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Werewolf, Shopping & Sunburn

Katarzyna PotockaKatarzyna Potocka

Last weekend we managed to do some cool stuff on Koh Lanta. We played Werewolf with up to 16 KoHubbers and one architect 😉 — the werewolves were definitely the winning team this evening.
We also went once again to Saladan to try to get some money — nothing illegal 😉
And we had great 2 hours on the beach — which resulted in a sunburn for both of us.

Can you find a werewolf on Koh Lanta?

If you have ever asked yourself if werewolves could live on an island like Koh Lanta the answer is YES. Although it’s freaking hot, they crawl out of their caves during night and try to find some innocent villagers.

WerewolfJokes aside — on Thursday Valery — the social media intern at KoHub — set up a Werewolf Gaming Night event and shared it with the KoHubbers. I was really curious how many people would join us at the rooftop of the KoHub apartments where the slaughtering of villagers would take place. It turned out, that a lot of people are eager to play some games, especially socialising games — 15 people signed up for this facebook event. So on Friday I prepared the Werewolf cards for the evening using this template. After searching for some scripts for Werewolf I decided to create my own script and make a short summary of the characters, that could be printed out easily to use as a guideline and help for ”fresh blood”.

Here you can find the script and the character description for print:

We set up the event for 8 pm on Friday at the KoHub apartments. I think we started the first game at 9pm … so that’s probably 8pm Koh Lanta time 😉

Gerwin explained the rules at least 3 times and after the first really funny round we played in total I think about 6 times with a maximum of 17 players. It was really cool to play Werewolf with people you met like once in a lifetime.

I have to say that one game was really crazy when I have been a werewolf and Ed has been the Seer. I think at some point we were only 6 people left including David, Ed, Claudia, I and some other people. WerewolfAt some point Ed admitted that he is the Seer and he told everybody that he knew that I am a werewolf. This was the point were I had to think of some good reason why everybody should come to my side of the force and join me. So I tried really hard to convince all of the players that I am the real Seer. I based this argument on my fortunately well played rounds before in this game – cause I tried to convince them from the beginning that I knew who the ”good guys” are. David was really sure that Ed was the seer, but I think because it was his first night playing Werewolf he was easily convinced that, Ed could also be lying. I did my best convincing in my Werewolf-playing history so far and even managed to plant some doubts about Ed being the real Seer. So from all fingers pointing at me the game switched to all fingers pointing at Ed during the next voting round. Unfortunately we played this round with revealing the characters of the dead players, so after Ed was killed by the villagers, he revealed his card — which basically exposed my ”innocent Seer” bluff. That was the moment were I had no chance to survive the next day — so I basically gave up, still astonished that I did manage to convince everybody of me being Seer and Ed being a Werewolf.

Unfortunately most times the werwolves did win the game — so we will have to have a rerun to give the villagers another chance to safe their village from the hungry werewolves.

What do you need for shopping?

Obviously … money.

And we had the perfect plan on how to withdraw money on Koh Lanta without any extra fees or crappy extra costs for using your VISA. But as so often in life, the plan was just a plan A and we had to switch to a until then unknown plan B.

So plan A contained of creating in Austria upfront a new bank account at Number26, which included a free credit card. Number26 is a Germany based company which claims to be the most time-saving bank ever with the following advantages:

So we both created a Number26 bank account and I have to say, the first step was really easy. The video-identification went really smooth and I think it even didn’t take 8 minutes to finish everything for setting up a bank account. *impressedIam*

I didn’t send money via text message or email yet, but what I did is installing the iPhone app immediately and trying to send money with the MoneyBeam option. This option literally beams your money to any other Number26 account and it appears there faster than you can type your number26 account password on your mobile device 😉

So with that in mind and everything set up I was pretty sure that Gerwin has found a decent way for us to get money in Asia, claiming it to be free of any fees and even being able to withdraw more than the usual 400 € in a bank.

So on our first weekend on Koh Lanta and our first trip to Saladan to get some money, we made one big mistake. We didn’t bring our passports with us — so no fee-free withdrawal for now. At least that’s what we thought. But after getting some Wifi (another long story) and downloading the passport copies we convinced the nice lady at the bank that we are who we claimed to be, and so she gave us a try. The goal was to withdraw 50 000 Baht so that we would have enough money for the two months on Koh Lanta. And than the problems started: ”Incorrect Pin”. At least that was what the display said. I was pretty sure that I knew my pin, so I gave it another try — again — it seemed that I have forgotten my pin.

Sala CafeSo we went to a coffee shop, set down for a fruit shake and I changed my pin through the number26 app. At least this seemed to work really great.

After our delicious shakes at Salá Cafe we went back to the exchange counter and tried it once again with the changed pin. Great — no more ”Incorrect Pin” message. But don’t get too excited! The message switched to ”Your card has been blocked”. WTF …

After a little cursing session, we tried the same with Gerwin’s Number26 card. He didn’t even get to the point where he should have entered his pin.

And because we didn’t have any cash with us, we ended up withdrawing money as any other tourist probably does, by withdrawing the maximum amount of 20 000 Baht from an ATM. This option has more than one pitfall:

So we made the plan to go next weekend once again to Saladan and do some shopping and try to get some money from our Number26 bank accounts. And I also had in mind to call the support hotline to clarify why my pin wasn’t being accepted.

Number26 support hotline

The first thing about the Number26 support that I noticed was that you can’t contact them via e-mail. Which makes it a little bit tricky to get in contact with those guys, especially when you are abroad and not even on the same continent. After finding a phone number I made a Skype call which ended up to being an IVR based call. And that wouldn’t have been a problem, if it would have worked. Somehow the IVR didn’t react on my dialing the numbers after the nice introduction. And even my sister in Austria using an iPhone couldn’t make it work. So here it was, the next thing that pissed me off.

Fortunately I found another phone number — don’t ask me where — but I did give it a try. After all hopes were already gone it finally did work and even from Thailand using my Skype I did reach a real person I could explain my situation to.

But the bad news were, that after explaining my situation and asking the guy to unblock my credit card, he said that my credit card wasn’t really blocked at all. So after a short discussion I explained to him, that I have read that sometimes it appears that you are not able to withdraw money from an offline terminal if you never had used an ATM with this card before. It seemed like news to him, that that even could be an option. He also seemed really surprised after I told him that that’s something I read on the Number26 support pages. But never the less, after some consideration it seem to be a good explanation and he told me to give it a try.

Thanks for the awesome support Number26!

Getting money on Koh Lanta — the second try

Next weekend we packed our passports and headed once again to Saladan. First of all I went to the ATM, because of what I’ve read about the offline terminals and not being able to withdraw money before your pin hasn’t been saved on your credit card. So we’ve withdrew 20 000 Baht from an ATM, because if we have to pay the fee of 200 Baht anyway, we did withdraw the maximum amount possible. Then we went to the exchange counter of the bank (also open on weekends) and with our passports we tried to withdraw at least 5 000 Baht, just to check if it is working alright. I was sure that this time it would work fine and that the system that Gerwin had in mind for our 80 day Asia trip would work as planned. But I got the same error message as before — ”Pin incorrect”, which somehow pissed me really off. Because discussing with the lady wouldn’t make any sense and me getting really angry, we decided that Number26 didn’t hold their promise of withdrawing any amount of money from an exchange counter and we had to find another way of getting money.

So we decided that Gerwin would withdraw another 20 000 Baht from his Number26 account with an ATM and that we should be able to live with this amount of money at least for the next 2 weeks.

Plan A sucks. We will have to stick with Plan B — withdrawing a maximum of 400 € from an ATM and paying the fee for using an ATM.

I kind of don‘t like Number26 right now.

Finally getting rid of the hard earned money

… and by that I mean the real process of getting money from our bank accounts on Koh Lanta 🙂

After finally having some money, we switched into spending money mode immediately. We found a nice  market or I would even call it a bazar in the middle of Saladan. Mostly it have been clothes, shoes and toys that you could buy. And because we were looking for T-Shirts for Gerwin and shorts for me, it was the right place to be.

After I think 2 hours of shopping we made it out of the bazar with the following purchases:

Not the best shopping result, but a good start.

How to not get a sunburn in Thailand?

That’s a pretty good question and we btw didn’t find the right answer to give you. On our first weekend on Koh Lanta we spent 3 hours on the beach — 9am-12am. And if you ask yourself if we’ve used sun protection — yes we did.

Egg SandwichBefore getting sun burned we had a really delicious breakfast at Long Beach Cafe — simple coffee and Egg & Tuna sandwich. Btw. one sandwich would have been more than enough for both of us 😉

But as we learned just one day too late — it seems that during your first week in Thailand you shouldn’t be spending any time on the beach for sun bathing.

So although Gerwin was always hiding in the shadows, he probably got even a worse sunburn than I. But the main reason for his sun burn was definitely that he didn’t listen — as usually.

first sunburn in Asia — done.
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