My Debit Card Was Taken In Thailand

If you haven’t noticed by now, I seem to attract unfortunate situations.

I came to Thailand for a few reasons. I wanted to go somewhere that I knew I would love (I went to Thailand for the first time in 2015 and absolutely adored it), I wanted to settle down for a bit, and I wanted to get my life together a little bit. I’ll let you know when that last part happens. 🙂

So I decided to head over to Koh Samui for the first two weeks in Thailand. Koh Samui is an island off the gulf of Thailand. I chose Koh Samui solely because I could fly into it; I don’t have to take a bus or boat. It is also close to Koh Phangan, which I can take a boat to if I ever feel like getting on some kind of transportation again. Koh Samui isn’t totally ugly though…


Anyway. I landed in Koh Samui, absolutely thrilled. Being thrilled is actually hard to do after 30 hours of traveling, but I mustered up a lot of excitement. I had booked an airbnb with a kitchen, a patio, and AC, and I was ready to rumble. I hopped off that plane, fresh as the fresh prince. I could not have been happier.

And then all of that happiness came crushing down in a wave of unpleasant emotion. After strolling happily past baggage claim (CARRY-ON ONLY LIFE IS THE BEST), I popped my debit card into an ATM to pull out the big bucks. I went through the whole process of taking money out, and then the ATM lets me know that my card is suspended. What?! The ATM proceeds to go back to the welcome screen. With my card still inside. Ummm… What are you supposed to do in this situation? I definitely made the best choice by waiting in line at the money exchange that the ATM was close to, and proceeding to have an emotional breakdown. There were tears, I may have actually sat on the ground, I may have actually yelled “I have no money!!!” It may have not been my most graceful moment.

GOOD NEWS. I have lately recognized the importance of carrying US money with me everywhere. Also, my grandpa had just given me some cash for my birthday (he is really on top of birthday presents – my birthday isn’t until September). I went back to said money exchange, swapped out some US money for some Thai baht, and then got completely ripped off for a ride to my airbnb. Luckily I was able to pay for the ride, get to my (already paid for) airbnb, and relax in some nice air conditioning. Also luckily, my mom strongly encouraged me to bring lots of food with me for the plane ride, and I still had an entire 6 pack of bagels, plus a ton of fig bars with me. I ate a bagel and a fig bar for dinner, took a long shower, and called it a night.


The money exchange people told me that I could come back the next day to pick up my debit card. That was all great and everything, but my airbnb is super far from the airport. I didn’t have enough cash to pay for a ride to the airport and back. There was only one thing to do in this situation: rent a motorcycle. I walked about a mile down the road to a hotel, which luckily rented motorbikes. I rented one (it was only 250 baht per day – that’s only $7 USD!) and drove off to the airport. After going through the ring around with the security people, I was given a visitors pass and was able to get through to the money exchange place. I got my ATM card back – yay! And then I proceeded to crash the motorcycle.

I decided to stop for lunch on the way back to my airbnb. I pull up to this highly rated vegan place, and as I’m parking, I slam on the gas instead of the brakes. If you haven’t noticed this either, I crash every motorbike I drive. I’m not joking. Every one, I’ve crashed. So I broke the front light. Shattered it. An english bloke came running out of the restaurant next door, and asked me if I was okay. He looked at the bike and told me that will cost me a couple of quid when I return it. Awesome. I decided to forget about it for now and I walked up to the vegan restaurant. I try to open the door and it’s locked. The place was closed until 6. It was 4 PM. As my mom would say, DAMMIT! I was out of luck. I jumped back on the motorbike and took off like I was in the fast and the furious. I knew exactly where to go.


I pulled up to the fruit market a few minutes later. Fruit and vegetables solve everything, right? RIGHT. I bought a ton of veggies and a bag of rice. I took these sweet smiling angels home with me in my backpack and cooked myself an epic feast worthy of any cooking show (not really, not at all, I’m a terrible cook). I went to sleep right after dinner as I was exhausted from my extreme motorcycle riding.

NEXT DAY. I go to use my debit card at the ATM down the street. This fancy new ATM says that I have to call my bank. WTF, why didn’t I do this before? Sometimes I really wonder how I get by in life. I go back to the airbnb.  I call the bank. The bank is closed until 8AM, they are in the US time zone. Luckily, I have enough money to get through today. It will just have to be another day without a massage.

Stay tuned for Part 2 of this incredibly enticing series about my debit card.




    • May 14, 2016 / 11:55 pm

      I am having a great time!! I love driving the motorcycle. 🙂 plus it is gorgeous here and the food is amazing!!

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