I’m in a mood to blog today and I’m itching to do a lot of things on my break. Little things like, which book I’m going to read today, where to go to kill time in the afternoon, do I cruise with my longboard at night, etc (wow ‘a lot’ lol). I’m bored out of my mind but this is good. I quit my job again lol and for the past 13 months I’ve been in a series of endless meetings, project consulting and deadline chasing. Being bored is actually great! I love it.
It’s funny cos it’s been a week since I went on a break and I haven’t done that much. I’m in a cafe right now thinking of what I should write about. Let me think…okay, okay, this is something I haven’t shared online before and my previous posts are quite depressing — so I’m gonna write about lighter things like…tips and tricks in traveling? lol I posted a lot of my photographs and the places I’ve gone to but I haven’t shared the bad side of it. Like when I got scammed in the Borneo islands and when a souvenir guy dragged me by the arm in Paris. Okay, not tips and tricks cos that’s cliche, let’s just say the good and bad experiences you should know about.
I bought a plane ticket to Macau in 2014 with an intention to stay only in Macau for five days. I know there are a lot of places to see in the island aside from the flashy hotels and casinos. I had a bad habit of going to a place without booking a hostel and not planning my trip. It kinda was not a bad habit, I knew exactly what I was getting myself into — I intentionally did not plan anything for the thrill of it. I tried to portray those lives of free-spirited-twenty-somethings you read in Thought Catalog lol. I didn’t know it was Grand Prix season in Macau and all of the hotels and hostels, even the disgusting ones are fully booked.
I told myself I was gonna worry about it in the evening and enjoy my day in the city. I was in some random alley taking photos of murals when a Chinese guy approached me and asked if I was looking for a place to spend a night at. Just like an idiot, I said yes. I wasn’t in the position to be picky cos all of the places are booked so why the hell not. The guy took me to his apartment and he said I could stay for a night or two until I find a hostel. It was really sketchy, the building was old AF and the light bulbs in the hallways are flickering. It’s exactly like one of those you see in horror films but this one was for real.
When we entered his room he said he knows exactly where all of his things are placed. And if I dared to steal something, he’ll find out right away and will shoot me with his gun. Duh, the place looks like shit and why the fuck would I steal his radio from 1990-whatever it came from. Thinking about it now, that shit was scary. What if he really was a killer or something, I don’t know lol. I told him I was gonna give him a call if I decided to stay at his place. But I faked save his number on my phone and there’s no way I was gonna sleep there.
It was 6 in the evening and I still had no place to crash. So I said, fuck this, I’m going to Hong Kong. So I bought a ferry ticket and went to the city. I tried my luck and went from hostel to hostel to check if there’s an available bed but THERE WAS NONE. I was able to book a bed in one of the hostels but it’s only available the next day. I asked the receptionist if I could stay in the lobby until the morning but she said NO. WTF I was panicking, I was exhausted and I was HANGRY. I felt like crying lol but that wouldn’t help so I sucked it up lol. I had a good chat with the millennials in the lobby but as much as I wanted to stay longer, I couldn’t because the receptionist wanted me out because she’s closing the lobby. What a B.
Long story short, I was able to book a “hotel room” in the city. The room was tiny and the walls are made out of tiles so it looked like I was sleeping in a bathroom. Oh BTW! Before I left Macau, I went to one of the hostels I googled and it looked really nice online. When I got there, it was a brothel rather than a hostel WTF.
Same year I went to Kota Kinabalu and stayed for a week. Nothing special cos it looks exactly like the Philippines and I got my plane ticket for a low price. There’s nothing much to do and see in Borneo unless you came to hike to the mountains. What I wanted to do was to go to an island to drink and read a book while getting toasted under the sun. So this boat guy offered me a ride along with the backpackers to some island and promised to pick us up in the afternoon. I had a great time! I went snorkeling in the morning, ate a lot of shrimp for lunch and drank a lot of beer in the afternoon. I finished Neil Gaiman’s Smoke and Mirrors, too. Great book by the way!
I thought my bad sun burn was a bummer until I found out how asshole the boat guy was. I went back to the place where we’re supposed to be picked up. The same guy who offered me the boat ride asked me to pay AGAIN. WTF, right? He acted like he didn’t know me and he said I wasn’t there when he took the other people to the island. Whatever, I gave him the money cos it’s not worth my time. Oh by the way, that guy spoke to me in Tagalog when he offered the ride in the morning. When I met him in the afternoon, he suddenly did not know how to speak Tagalog. Wow, manong, the best actor award goes to you! Told him P***** I ** M*, here’s the money and left lol.
Okay, off we go to Paris! I wish I could tell you pick pocket stories but I have none lol. People say you should keep an eye on your things because there are a lot of assholes in Paris. If I had the money back then, I would go to the neighboring countries near France. I could only afford to stay in Paris for 10 days but hey! It was really fun. I felt like a legit Parisian on my second day cos I knew exactly where to go without my train map. I’m not bragging but if you’re able to survive Tokyo train system, everything else is a piece of cake! It’s true though lol.
I had breakfast early in the morning so I could go to Sacre-Couer to watch the sunrise. What could possible go wrong at 6am, right? For those of you who have been, you know how exhausting to walk up the endless stairs to see the view of the city. I was chasing the sunrise, I was losing my time and I had to setup my camera when this souvenir vendor offered me a bracelet made out of red string. WTF? so I politely said no and continued to walk. He was so eager to sell his flimsy string bracelet he grabbed my arm and pulled me aggressively. I wasn’t scared cos I wasn’t paying attention to whatever the hell that was cos I needed a damn photo of the sunrise lol. So I ran and got to the top just right in time.
Bangkok is my favorite city. The food is amazing, the nightlife is LIT AF and everything is cheap AF. Considering that I earn PHP, I felt like I was rich every time I go there! We all know the Pad Thai restaurants, the temples are great, yada yada yada boring. So here’s the more exciting part! I went to Pat Pong with my friends because we just had to experience it. It’s never a full on Bangkok experience without seeing that show and getting scammed. I was having a bad month that time and it was a perfect time to have fun. We drank almost everyday, pre-gamed before dinner, pre-gamed after dinner, pre-gamed before we go to the club, drank more when we got home to our Airbnb. Well, I did mostly not my friends. God that sounds depressing but c’mon, it’s Bangkok I just had to lol.
Okay, okay going back to Pat Pong. We had dinner in Mango Tree and decided to watch the show. So this local guy approached us and said he is going to take us to the Pat Pong show and we only had to buy one drink and that is it. No additional fee, just sit back, relax and watch the show. I knew it was a scam in the beginning, so whatever, it’s part of the experience lol. It’s bizarre! One of the girls opened the beer bottle with her V and a bit of the beer splatter landed on my cheek. Okay, I’ll stop now you guys know how these shows are like. We finished our beer and walked to the exit. This old lady was furious and blocked the exit door. Uh oh, here we go, the scam I predicted had happened lol. She was asking us to pay 5000 Baht for watching the show. My friend was furious AF and was looking for the guy who offered the show. I wasn’t mad or anything cos I knew it was a scam all along. I told my friend it’s okay let’s haggle and leave. We left the place and went back home lol. What a night!
I’m sure I still have more to share but this is all I could think of right now. This year wasn’t as fun as the previous ones in terms of traveling. I wanna travel on my birthday next year! I’ve always wanted to go to Bagan in Myanmmar to watch the sunrise and Prague cos it’s majestic AF. Who knows! I’ll probably have more weird stories to write about by then. Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed. 🙂