Oct 14, 2018
(if this doesn't make sense to you, as it did to me, please scroll down to Background Story)
Greetings dear ones and welcome to the Donation Bank page.
I make this pledge about your donation:
- no excess - I will continue to live in austerity. I will still get my broken shoes repaired, glued and stitched until it falls apart before I buy a new pair.
You don't have to, and I am not asking you. But if you wish to donate, I already know it comes from the heart. I am humbled by your generosity and I cannot be more grateful. You have my love, my gratitude and my merits.
Click on your donation preference
Donation Bank? What for? You are strong and healthy!
Exactly my thoughts for the last 6 years I'd been on the open road. I was firmly against that. But just today (Oct 14, 2018), I came to terms about a pressing realization. But first, a backgrounder to those unfamiliar to my story:
Life on the Open Road
I'd been traveling on the open road with no home and very little money in the last 6 years and despite frequent cliff-hangers (e.g. - running out of money in Singapore), I've never really slept on a side walk or missed a meal. My universe has consistently, without fail, looked after my well-being. But it always comes to the rescue in the last minute! It's a tough life, but it's also an exciting life. For a guy always hanging off the edge, I still get to live a life of travel, eat mouth-watering Asian street food, and meet magnificent lives. Not bad, right?
Aversion to Money?
Despite living life so close to the edge, I've never relied nor accepted any donation, despite numerous offers. I've lost count of all those generous and well-meaning offers. To the extent I accept money, it is on assurance I receive it as a loan - and I lose sleep until I pay it all back. Money? I don't know. I've always had this ambivalence about money. I think I even have a pathological aversion to money (I gave away land I inherited, refused a future inheritance for a house and lot, returned to my Dad the money he gave me as a wedding gift for a house in Canada, and many others). Why? I've always maintained that less is more. That I didn't want anything beyond my meager needs. If I can subsist on P1000, why would I desire more than that? I found it bliss to only own what fits into my back pack and be happy with whatever food I can find on the streets. The universe has always provided anyway despite the cliff-hangers.
The Bangkok Low
But as late as July 2018 in Bangkok, when funds got as low as $2.50 (2 meals away from starving), I came to terms with my recurring situation. Even if my universe provides, it was driving me insane. I couldn't stop my mind from racing 24/7 about my survival. It exhausted me. So I talked to my universe (in a language we can both communicate with), that I no longer want this life of a renunciate. I will accept abundance now no matter how huge. I will no longer refuse the blessings. I speculated I'd have more and bigger deals - the spectre of donation never entered my mind.
Remaining on the Edge
It never got worse after that but I remained close to the edge - arriving Yangon with $50, arriving now in Bangkok with $85. In the meantime, I was already in the red with my online flight purchases. The meaningful abundance has not come. I even speculated that perhaps there was no abundance - that this is my karmic destiny...life on the edge.
Abundance from a Distant Past
Now, let's fast-forward to Oct. 14. From out of nowhere, I received a message from a friend from a distant past. We were not particularly close but there was fondness and admiration. What she said was particularly surprising. Without mentioning names or giving clues, here's now it went:
FRIEND: I have been following your way of life and admire it. However, I would like to send you some money to make it easier for a while.
ME: I am moved by your generosity my dear. Thank you. I am grateful for the gesture. But my poverty is by choice. My universe hasn't let me sleep on the sidewalk in the 6 years I had been doing this. But if I am already on my third day of hunger and nothing is still on the horizon, I will remember your generous offer. Mwah !!!
FRIEND: I know that it is your choice but this should not keep you from accepting gifts from old friends once in a while?
ME: You are too kind.
(at the back of my mind, I could hear my universe telling me, "you ask for abundance and I give you abundance. And you say NO? Are you fucking with me?" I was jolted.)
FRIEND: Remember, the one that gives gifts receives often more happiness than the one that receives the Gift! You are taking the pleasure of giving to you away from me 🙂 Think about it. There is nothing wrong in receiving gifts and accepting generosity.
ME: (recovering from the jolt) Those are wise words. Sometimes I have to be reminded to keep my ego in check. Yes dear, I accept your kindness with love and gratitude.
FRIEND: I think you deserve a little abundance (and know how to appreciate it) more than anyone I know personally. I don't often follow Facebook, but I did come across your posts a few times, and found them inspiring and heartfelt. Enjoy a little abundance. It can be nice to not worry about money for a while.
ME: thank you...love you dear ❤
Arrogance and the Runaway Ego
She was right - nothing wrong with accepting kindness when offered. I knew it all along but I was too arrogant with my runaway ego. Sure, I would never ask for a donation. But if an unsolicited and heart-felt donation is offered with clearly no strings attached, it really is arrogant to say no, no matter how gracefully it has been declined - specially after having asked my universe for abundance to begin with. It is arrogance to be choosy with abundance. I should just be accepting for what has been put on the table.
I should let people in. I remember what my ex-wife told me shortly after we separated, "you never let me make you a cup of coffee. You would be polite in saying 'thank you but I can manage'. You never let me feel needed." It still stings whenever I think about that episode. I am quick to give kindness. Why can't I be equally as open in receiving it?
To loved ones and sometimes to complete strangers, I give what I can if what I have is beyond basic or current need - a pair of slippers to someone who broke theirs on a hike, a lavish hotel room across the miles, dental treatment from a barter deal, etc. The pleasure I get from giving far exceeds the convenience the recipient gets. Why should I deny that pleasure to loved ones or friends who only wish to share what they have? Giving and receiving are energies that need to flow spontaneously until it permeates. What bliss when that happens!
When another well-meaning friend suggested I put up a mechanism in place for a donation, I rationalized that if I want security in life, I will just go back to the default world and be a university teacher again. But since I chose this life, then I have to grit it. Yeah, right! Who am I kidding? What a clever pretext! If I am asking the universe for abundance but refuse it when given, then I should just shut-up and go back to teach - instead of whining about cliff hangers. But no, I cannot go back to teach in the default world. I can't put the genie back in the bottle. Or putting it another way, this tortoise can no longer fit into his old shell. Once you taste this life, you'll never go back to the 10x10 cubicle with the monthly paycheck.
So what to do? To be humble, stop playing clever mind-games with myself and put up a funding mechanism to allow well-meaning friends to donate if they wish to. Thus this Donation Bank.
The universe is indeed clever. It never gave me anything for free - it's tough love (eg - in order for me to get a refund on a paid flight, I had to sleep on the airport for 29 hours and go through hell with Spice Jet). I see my universe as a kind of entity with a distinct personality - kind and giving, but you have to earn it somehow. This time around, it dangled abundance by having me swallow my ego. To expose my vulnerabilty. To let me face my fear. I benefit both ways.
To anyone who makes a donation, I cannot be more grateful. Perhaps we are karmically entangled. You have my love, my gratitude and my merits.
YOGA by Gigit | Learn English | Travel like a Nomad | Donation Bank
(Sep 2, 2020) I came across your page, the donate button called me very strongly. Perhaps we are karmically entangled.
(Sep 3, 2020) Yes, perhaps we are karmically entangled. This is another way to reach out to people I'm entangled with but have no way of connecting. If and when you visit Chiang Mai, you MUST join me for coffee and bread. I make the best carrot bread. "Top 5 ever", according to a Japanese friend.
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Bangkok Blogs by TheLoneRider
- Bangkok in Pictures Mar 17-21, 2021
- Bangkok for Passport Renewal Mar 17-21, 2021
- Bangkok with $19 Dec 8-11, 2018
- 30 Days - Goodbye Bangkok Nov 8, 2018
- Revolving Peoplescape of Bangkok Oct 8 - Nov 8, 2018
- Food and Friendship at Dalad Vietnamese Oct 8 - Nov 8, 2018
- Movie Review: First Reformed (2017) Nov 6, 2018
- Doing Online Work at The Work Loft Nov 5, 2018
- Window Seat [His Precious] Nov 1, 2018
- Surreal Odyssey at Bangkok Float Center Oct 29/31, 2018
- Bangkok Halloween with Rinna and Steve Oct 27, 2018
- Push-Ups Oct 22/24, 2018
- Pad Thai at Thip Samai, Bangkok Oct 16, 2018
- Birthday Walkabout Oct 16, 2018
- Coming to Terms with Donations Oct 14, 2018
- Feelin' Da Blues at Adhere the 13th Blues Bar Oct 12, 2018
- Visiting the Grand Palace of Thailand Oct 12, 2018
- A Web Mandate in Bangkok Oct 8, 2018
- 29 Days in Bangkok: Thank You and Goodbye Aug 27 - Sep 24, 2018
- Calling the Bangkok Police Sep 23, 2018
- Movie Review: Mindfulness and Murder (2011) Sep 22, 2018
- Yoga Inversions at Now's Fitness Gym Sep 19, 2018
- Flow Yoga with Teacher Kea at Now's Fitness Sep 18, 2018
- Movie Review: Under Construction (2015) Sep 15, 2018
- Walking Tour of Little India Sep 15, 2018
- Vinyasa Yoga with Teacher That at Now's Fitness Sep 14, 2018
- Abs Workout with Teacher San at Now's Fitness Sep 13, 2018
- Vinyasa Yoga with Teacher That at Now's Fitness Sep 14, 2018
- Abs Workout with Teacher San at Now's Fitness Sep 13, 2018
- Exercise Ball Workout with Teacher Bie at Now's Fitness Sep 11, 2018
- Exploring the Amphawa Floating Market Sep 9, 2018
- Exploring the Tree-Engulfed Wat Bang Kung Temple Sep 9, 2018
- Parting of the Maeklong Railway Market with a Passing Train Sep 9, 2018
- Exploring Damnoen Saduak Floating Market Sep 9, 2018
- Horse Racing at the The Royal Bangkok Sports Club Sep 8, 2018
- Fight Class with Teacher San at Now's Fitness Sep 7, 2018
- Exploring the Bangkok Art Book Fair 2018 Sep 6, 2018
- Circuit Training with Mild at Now's Fitness Sep 5, 2018
- Gentle Flow Yoga with Nuch at Now's Fitness, Bangkok Sep 4, 2018
- A Yogi Lost in a Modern Gym - Now's Fitness Sep 3, 2018
- Abundance at On Nut, Bangkok Aug 30-Sep 1, 2018
- Outside Looking In Aug 29, 2018
- Back in Bangkok After 5 Weeks Aug 27, 2018
- 15 Days in Bangkok July 10-24, 2018
- Peoplescape: Bangkok July 10-24, 2018
- Hatha and Yantra Yoga Fusion July 10-24, 2018
- Revisiting Terminal 21 Mall, Bangkok July 23, 2018
- Rope Skipping, 4mins Full-on July 22, 2018
- Sunday Visit to Chatuchak Weekend Market July 17, 2018
- Fork on the Road: Abundance or Poverty by Choice? July 16, 2018
- Loving Bangkok All Over Again Feb 22-26, 2016
- Hotel Review: Adventure Hostel Bangkok July 11, 2018
- Hotel Review: Riva Surya Bangkok Oct 20, 2014
- Exploring the Shopping Malls of Bangkok Oct 6-20, 2014
- Bangkok's Street Food Delight Oct 6-20, 2014
- Bangkok Revisited 3 Oct 6-20, 2014
- A First Timer in Bangkok December 31, 2005 - January 3, 2006
Bangkok Cost Index
as of Sep 4, 2018: US$1 = Baht 32 = Php 53
- Bht 60 sm, 90 big one mug draft beer
- Bht 13 1.5 liter drinking water
- Bht 220 one hour massage
- Bht 60-80 muesli breakfast
- Bht 60-80 tom yum soup in modest eatery
- Bht 25-30 coffee
- Bht 30-50 pad thai
- Bht 350 Adventure Hostel lodging
- Bht 20-30/load laundry, coin operated machine
- Bht 7 bus ride
Transport Maps of Bangkok
- Chao Phraya Express, MRT, BTS, Khlong boats, Airport Link
- Bus Routes: 1-14
- Bus Routes: 15-30
- Bus Routes: 32-49
- Bus Routes: 50-70
- Bus Routes: 71-88
- Bus Routes: 501-516
- individual bus routes
Bangkok to Chiang Mai by Train from Bang Sue Train Station
For more train info: Bangkok to Chiang Mai trains - departing from Hua Lamphong - MRT (Bangkok)
(I'm using Bang Sue as a starting point because I was closer to it, but you may be closer to the Hua Lamphong station)
- take the MRT train to Bang Sue Station. Take the #1 Exit to the north provincial trains
- Proceed to Counter 2. You will see an information booth, a train schedule chart and the ticket counter. Choose the train and pay at the ticket counter.
- daily train schedule:
- 8:48am - #7 Train, arrive Chiang Mai 7:30pm, not sleeper, B638
- 2:06pm - #109 Train, arrive Chiang Mai 4:05am, sleeper
- 6:31pm - #9 Premium Train, arrive Chiang Mai 7:15am, sleeper, B938 upper deck, B1038 lower deck
- 7:56pm - #13 Train, arrive Chiang Mai 8:40am, sleeper, B768 upper deck, B838 lower deck
- 10:22pm - #51 Train, arrive Chiang Mai 12:10pm, sleeper, 3rd class B270 (non sleeper), 2nd class B438, B728 upper deck, B798 lower deck
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