One of the things I have found in my travels is that it is not always easy to access cash. Some ATMs don't accept foreign cards. The first few weeks created a challenge for me, and I found I had to go to KEB bank to get money out of the ATM. All the local banks found it impossible to process the card.
So here it is two days before I leave and I find an ATM in a corner shop, not long after I've drained my purse of cash buying some gifts when my Visa card did not work. I figured the ATM might work, and lo, it did. All along I could have just gone a few minutes from "my house" and got the cash. Mind you, it has saved me a lot of money as I clearly would have spent more if I had access to more cash.
Two students took me out to shop - I had wanted to get some things to take home to grandchildren. Clearly it helps to have a local with you, although, not surprisingly for me, I had to show them the way to the tourist village. How come?
Asians seem to be spatially challenged. They don't read maps well, and they get lost. Usually they ring someone who might know, and get the directions. Much to the amusement and embarrassment of my students I directed them to the place. "OMG" one said. "And you don't even live here. How do you do it?"
Simply I am used to finding and remembering landmarks or places I can remember. One of the buildings where we have to turn left has a huge phone number on the top 222.2222 - easy for me to remember and I know when I'm in a taxi, I need to turn left there. The girls had no clue about this finding landmark theory of mine. They just think I am very clever.