After spending some time in Bangkok we decided to start the journey up to Chiang Mai with a 6 hour stop in the old capital city of Ayutthaya. 650 years ago this was the seat of power for Siam. It lasted for about 400 years, and now much of the city is in ruins after an invading Burma army destroyed the city in 1767. It’s still an amazing place to explore and learn about its history.

We packed our huge bags, checked out of our hostel (Lub.D), and waited at a bus stop because neither of us had tried the city buses yet. After waiting for a good 25 minutes for a bus that was supposed to come every 11 minutes we hailed a taxi and asked to go to the train station. He said 100 baht; he capitulated after we both demanded the meter be turned on, and it ended up being only 45 baht. We bought our ticket to Ayutthaya in third class for 40 baht and then our sleeper car ticket to Chiang Mai for 796 baht (around $27). When we asked which train to get on the uniformed agent said car 1, 2, 3 as he pointed at each. We thought he meant 1, 2, OR 3, but what he actually meant was 1, 2, THEN 3. So after settling into our comfortable second-class seats and remarking what a good deal it was we were told that we had to move to third class which consisted of non-reclining seats that were nothing more than thinly covered pieces of wood. But it was only 40 baht for a two hour train ride…or roughly $1.30. I wish Europe’s trains were this affordable!

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A Blogs Death and Evolution

Towards the end of 2011 a good friend of mine started a conversation with me about doing a joint blog. We found common ground by focusing on management an education. We spent the first half of 2012 trying to keep up the motivation to write, but it tapered off over time (something I hope doesn’t happen with this blog). Either way, I spent a good amount of time on the articles that I wrote there, and wanted to preserve them. So I’ll be transferring them over to this blog and tagging them “Synergasm”. I think a few are pretty good. You can read our inaugural post below to find out what we originally set out to do.

What is SYNERGASM? Borrowing from the Urban Dictionary, this word is defined as expressing oneself using several business buzzwords in rapid succession. We are all confronted with a lot noise around our jobs, including terrible buzzwords. We want to cut the noise a bit and have an honest talk about management and education. We want to find a way to help future students or employees (and employers) do better and do more.

As confounded young professionals, we found ourselves scribbling notes on things that struck us odd about corporate culture. Together, these notes became stories and these stories became Synergasm, the blog on management and education. Our goal is to begin a dialogue between young professionals, our corporate overlords, and the broader world. It is our hope that through conversation we will be able to create stronger professionals, greater managers, better businesses, and in a very small way, a better world to work and live within.


The Authors


Timothy Schaaf, 28, is a five year veteran and strategic financial analyst for a large asset manager. When not worrying about global financial markets, Tim spends his time reading, exploring, enjoying food or otherwise pretending to be a chef (Chez Timmay) in his own kitchen with generally acceptable results. He lives with his wife, Andrea, and splits his time between Michigan and New York City.


Nathan Biller is a 25 year-old living in the happening town of Grand Rapids, MI. He’s a part-time photographer, a wannabe real estate mogul, and a nerdy Excel-junkie that works for the world’s largest office furniture manufacturer as a financial analyst when not working on articles for synergasm.

He has some diverse hobbies including playing handbells with the Embellish Handbell Ensemble, SCUBA diving, and travelling to new places!

Nathan also has a life goal: to solve the education problem in America, hence his interest in this blog. His goal in writing these articles is to uncover novel ways of dealing with education and to connect with others that have a similar passion!