Temple Crawl

Going around the temples in Siem Reap gave me a mix of emotions – I was tired, thirsty, hungry, but I can’t stop because I was so happy. I was also very sad because places like the Angkor Wat makes you realise that you have no talent whatsoever, or that you know, nothing I will ever do could amount to anything close to those temples. I just have to live with that knowledge, I guess.

Here’s the thing – right after we settled in our hostel, the owner came up to us and helped us decide on how we’re going to do the whole temple thing. They will provide us with the tuktuk for a small fee for 3 days. If that’s not hospitality, I don’t know what is. We gave her our preferred schedule, and on the day itself, our driver Roth was there at 4:45 AM, waiting.

Yes, you read that right. I, Luisa Reyes, woke up at 4 AM to see the sunrise. But folks, it’s not just any sunrise – it’s the only sunrise worth seeing.

PROOF.

PROOF

Now, before you get there, you need to buy your Temple pass. You can choose between a 1,2, 3 or 1 week pass. We bought the 3 days, which cost us $40. Also, they will take a picture of you. We did not know this, we looked like fools.

Wag mo nang tignan ng mabuti, mukha akong serial killer kase.

Wag mo nang tignan ng mabuti, mukha akong serial killer kase.

I’m sorry, that personalised touch is just, I don’t know, wow. It’s like, you will remember this temple tour for the rest of your life, so here, for more proof, we put your picture on the pass. Thanks for the thoughtfulness, Siem Reap!

Our driver dropped us off at the entrance to the Angkor Wat, and while we were walking towards god knows what, (we literally did not know, it was so fucking dark out, I am already blind as fuck and afraid of the dark, I had no idea, we just kept going straight) some vendors approached us and gave us tips (they will say the same thing) on where to get the best picture. They will then ask you to have breakfast at their stall and give you a famous name so you can remember them (Rambo, Lady Gaga, Jack Sparrow, Tiger Woods). Rambo was the first to approach us, I think, so Lau said we should go to his stall.

Now, we were there from around 5:20 am. It was really hard to get a decent place because the open area’s littered with tourists that have better cameras and fancy equipment. We kept hearing that the sunrise would probably be at around 6:20, so I was like, okay, before that time, I will fucking find a perfect spot or so help me god.

Of course I found a spot.

Of course I found a spot.

REFLECTION LANG YAN MGA TEH

REFLECTION LANG YAN MGA TEH

Faboosh (self-proclaimed)

Faboosh (self-proclaimed)

Breakfast of Champions (seryoso Milo yan)

Breakfast of Champions (seryoso Milo yan)

We took our time there, because really, why wouldn’t you? Also, we only went there for the sunrise – the tour of the Angkor Wat itself was on the second day.

After this, we went to Prea Kahn (??). It was probably the biggest temple, since it took us a long time to explore it. Now when I say explore, I mean EXPLORE. We went through almost every nook and cranny of the place. Even when they say don’t enter, I still do, because sometimes those are the places really worth seeing. I know, I know. Why am I not dead yet. IDK either.

~sparkles~

~sparkles~

Oo, maiinit, kaya nga temple walk lang eh.

Oo, maiinit, kaya nga temple crawl lang eh.

I like these sort of things

I like these sort of things

I can't

I can’t

Details~~ (aka Lau's Keds Ad)

Details~~ (aka Lau’s Keds Ad)

Yes. Kanye West.

Yes. Kanye West.

;

After this, we went to.. oh god, I forgot. I’m sorry, but all I can say is that this is the submerged temple. It’s very beautiful though, it’s just sad that we couldn’t go around because it’s not really open to the public.

shantay you stay

shantay you stay

masasayang ate

masasayang ate

We went to Ta Sohm, where we started our little “tambay sessions”. It was all Lau’s idea, but really, we were all waiting to do the same. It was very hot, okay? Cut us some slack.

kaiyak

kaiyak

Ganda mo

Ganda mo

We then went to East Mebon. The next two temples are very Incan in architecture, which makes me wonder a lot. I think they were made for the Sun God? We had no tour guide this day, no one’s there to tell us anything. I’m just guessing because of the architecture and how some idols were placed. A lot of ancient cultures praise the Sun God, and no matter how far apart these civilisations are, they share similarities in how they give praise to certain idols. (where did this burst of knowledge come from idk also I may be VERY wrong)

oh god the memories

oh god the memories

In one of the temples ^, the stairs were so steep that I acquired a situational fear of heights. But you know what, I won’t be there forever, so I went up. I don’t know how I’m still alive today, but I made it. I have never been prouder of myself~~~

Lau talked about this in her blog, go pay hers a visit, yeah?

Anyway, we then went to Bantaey Srei because it is the temple made specifically for women. But before that, we went to the Land mine museum, which was a great (not happy great hah) experience because we were lucky enough to catch one of the guys who are involved in keeping Cambodia a safe country. We were able to hear first hand what happened and the efforts they are doing to keep the project afloat. It was a very humbling experience.

:(

😦

Just let this image sink in

Just let this image sink in

Bantaey Srei is very far from the rest of the temples (and the city proper) but it was worth it. We were there for less than 30 minutes, and we even had no idea how to take pictures because it’s a very small complex. Luckily, Yew and I were near a couple who hired a tour guide, so we were listening in. He told them the perfect place to take a pic, and voila!

Look, the sun cooperated!

Look, the sun cooperated!

kung gusto niyo ng brand ambassador, Lau is here 4 u.

kung gusto niyo ng brand ambassador, Lau is here 4 u.

It took us an hour and a half to go back to our hostel, so I can assure you that we were dead tired. The ride back in the tuktuk was the best though. You can see everything, there’s wind in your hair, and it feels like you’re being lulled to sleep by the swaying of the tuktuk (it’s very safe I swear). Also, our driver brought some water for us, free of charge. He is an incredibly nice guy too.

Going back through the Angkor Wat compound was amazing though. There were a lot of trees, so if you go past it fast, it becomes very cold. Also, monkeys!!

This is probably my favorite day because of all the exploring we did. Having no tour guide gives you so much freedom, and doing it all in your own time is the best. I hate being hassled I don’t know how the other people (those with tour groups) are able to enjoy the temples. They just don’t get the time to SEE everything.

Obviously I am telling you to NOT go with a group tour(you know, buses and such). Explore on your own or with friends. Do it all in your own time. What, you think these temples were built with a strict deadline? No way. They took so long to build because really, look at that. All the attention to detail. Still baffles me up to this day, really. Just, wow.

;

Will post about Days 2 and 3 probably tomorrow, but let us not kid ourselves. For some reason, I have a life lately. I promise I will post about them though 🙂

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Oh Siem Reap, for you I weep

~profound~ (also punctuation pls)

;

I had a lot of apprehensions when it came to Cambodia, but it was only really just about food. I’m a very picky eater, and I can’t eat seafood because I have allergies. I was scared I wouldn’t be able to eat normally. Boy, was I wrong.

We arrived at around 8 pm (our flight got changed, we arrived earlier than we were supposed to) and I guess our hostel got confused because there was no one there to pick us up. We gave them the benefit of the doubt, I mean, maybe they were just running late? After around 20 minutes, we were fucking done. Thank Yeezus their airport has amazing Wifi and we were able to get the number of our hostel. We called them (turns out they forgot? IDK) so we had to wait another 20 minutes for our tuktuk to arrive.

Better than a limousine actually

That was the last bad thing that happened to us, really. It was all smooth sailing from then on. We arrived at the hostel (which is this quaint little place, so cheap, and the food is fucking amazing) and the check in was a breeze. Since we were all too tired to go out to eat, we just ate at the in house restaurant. I swear, the burger I had was amazing. I forgot what Lau had, but Yew ordered a local dish called Lok Lak. We have decided to eat that everyday for the rest of the trip, it was that glorious. Also I now deem Laurene “Lok Lau” because she loved it so much, it was the last thing she ate before going home.

We didn’t have such an early start the next day, but we decided to just go around Siem Reap first before going around the temples. We walked to Pub street, which was supposed to take only 15 minutes, but we stopped by a lot of places so it took us around a half hour.

Hah! A wild Zefron appears!

We stopped by some shops, bought some kits (really, I mean of all the places for Lau and I to get Chelsea kits, had to be Cambodia) looked at counterfeit books, saw pizza shops that sell weed, got offered a fish massage with the promise of no piranha (REALLY?), then voila, Pub st!

A glimpse at our provocative photo series: Masasayang ate in Cambodia.

Like they’re not even trying to hide it anymore jesus

good to know???????

AKA where I want to live 4ever

Since we just had breakfast at the hostel, we just roamed around the area. The place is very tourist-friendly, but not to the point where it gets annoying. Like, you know in New York, in the Times Square area? Or in Italy, at the leaning tower of Pisa grounds, where you need a miracle and a half to get a decent picture because everyone is trying to pretend they’re holding the fucking tower up. None of that here in Siem Reap. It’s just easy going, you feel so at home, but it’s different. I just, I can’t really explain it. There’s so many factors to it, but one of them’s probably the fact that all of my expectations were overturned. I was thinking, maybe I would just enjoy the temples, have some okay food, drink a few beers that taste weird. Well, no. I had some of the best food I ever had in my life, drank the smoothest beer ever, and paid less than $5 for all of it.

We went to the Old Market to buy some souvenirs because we wanted to get rid of that task early on. We made some good deals, and I got a free scarf because the vendor liked my lipstick. Also, if you are a girl traveling to Cambodia, be prepared to get called “Lady” a lot. Yep.

Bakit parang galit na galit ako dun sa Ice Cream? Whatevs man. This was outside the market and Lau got very curious, so we tried it. It was yummy, some sort of coconut with monggo? IDK, I liked it.

We got a bit tired from walking around (we were up to 2 hours at this point) so we decided to hang out at a joint in Pub st. We had some drinks and french fries, lol. The waiter was very funny, he asked Lau where we’re from, so we answered Philippines. Then he replied “oh really? me I’m from my mother”. Hah!

With the funny waiter. Puta nalimutan ko pangalan, tinanong namin yun eh.

We went to the Angkor National Museum next. We wanted to walk there from Pub St. but realised we were sabotaging ourselves, so yeah, tuktuk time!

Say what u want, but damn we fine in this!

Pictures weren’t really allowed (which was very upsetting) but it was okay. A bit pricey though, $12? But I can see where the money’s going to, the place was very organised. You have to follow the plan they laid out for you, which is great because you get to see all the exhibits, and in order!

We went to get a massage that night at Blue7, near Pub st. For $5, we got foot reflexology and back + head rubs. I enjoyed it a lot, we made plans of coming back (we did!!!).

We had dinner at this place called Easy Speaking?? I totally forgot, because all I know is we had some Cambodian BBQ, and that they sell Crocodile, Snake, Kangaroo and Ostrich meat. Hahahaha no.

Lau totally thought we were having dinner at this place called “Cambodian bbq” which is highly recommended throughout the interwebz. Turns out we were eating right NEXT to it. hahahahaha

We had ice cream at Blue Pumpkin afterwards, which was nice. I had Baileys, Lau had Khmer fruits, Yew had pistachio. They were all home made. I suggest you go try them when you get the chance to be there. It’s very famous, you can see it everywhere. There’s also one at the departures area of the airport.

We turned in early because we had to leave the hostel at 4:45 am so we could catch the sunrise at Angkor Wat.

That will be a separate post, since there’s so much to talk about. I’ll just focus on what we did around the city proper on this post.

On a side note, here is Lau and her Lok Lak. Look at how how happy she is. Also, bagay sila kase may alliteration, no? Lau Lok Lak. hehehehe

After getting back from an exhausting trip around the first few temples, we decided to have Mexican food because we saw they had cheap margaritas, and you know, we like to drink.

That is some authentic shit bitch

I never thought I would have some authentic ass Mexican food in Cambodia, of all places. But damn, was that good. Like, I couldn’t even finish my taco plate because it was overflowing with shredded beef and rice. It was also very, very cheap.

That’s the night our other friends arrived, so we didn’t stick around Pub St. for long. When we got to the hostel, Vic, Queenie and Philip’s tuktuk was just pulling up. Can you say meant to be? Lol not really idk.

We didn’t have an early start the next day since we don’t have to catch up to anything anyway. Unlike the day before where we had to catch the sunrise.

That night, we had dinner at Ecstatic Pizza. Lau, Vic and Kwen went to have “cooking lessons” but took pottery instead. They failed to entice the pottery master (??? yun ba tawag dun???) which was sad. Yew, Philip and I decided to just hang back, and meet them at the pizza parlor.

Honestea time: I didn’t know how to get the marijuana on our pizza, and I was getting a bit apprehensive because I don’t really hear people talking about it. THANK GOD THEY HAVE WIFI AND THANK YEEZUS FOR FOURSQUARE!!! We saw a tip on how to order them. Turns out, you order a regular pizza and just say you want extra herbs. JESUS CHRIST. So yeah, here, to make it easier for you guys. Don’t want ya’ll to embarrass yourselves like I did.

“Ecstatic” pizza. Lol, “herbs”.

I really didn’t eat a lot of it because I was having amazing pasta, but the effect wasn’t too much. I guess you need to eat an entire pie on your own to get the desired results you want. It gave us the munchies though, everyone was still super hungry after dinner, and were craving for some weird stuff.

A day before this, we were walking somewhere and then this smell hit us square in the face and we all looked around to find it. We saw a nearly empty street food cart. We vowed to find it in the days to come, and on this night, we did! Everyone was wishing for street food, and Siem Reap granted all of them.

~skillz~

Noodle of the gods

I’m telling ya’ll, Lau’s got some mad skillz. Advertising skillz. She loved the food so much, it showed when she was eating. She enticed a European couple to order, and some tuktuk driver as well. She was very proud of her work. Also that meal cost us a $1. YEA BITCH.

After that, we had the Tomb Raider drink at the Red Piano. It was made by Angelina Jolie, so yeah, we had to try it. That shit is potent. We were all so sleepy after drinking. Pampatulog siguro ni Angie yun (close).

Anyway, after getting back from our last temple day, we decided to take showers first because we smelled so bad, and we were so sticky that we couldn’t stand ourselves. Just an hour before leaving, a blackout happened. When the electricity came back, someone quipped: “what if we were showering and then biglang nawalan ng kuryente no? haha”.

Obviously, it happened. While Laurene was taking a bath, the lights went off. Being good people (meh), Yew and I stood outside the bathroom door and used our cellphones and cameras to give Lau some light. Shit wasn’t funny man. I am incredibly afraid of the dark, but I had to toughen up so I could help a friend who’s in a worse situation. Naks.

We went to Pub st. to have Indian food for dinner, and after that we went to Angkor What? for drinks, because we were making “salubong” Yew’s birthday! (ang conyo shet)

This guy got the party going, let me tell ya

this place was the bomb diggity

The drinks were cheap and lovely, the beer was fucking amazing, and we met some cool travellers who I wish we could have kept in touch with, but we only got a night with them, I can’t really complain. We all danced and sang (also rapped) our hearts out with no care in the world. It was a great night, I can’t ask for better. It was a fitting end to an amazing trip.

On our last day, we had some barbecue at Cambodian BBQ (YEY) which was actually better than the first one we had. We got a massage, hung out at the bridge and Old Market, bought some stuff, and had authentic Italian for dinner.

Saw this at the book center. Hahahaha wat

An amazing end to an amazing trip

I miss Pub st!!!!!! 😦

such a nice place to be…with friends..

I really didn’t want to leave. All of us had half a mind to change flights, but we had responsibilities, work, and to change flights is expensive.

It was such a convenient place, and as much as I love Singapore and Hong Kong, Siem Reap is just different – in a better way. I can’t wait to go back and not do touristy things. Maybe just lay back and relax, let the world pass by without having any worries. We never made a bad decision in Siem Reap, and that’s very refreshing for someone who fucks up a lot.

See you soon, lady.

*some pics are grabbed from Lau and Yew. My temple posts will be up soon 🙂

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How I solved my hair problem

Hi! Been busy lately, so no time to post. Also, I have a job now! (ADULTHOOD)

Anyway, I’m here to talk about a problem I had a few weeks ago that I only solved recently. Talking bout my hair, yo.

One day, I just woke up and after showering, I felt something heavy on the top of my head. I felt around it, and sure enough, it was greasy. Not in a there’s residue way, but in a hairspray way. It felt like I dumped a bottle of hairspray on the top of my head and it just stayed there forever. No amount of shampoo and conditioner helped, and it stayed there for WEEKS. It was just a circle on the top of my head that was affected, the rest of my hair was fine.

I was getting concerned because everyone I asked had no idea what it is and how it happened. I went to salons, and they were baffled my my condition as well. It was so embarrassing, and I felt so bad because my hair was my crowning glory.

I searched the internet (keyword is greasy/sticky scalp) and thankfully, I wasn’t alone. Funny thing was everyone that had it felt like they were the only ones too, because no one was able to help them. Then they all congregated in that site and talked about solutions. One of them was putting baking soda with brown listerine, and the problem with that is it didn’t work for everyone, and some felt like it ruined parts of their hair and scalp. I stayed clear from that. Another one suggested using products that had Tea Tree oil in it. So I went out of my way, buying unknown products, just so I could get rid of this thing on my head. Well, it didn’t work for me. I also resorted to using pure tea tree oil, and that backfired crazy and made my sticky scalp heavier.

I kept perusing the site and looking for options. There was a lot, but some of them were too hard for me to do (products not available here or radical shit). One suggested a shampoo from Shisheido that cost 6000 bucks, Lord Jesus Almighty. Products from Kiehls were used too, but did not work on everyone so, blah.

Just when I was about to lift up my arms in defeat, I saw someone post something about a product from Lush called “Seanik”. It’s a solid shampoo, and she said it got rid of her problem in one wash. After work, I went straight to Greenbelt to purchase it. Thankfully, they had the product. I asked the saleslady to suggest a conditioner for me too, and she said Veganese is good if I want to avoid oily hair. I bought both for about 700 (pricey na yan for me hah) and prayed to all the Gods of Olympus and Rome to help me.

My saviour~~~

So, when I got home, I used it immediately. Needless to say, it was a success. No trace of the stickiness at all!

I guess it being all-natural and organic helped my cause. I saw some of the posts in the site and someone said it had something to do with an ingredient commonly used in shampoos. I don’t know if it’s true but I guess I’ll try to change my shampoo and conditioner habits.

As much as I love Lush (I am not getting paid for this, I swear) I don’t think I can afford to switch to their products. They’re not that expensive, but I have very thick hair that needs a lot of maintenance and products.

Anyway, I wrote this to help out those who have the same problem (or will have) as me. This is so they don’t have to try all those other radical solutions, because seriously, they might cause more damage than they would good.

I’ll be back to regular programming week after next, because next week I will be in Siem Reap with Laurene and friends! Excite~~

Tata for now!

btw, this is the site where I got my info : Med Help

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Stories from the boarding gate 2

Back with more stories~

Football

  • I was in HK last year when UEFA had its Champions League final. It was between Manchester United and FC Barcelona (WOOT WOOT). I had to watch, and I wanted to make it a good experience so I looked for a good pub around SoHo. It was a cold night, so I wore a jacket over my David Villa shirt. GOOD THINKING ON MY PART. Why? Because the pub was full of Mancs (Man U fans). I was the only girl Cule (Barca fans). I sat next to the only 3 other cules and they were all guys, so I felt safe. You have to understand, people take these things seriously. Dirty looks are thrown around, and if someone gets a bit too drunk, they start fights. Obviously, we won, and it was getting rowdy and the Mancs are really mad. They only had one goal (courtesy of Wayne Rooney) and they were shouting all over the place. I left right away, it was around 530 am and I had nowhere to go, so I had breakfast at Flying Pan which was nearby (that’s how I discovered it btw!). I also slept there but hey, an experience! My friend Laurene had a more intense experience in Sydney, I hope she has time to talk about it lol.
  • I was in Melbourne, with an ex boyfriend. We were walking around and we passed by a pub. Again, I was wearing a Barca shirt. Oh god, nothing good ever happens to me when I wear a Barca shirt. It wasn’t even a kit, just a shirt that says “Mes que un club”. A guy (probably a Real Madrid fan) saw me and gave me a nasty look. Of course, I started a shouting match with him. My ex was a bit smaller than the guy so he apologized and told him I’m very protective of my club. Damn right I am. If my ex didn’t stop that shit from blowing up I don’t know what would have happened to me. This is why I can’t return to Madrid  ever.
  • I was in my regular football shop in Mongkok, buying shirts for my friend Myco. Next to me was an elderly couple(British), looking at shirts for their grandson. The grandson asked for a specific one, an Arsenal away shirt. They didn’t know what that meant, and they were about to give up (the attendant couldn’t understand them) so I stepped in and helped them, told them what certain kits are for and such. Also told them maybe their grandson would like some gunner wall accents.  They said thank you and looked at accessories. I passed by the English team’s kit for Euro 2012 because Myco asked for it. When I saw the price, it was a bit too much, even after all the discounts I will get (I’m a member of the shop). When I was paying, the elderly couple approached me and said they were very grateful, because they didn’t want to upset their only grandchild. They gave me a plastic bag, and I refused because really, they didn’t have to, it was common courtesy to help. They said they would be offended if I didn’t accept it, so I had no choice. When I got back to the hotel, I opened it and saw that they bought the incredibly expensive England kit for me. I didn’t even want it, it wasn’t suppose to be for me. I kept it and never gave it to anyone. Up to now, it’s still in the same condition they gave it to me. I couldn’t bring myself to use it, ever.

Embarrassing

  • Kuya Joey suggested this adventure thingamajig in Bedok wherein you do obstacle courses so you could zipline. I was all “sign me up”. My dad went with us as well. Fucking hardest thing I ever had to do in my life. Kuya and papa always landed amazingly after they zipline, and then here comes Ysa fumbling like an idiot. During the last one, I lost control and landed on my face in a bed of sand. There was sand everywhere. Worst part? Kuya was filming it. Luckily for me, the footage was lost. NO I HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH IT I SWEAR!! I really have no idea what happened, I’m immune to ridicule really.
  • Kuya Joey, again. He has this thing (Bluetooth ear stuff where you could talk endlessly without holding your phone) and he uses it all the time. One  time, we were walking inside a mall when he started telling a story, I was engrossed and even reacted to some of them, laughing out loud and such. Turns out he was talking on his phone. I don’t think he noticed my embarrassing moment so I just stopped talking forever.
  • I was walking towards the Taj Mahal, so excited, crying inside, ladida. I felt something dripping from my nose, and I just let it pass since it was 48 degrees Celsius and I was sweating like a pig. Turns out my nose was bleeding. Yup, of all the moments in my life it had to pick, it had to be when I was walking towards the god damn TAJ MAHAL.
  • I talked about this before, but not in detail. I was in a hostel in Singapore with my cousin Trisha, and we were talking about her issues. When we were done, I told her it was “cool, nigga”. Yep, a black guy was there and he shushed me. My heart dropped to my stomach, you have no idea. I love everyone, I do. I am a black woman inside. You know the first thing I said? “I’M SORRY, I LOVE KANYE WEST!!” Yeah as if that was going to help me in any way at all. Turns out he was just kidding and he even called me a sistah. The things that happen to me, REALLY.
  • This recently happened. My cousins and I were on the Skyride in Sentosa, and it just stopped raining. When we were about to get off, we were told to hurry so I did. Yep, I slipped and fell and got stuck under the skyride. I had no idea what to do, so I shimmied my butt out of there. My cousins were waiting for me to be okay so they could laugh, but to be honest I am so used to being embarrassed that I really don’t care anymore. I don’t know any of those people, and everyone in my family knows I’m a klutz. What bothers me is if anything happens and it stops me from being able to go around the next few days. I’m very lucky, nothing ever happens that bad.
  • Everything that happened to me and Lau while trying to take a picture of the Petronas towers in KL was embarrassing.

Danger

  • We were in a province in India near the border of Pakistan when it was announced by Obama that Osama Bin Laden has been killed in action. I saw their reaction, and it was a mix of happiness and fear. Happiness because the border of Pakistan near India is where Osama has been hiding. It was a couple of hours due north. Anything could happen to them, and that was what they feared: retaliation. The bus driver didn’t have time to celebrate, he asked all of his passengers (that includes me, I left my grandma in Jaipur this time) to go back to the bus, and we have to go far away from that place. I didn’t know what to think, really. I was plain dumbfounded.
  • I was walking around Bangkok at night, looking for food. Everything near our hotel was closed, so I went back. While walking, this guy passed by me and smiled. I looked at the ground and walked faster. Suddenly he was back, and he took my arms and started telling me to come with him. I was so scared so I pushed him back and ran to the nearest 711, which was across my hotel. Imagine, I was like 5 paces from the entrance and I still got assaulted. I spent around 5 minutes in 711, trying to catch my breath. When I went out, he was there but a bit farther. I ran like the wind and locked myself in our room. Still gives me chills to this day.
  • This guy in Macau thought I was a prostitute. That was dangerous.

Stupidity

  • My trip to Singapore in 2010 was filled with stupidity. I was alone and I wasted a lot of time doing random things. WHO GOES TO UNIVERSAL STUDIOS ALONE!
  • Lau and I had a late dinner, and due to my smoking habits, I insisted we smoke before we go home. That few minutes we stalled could have saved us from being stranded in Clarke Quay (train closed on us) and Lau needing to pee. We walked back to Chinatown and Lau ran like the wind to the restroom. It was all my fault, really. I don’t regret that tho. It became a good story to tell.

WTF

  • I was 9 when we went to Damascus, Syria. My aunt took us to a jewelry shop, and this 13 year old guy was there helping his uncle run the business. Before we left, he gave me a jade ring and told me he would marry me when we grow up. Obviously I never went back there.

These are some of the things I can remember, and I promise you guys I would write more if I can recall some other ridiculous thing that happened to me abroad.

Tata for now!

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Stories from the boarding gate 1

I don’t even want to talk about why I was absent for a long time. Assume I was dead and I just resurrected, so let’s carry on.

During my final minutes in a foreign land, waiting to board the plane that takes me back home, I usually just sit quietly at the boarding gate, remembering the things that happened to me during the trip. I usually look stupid because there are times that I would laugh out loud, but meh, no one knows me, so I don’t really care. I sometimes leave these stories out from my blog posts, because I usually think someone would use them against me. I did some really stupid things, okay. So without further ado, here are some of my finest moments in places far away from my land:
Food

  • I was in Jaipur, India. It was my first lunch there, because we arrived late the night before. It was at a roadside restaurant, but the place looks decent so I gave it a go. Also, I was fucking hungry. I asked the waiter if they had a mild curry (meaning not spicy, I can’t handle spice). He said they had, so I ordered it. Minutes later, it arrived, and I devoured it. Not a second passed and I felt like fire was creeping up inside my body in the sloooowwweeesssttt manner it could. Turns out, waiter thought I said WILD curry. I can’t even.
  • India, again. This time on the bus going back to Delhi. The driver stopped somewhere to cool off (it was a really long drive ok) and I went down to eat. Lonely Planet said that you shouldn’t eat at roadside stalls, especially if you have a weak stomach. I thought I was tough, so I bought some samosas and cottage cheese (paneer???). It was fucking delicious, let me tell you, sir. When we got to the airport that night, I started feeling weird, like I was going to puke and poop at the same time. I don’t know what happened, I tried to eat at Mcdonald’s but every bite felt like a battle. I held everything in for 9 hours (3 hour wait, 6 hour flight). When we got home, I felt limp. I had to get it out, so I tried eating bread. That triggered it, and I puked like there was no tomorrow. NO REGRETS, THAT PANEER (???) WAS AMAZING!!
  • I forgot where this was, I just remember it being very far and me being very young. We were eating and then the waiter said ” how are you enjoying the horse meat?” and then woops, I lost it. I loved horses then, and I cried so hard. I remember trying to puke it out too. Now that I remember it, I feel like the waiter was just messing with us. ASSHOLE.

Men and Romance

  • I was in Sentosa, about to get off the skyride. The attendant smiled, so I smiled back. On my second ride, he asked me for my phone number, and if maybe we could grab dinner somewhere. I laughed at his face. Too bad, he was a cutie. I laughed because I thought he was kidding. He looked so hurt, and I didn’t even know what to do anymore. So I said have a nice day. OH MY GOD THE WRECK I WAS AT 18.
  • I was walking back to our hotel in Tsim Sha Tsui, and I took a shortcut through Kowloon park. I’m a very friendly person (ok am not but I like to smile at people who smile at me so yah) so when this Indian guy smiled at me, I smiled back. We were already past each other, then he went back and said hi to me. He asked for my number, and maybe we could go for coffee sometime (COFFEE, IN HK?? OK). I was frozen for a few seconds, because wow, he’s cute, but jesus I was in a relationship!! So I said sorry, and told him I’m not from there, and that I’m only staying for a week. Oh, the look of disappointment on his face more than made up for the missed opportunity. It seemed that he really liked me. Bah, can’t do anything about it now. (look guys, I matured! I didn’t laugh at his face!!)
  • Lau and I were on our way back to central station in KL because we had a flight to catch. Let me tell you, the monorail in KL is the worst. So while being sandwiched in a moving vehicle, this guy in his mid-thirties started talking to me. Not wanting to be rude (and you know, we were squished against each other), I talked to him and answered his questions. He asked how many kids I had (really??), if Lau was my daughter (DO WE LOOK ANYTHING ALIKE?), and then when I said no to all of his weird questions, he asked me out. He said “hey Lisa (FAKE NAME HAHA), maybe we can go for some wine?” I apologized, told him I didn’t live there and I had to go back to the airport. Also told him that I was 19, but THAT DIDN’T SHAKE HIM OFF!! He even followed us to KL sentral! Oh man, one of the worst. I think his name’s Gerard. He’s black and bit smaller than me.
  • Speaking of black guys, they like me a lot. Everywhere I go, they’re my biggest fans. I remember this one time in Macau (last year, I think), I was waiting for a cab when 2 of them passed by. One of them said “Hey mama, he likes you girl, he LOVES you”. I just said thanks and walked along the square to find another waiting area. This other time, I was in Bangkok. Okay you know what, I’ll save that story for later. Too juicy!
  • I was waiting for my luggage to arrive (this is Mumbai??) and then this guy just outright told me he loved my eyes. He also asked me out, but when I was about to answer, my grandmother arrived. He got scared, I think, so he just kissed my hands and said goodbye.
  • I was riding a bus in Saigon (determined to get lost, as always) when this white guy sat next to me. He noticed I wasn’t a local, so he asked me where I was going. He seemed nice (guys, I know, it’s a wonder I haven’t been kidnapped really) so I told him I just wanted to ride it, no certain destination. He laughed and said “Are you trying to imitate my life?”. Obviously I fell in love with him right that instant. We talked about where we’ve been and where we want to go next. Funny thing about him, he had a Ken doll hanging from his backpack. Funnier, is that it was wearing the same thing he was wearing. I didn’t know how to ask him about it so I let it pass. I regret that very much. Somewhere in district 4, he got off. We shook hands, and that was it. I only realized my mistake when I got back to the hotel: I forgot to ask for his name. BAH!!!
  • Hong Kong, once again. I was riding the last train from Central back to Kowloon. It was a bit crowded this time (kids coming from LKF, probably) when I saw this tall guy. What you have to know about me is that I have a thing for tall guys. He wasn’t that good looking, but he had a certain charm. He sat in the seat in front of me, and I did all I could to stop myself from staring at him. I would steal glances, pretend I was interested in the ad behind him, and so on. Oh god, I was such a coward. He was wearing a coat too (it was January and freezing) and it was just the cutest thing. We got off at TST, he went right, I went left. That was that.

 

I’ll be back with more, I promise. We haven’t even gotten to the embarrassing parts. Tata for now!

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So Bueno in Buenos Aires

Yeah no I haven’t been traveling anywhere near Argentina, but I wish I am.

A lot of people dream of going around Europe, falling in love in Paris, eating their hearts out in Rome, shopping like crazy in Milan and all the other usual Europe stuff. That seems nice and sweet, but not really for me. Never cared for that kind of traveling. A lot of people also want to go to the States and do God knows what. I really have no idea what you would do as a traveler in the US.

I’m not saying those places are boring and that I’m judging the people who prefer those places, but what I’m saying is that those places aren’t really for me. They’re nice and worth a look, but they don’t have a hold on me like South America does.

I have no idea when it started, really. Maybe it’s the fact that it’s the only place my father never really tried to explore, so I wasn’t exposed to it. I’m more attracted to a place no one talks about, is that so hipster of me? I remember watching this movie when I was a kid, something about Peru. It looked so different from everywhere else I’ve been. I don’t even know any place that looked like it. I didn’t pursue it then, though. I just thought it was beautiful, more beautiful than any other place I’ve seen or been to.

When I was in high school, I already wanted to go there. I would see South America in our world map, and I would trace where I would start my journey and think of where I would end it. Puerto Rico (even though it was in Central America) sounded like a good place to start, and then I would end my trip in Argentina, near the ice caps. Even then I saw myself doing this alone. I would ask around my friends then if they wanted to see South America, and most of them said no, that they were scared, what if they were kidnapped and all those other concerns. I found it funny that those thoughts never even crossed my mind when we were already studying the history of the countries in SA, how even now the crime rate in Venezuela and Brazil are the highest in the world (something like 11 homicides per night?). I just did not care.

Then I finally had access to travel shows, and they made my longing worse. I wanted to be there right away, I wanted to join the crowds dancing during a carnivale, I wanted to eat things I cannot pronounce, I want to be mistaken as one of their own (it happens here a lot!!), I want to get sucked into their culture, I just wanted to be part of everything they had to offer.

The longing became like a sickness, and it drove me everyday. Sometimes I would get tired of school, and then think “if you don’t finish this, how would you get enough money to go to South America? How would you enjoy yourself?” and then I would work again. It became some sort of purpose, it became my endgame. I learned how to save money so I could afford trips, I learned certain skills so I could survive (language, research, I’m very adept when it comes to plants and animals because of the Amazon).

The only question that remains is: When? I had nothing stopping me, I asked permission from my parents, I know everything I need to do to get there. The answer came in the form of the only sporting event that ever mattered to me: FIFA 2014. It will be held in Brazil, and although my plan was to start somewhere else, I can’t deny that going to Brazil first would make things easier. I know what to do now. I just need to save up enough money to accomplish everything I need and want to do, and I’m ready to go in 2014. 3 months at the least, probably.

Why am I talking about this? I don’t know, I guess I just want people to understand how I really feel about traveling. I may say that I’m okay to go anywhere in the world but to me, there is a place that would surpass every place I’ve ever been to. In the end, all the other places don’t matter, just this.

Having this obsession ( I admit I do get crazy about this) helped me a lot. It made me focus, it made me work hard. I don’t ever question what I’m doing with my life, or where does it all lead to in the end. I know where I want to go, I know what I want to do. When I get there, what will happen, you may ask? I don’t know exactly, but I think that’s the best part. I’ll let the places do their magic, and when I go home, I know in my heart that I will work harder so I can go back and never forget.

;

Am I alone in this? I hope not. We may not have the same place in mind, but maybe you guys feel the same way about Europe? Or anywhere else in the world, really.

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How to survive Hong Kong (or any place, really) while traveling with 12 people

You’re reading my blog, so I assume you have a difficult time with people as well. I mean, only my friends read this so if you are my friend, one of the reasons is that people piss us off.

I went to HK a few weeks ago with 12 people. They’re all family. Yeah, you can cringe. I mean, I have no problem traveling with my parents and my sisters, because they actually listen to me and are very easy to travel with. It’s the added bonus of 2 elderly people with a bunch of kids and 3 other cousins. I have no problem with my cousins since they are old enough to do what they want, and they just ask me for directions most of the time. It’s the fact they’re all together really. We’re the token family traveling together that everyone wants to get away from. Even I wanted to get away. Here are some tips that you need to survive, like I barely did.

  • For  the love of God, acquire immigration cards beforehand. Fill them up at home. This is before leaving the country, because the other ones you have the comfort of doing inside the plane, but the first one is always the worst. Traveling alone doesn’t make this a hard thing, but with 12 people? HAH. Hell. 4 kids, a cousin who acts like he is illiterate, parents who have enough to do and 2 elderly people? YES. Welcome to my life.
  • Plan every step of the way. If you have plans of being alone, you have to have plans of getting to that point. You have to ask them what they want to do (we’re not part of any travel tour so yeah) so you can accommodate them and help them around. On the day we arrived, they wanted to go to the Peak, and we were staying in Kowloon. I made them take the train going there, and even though I advised them to take the train going back (bc taxis don’t really like going to the different islands, tolls and shit) they still took a cab. It took them forever to get one that agreed to take them to Tsim Sha Tsui and they paid a hefty price. I accompanied them to Central, but only up to there. I’ve been to the Peak many times, so I planned a night at Lan Kwai Fong and Soho. See? Accommodate.
  • Patience. That’s all I can tell you. I’m not alone in this, maybe my 2 other cousins were being patient like crazy too. It’s really hard to travel with so many people. Commuting via trains is not an option for them. Walking a lot is not an option too. Buses? Forget it. Family trips are already expensive to begin with, but the going around is the one that puts the huge dent on everyone’s pockets. That’s why you, being a smart adult, should find a way to help your parents save money.

I’m very lucky because I’ve been to Hong Kong many times (not bragging here, it did help) so I didn’t have to go with them to token places like Ocean Park. They spent a day there, so that means I had a day all to myself. We only went to HK this year because my mom wanted to stay at Disneyland hotel for a day so my sisters (who are very young) could experience it. My niece and my other cousins have never been to Hong Kong too, that’s why they had to go through all the token places again. I felt bad for my mom and dad, no doubt they wanted to do different things and they had some stuff that needed attending, but they had to let it go for the benefit of everyone else. I, on the other hand, am not an amazing human being like they are (on the contrary I am the worst) so I couldn’t sacrifice like they did.

I will post a separate “what I did in HK on my own” in a while. Sorry this took so long, I have so many things to do now that I am a graduate (di pa nga ako nagmamartsa ampota) and one of them is finding a job. I can’t stand having to live off my family anymore.

 

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