuk everywhere. I did subscribe to netfix for movies, since most TV was in Khmer. I subscribed to Scribb to read books, magazines, documentaries and the news. So my expenses were $400 for the hotel. $12 for Netflix. $9 for Scribb. Tip for housekeeping. Paying to go maybe to the supermarket by tuk-tuk or where ever for maybe $25 a month. Most short trip $1. Long trip $5. Laundry was $1 per bag full. washed, folded and wrapped in plastic bag.

Food was great. Since Siem Reap is a tourist town because of Angor Wat, there was every kind of food. Viva’s had great Mexican food. A taco and Margarita for $3. Greek across the street. A French bakery, half price after 6 pm. Great steak house. Great bars and bands. It was just amazing-all the places to go and tons of shops.

Also they had a four plex movie theather for $3 on weekdays with English speaking hit movies.

You were never bored. I could walk to Pub Street from my hotel. Ot take a leasurly walk along the water.

I loved Siem Reap. But I was A single retired over 66 American woman. Lots of 20 and 30 year olds. Lots of NGO’s. Lots of hostels and backpackers. Tons of older tourists. But not many stayed.

I tried Cambodia twice. Once for 6 months and once for one year. I tried Thailand three times but for shorter stays. Twice for 3 months and once for 6 days. That’s when I checked out of a beautiful bayside hotel and flew to San Diego.

I have no car yet. Studio apt. unfurnished are $1300. To rent a room is going to be the cheaprst $650 plus utilities and buying a car. This is close to nothing and inland. To live by the beach is crazy. So I am really thinking of returning to Cambodia. I am not happy. I have seen my daughter and one grand child once. I have straightened out medical and gained some extra financially. I will see how it goes. I didn’t post any photos because there is nothing to see!!!

I am in California.

I have no idea where I left off. At the moment I am in Kaiser Medical facility in Menifee California. Menifee is approximately 60 miles north of dowtown San Diego.

I was staying at a friend’s house in San Diego, close to Mission Bay. Now I am at another friends.

I am getting all my medical lab work completed. Doctor physical and any necessary tests. In Cambodia medical is limited and in Thailand its diffucult with the language barrier. After the adventure with my American friend, who by the way is still in Thailand homecare, I decided to take advantage of being on Medicare and return to The USA. Medical coverage while outside of the US is very expensive. I was alone since my friend Leon And I parted ways in Pattaya Thailand on Christmas Eve.

I returned to San Diego on December 27th after a nightmare trip from Bangkok BBK to Shanghai, China which was suppose to be somewhere in Japan.

In Shanghai it was cold. I had on flip flops and a thin jacket. It was freezing in the airport. It was a layover. Six hour layover. All we were doing was changing planes. They fingerprinted me twice along with photo. They made me go thru customs. And another line. It was a nightmare. I followed signs that said foreigners and it was wrong line. Nice gentleman from Singapore that spoke English directed me to the correct location.

Arrived at San Francisco airport and the crew was delayed in Houston. So four more hours at airport. After three and a half hours they gave us snacks and water for the delay.

Everything in the airpirt cost a fortune!!

Finally made it back to San Diego. Caught a cab and went to the closest hotel to the Bay!!

I walked over to De Anza Cove close to where I had lived. It was beautiful. Was happy to be home.

Its been difficult getting settled.

The continuing saga of arriving in Thailand.

So before my friend showed up from America I decided to go to the local store.

Some guy started chatting me up. “Oh your from California.” Didn’t occur to me that how would he guess that. Anyway he proceeds to tell me his sister was a nurse in San Diego. He was Filipino. There are lots and lots of nurses from the Philippines in San Diego. Ok. He asked hey want to meet my sister? Sure why not. So we get a taxi and we start driving. Then driving and driving. Now I am getting a little freaked out. So finally we get to a real house with two ladies. One was the nurse. So this is ok. Then he says let me show you the upstairs ok. Well then he proceeded to tell me he worked as a card dealer on a cruise ship and could teach me how to cheat. Oh no this does not sound good. I remember my son- in-laws words before I left for Thailand. “Be sure you have money to get out of jail”. Yikes. I took off down the street. He was Following me. I did get a cab. And did remember my hotel. That was scary. Maybe he knew to follow me from the hotel. Single older woman. Probably gullible!! This was my first day in Bangkok!!!

Getting back to normal. Roof top of hotel.

Well the medical saga is over. American is in Thailand facility and he is getting better yeah!

Yesterday I celebrated. I went to a different hotel for the night. Well I didn’t actually make it there until the morning for the breakfast buffet.

Well I am back in San Diego, California!!

Chilly day at Ocean Beach in San Diego. But its the beautuful ocean!!

Its a long story. I have to reread my blog to figure out where I left off!!

Well I did leave Siem Reap. I really really loved Siem Reap. But the medical facilities were one really nice hospital to one government hospital that wanted family to feed the patient.

So good bye to the wonderful Khmer friends and the the great ex-pat friends.

Off to Thailand. Bang sa ray outside Pattaya. Thought I would spend Christmas with my friend Leon and his friend Nan. And possibly visit the American in Rayong, about an hour or so from Pattaya.

First, the trip to Thailand was a nightmare. Taxi to border with suitcases. Perfect crosss border, get I taxi in Thailand with suitcases transferred and on my way to Pattaya. Wrong!! Immigration had other ideas. Seems theres a little law about only allowing two land crossings a year. I had my two. One bringing the American who overstayed his visa by seven days. So when he went to bank to pick up his money wire from his son they said no no. You in fact have an expired visa. Not good. No visa. No money. His social security that by some convoluted way gets to his son who wires it to a bank in Cambodia. I go to the ATM.

So I went on a two and a half hour drive to the border to show Mr American how to get his visa. Nightmare. Do not go to Poi Pet border crossing if at all possible. Its crowded. Its confusing. And there are travel agents trying to “help” you get your visa. They are not. They want your money. They grabbed us two falangs “westerners” before we understood what they were up to. They said here are two older travelers that we can con. My American guy could barely walk. It was a long two hours going thru immigration from Cambodia to Thailand and then back again. And they dont take dollars in Thailand like they do in Cambodia. So I had to get money from my account because The American didnt have debit card!! We did make it after we lost the agents. Paid someone $10 to run ahead and get passport stamped. Well worth it! Then the 2+ hour drive back. At least the taxi was there waiting for us. Well worth $40 for a round trip. The only problem was it was election weekend and it was Friday. Parades and traffic backed up. But we had no choice. Or he had no choice. Overstay is $10 a day. It already cost him $70. and they might throw you out. What it cost me was one of my two land trips. The second was taking him over the border in the ambulance to the hospital in Surin, Thailand. Which I didnt know. Not good. When I arrived at the border to take bus to Pattaya, Thailand. Immigration wouldnt let me go!!

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Update on friend in hospital in Surin, Thailand.

My friend spent maybe 10 days in government hospital in Surin. The family needed to hire nurse because care was very limited. It was reasonable $15 for 8 hours.

But it was obvious this wasn’t a place to stay.

My friend Leon lives in Pattaya, Thailand about seven hours from Surin.

His Thai friend Nan spoke with ambulance lady/nurse and they told me about care home in Rayong about 2 hours outside Pattaya.

They packed him in ambulance again and took him to Rayong.

No one speaks English, so Nan was indispensable be cause she lived in USA for several years with Leon and spoke English.

So Mike is in home care with physical therapy. My friend Leon and Nan have been down twice to see how he is doing.

He has improved and has other issues besides the stoke.

But he has excellent care and is comfortable.

So after this medical situation I have decided to leave Siem Reap, Cambodia.

We are planning to travel to Koh Chang. I can take a taxi or mini bus. maybe seven hour journey.

I am really excited . It’s a fairly big tropical island. my friend Leon has a car which we can bring over on the ferry. Beautiful white sand ,blue water, coral reefs. restaurants and sort of travelable roads. I am so excited.

When I first arrived in Thailand we stayed in Bangkok. Then Jomtien Beach then the islands.

Took ferry down to Koh Samui. Leon had old friend who owned a resort.

Then travelled to Koh Phanyan, then my favorite Koh Tao.

Tropical Island. White sand

warm water. bungalow right on beach. Great restaurants and lots of divers. It was magical. But it was a small island and probably would have been too much to stay for a long time.

So Koh Chang is next!!