When you read this post, I will be on a road trip from Sydney to Melbourne. The journey takes about 12 hours but we are stopping over at Albury for the night and paying Canberra, the capital of Australia, a visit.
I am now an experienced traveller and here are my top 10 road trip essential items :-
1. A GPS system. Maps are so last decade, dah-ling!! The one we are borrowing has Homer Simpson’s voice and if you take a wrong turn, he says “Doh!”
1. My Apple iPod touch which contains all my funky music playlists including my new favourite album The Fame Monster by Lady Gaga and if I get bored, I can play games too.
2. Snacks – I love crisps (or potato chips) especially salt and vinegar.
3. Bottles of Diet Coke to keep me awake and water for hydration.
4. My lovely pink Sony camerato take random snaps of me and the surroundings.
5. My mobile phone so I can go on the internet and update my Twitter.
6. Sunscreen. Yes, sunscreen because sun shines in through the window and burns the skin!
7. Blanket. Mine is courtesy of Qantas. Who can survive a long haul flight without a pillow and blanket? Not me!
8. Sugar-free chewing gum to freshen the breath and blow bubbles with to alleviate boredom.
9. Travel sickness prevention wrist bands which are the bee’s knees for anyone who gets travel sick! I used to take travel sickness pills but they made me feel groggy.
10. A good travel buddy, in my perspective, is someone who will keep me entertained throughout the whole journey and will not moan when I need to empty my Peebox. Who’s my travel buddy? The boyfriend! Yeah!
This post is dedicated to my daily faithful blog readers who may suffer Ling’s blog withdrawal symptoms if I did not update today…and so, I wrote this 2 days in advance!
Hong Kong is a vibrant, cultural place which offers cheap shopping and cheap food. If you can’t speak Chinese, please do not panic because the people there speak some English and there are plenty of English signs around. As long as you have a travel guide, Hong Kong money and an Octopus card, you will cope in Hong Kong. Food is amazing in Hong Kong – cheap and yummy. However, to avoid eating chicken feet or pig’s ears, head to international eateries like McDonald’s – do NOT eat KFC – you have been warned!
Hong Kong people will appear rude and they will talk in a loud manner and walk extremely fast. Hong Kong is a city that never sleeps!
If you want to survive in Hong Kong, there are 2 important rules to follow:-
- Do not give eye contact to anyone – if you’re female, men will think you’re giving them the sexy eyes and women will think you’re giving them the evil eye and if you’re male, the vice versa applies.
- Do not smile at anyone – people from Hong Kong never smile! If you smile, they will know that you are a foreigner and will try and scam you.
I stupidly walk around Hong Kong looking like a ‘silly girl’, with a silly grin plastered on my face with a permanent “Where am I?” look – hey, I get lost easily!
Last week, I was happily munching away in a restaurant when this man started talking to me. Note – MAN, not a guy, not a boy, but a Semi-Balding Man (SBM) in his late forties.
SBM said in Cantonese, “Have you eaten here before?”
(okay, sounds like a pick-up line when I translate it into English…)
I HAD eaten there the day before, so I said “Yes, I have.” and then turned back to my food.
THIS DOES NOT EQUAL AN INVITATION TO COME SIT WITH ME!
He moved and sat with me.
SBM : “My name is Gary.”
(Gerryyy – if you pronounce it the Chinglish way)
Me : “My name is Ling.”
(Damn, I gave him my real name)
SBM : “Are you on school holiday?”
(Seriously WTF? Just imagine IF I am a schoolgirl…why the heck ARE you talking to me??)
Me : “No, I am on annual leave.”
…blah blah blah… by this time, I had lost my appetite as he was staring at me while I was eating…
SBM : “I am a TV producer.” and handed me his business card.
I think he was expecting me to go “WOW, you work for a TV company??!!” But I didn’t.
He probably does under-age porno for pervs…
SBM : “Where do you live?”
Me : “Somewhere nearby…”
SBM : “Do you have MSN?”
(MSN? Like, haven’t you heard of facebook?)
Me : “No”
SBM : “I am free on Saturday if you want me to take you out and show you around…”
Me : “NO THANKS!”
Awkward silence ensues…
SBM : “I have to go to work now. But let’s be friends.”
If my Chinese was better, I would have told him to “P*SS OFF!” Instead, I gave him a fake smile and waved him goodbye and made sure I would never eat at that place again.
In conclusion : Look like a moody b*tch when in Hong Kong!
This is a travel tip on how to get more luggage allowance :-
When you’re queueing up for check-in, choose the male check-in counter attendant.
- Make sure you’re dressed well and your make-up is fresh and immaculate.
- Walk up to the counter with a big cheesy smile.
- Bat your eyelashes and charm him.
I flew from Bangkok to Penang, Malaysia today.
The male check-in attendant said “your luggage is overweight!” and I opened my eyes like real big (that always works!!) and I offered to repack, but he stopped me. He flirted. I fake giggled. And that was all it took to get my extra kgs.
When I was flying with Mr Player from Chiang Mai to Bangkok, he went to this female counter person. His charm failed. We were told to repack!
In conclusion : You must be female and the check-in attendant must be male
It’s almost a week since I left my family and friends in the UK. It was a tearful farewell.
But then I switched over to holiday mode – that was fun! No work, meeting friends, eating out, chilling out and having fun…
Sadly, the novelty is wearing thin slightly and I am beginning to miss home comforts.
It’s probably because out here, where I basically know no-one (this also includes Mr Player) because we are not best mates; very superficial – in fact, we annoy each other off every day – and it’s only been the 4th day! Glad we’re separating in 2 days! ); it’s really hard to know who to trust.
This is how to survive in Thailand – Trust no-one because they are out to con you!
1. Conned to buy some fake gems
2. Conned by taxi and tuk tuk drivers – overcharging all the time
3. Conned by sellers – overpriced goods once they realise you’re a tourist
4. Conned by tour guide – the price he quoted didn’t even include tickets to the actual tour! Basically paid him to take a few photos! Rip-off!!
Okay, prices here are dirt cheap and people are poorer and more hardworking than those lazybones back home who don’t work but claim benefits; but still!
Wish people would just be honest.
Out here, I have learnt to be less gullible and to trust no-one.
I miss home.