"Ming J. Li: Yo so I was digging through my 2003 receipts and found the graduation card you gave me. In it you wrote, "focus, have a vision, and take action and initiative" when finding a job. We both knew what needed to be done, but it wasn't until seven years later that we finally "get" it. Lol. Oh, and you ended with "always make time for BROS". Don't you forget it. Bitch! =P"
Alright alright hahaha I gotcha! I shouldn't forget my own words. +Must live it up, right? And so yes, I ended up taking 2 weeks off from work to spend time with the homies and cover 3 countries of SE Asia-- a much deserved VACAY! What a cool trip it ended up being! 5 of us: me, Ming, Andrew, and the Chang Sisters (though Andrew missed out on the best part- Phuket). Ming and Andrew are two of my best friends, so we always have a good time, no matter where we go or what we are doing. Chang Sisters, prior to trip had never got to spend so much time with them-- so was pretty awesome to get to know them better. You learn a lot about people through traveling... good and bad, all their habits, etc. They probably learned a little too much about me on the trip hahaha some of my old skeletons/debacles/mishaps of past years. They are now aware I specialize in the vices: sex, drugs, alcohol, gambling hahaha pretty much the DEVIL! =)
SINGAPORE (April 5-8)
Not a big fan to be honest. When I first got there, especially to the residential areas, the first thing I thought was this is UC Irvine "CAMPUS DRIVE" many times over. Not to offend anyone from Singapore, but there lacks individuality there for sure-- just in the basic ways in which Singaporeans live. Everyone lives in an identical looking apartment building. Prison 1A, 20C, 55G, 208H, 400C, all the same. It's pretty much a modern day communism if you think about it haha ALL THE SAME!!! But I gotta give it up to Singaporeans... I have so much respect for the people there. You are absolutely the smartest + most productive Asians on the planet. Just I could never live in Singapore hahaha bound to break a law or two. FYI: you cannot pee in the elevator; walk around your home nude (cause it's considered pornographic); fail to flush toilet after taking a crap, etc. hahaha yeah, bound to get caned if I stay there long enough.
Chillin' in downtown in the shopping areas with Andrew (playing cards and public drinking LOL again, law broken), saw a lot of cute/pretty girls walking around. The guys seem pretty wimpy out there (but again, very smart) haha def like Taipei... girl:guy looks-quality ratio skewed.
Penang (April 8-9)
Debacle #1: Missed flight to Penang haha cause Ming lags at airport and goes wrong direction + leaves passport in his bag as it's sent through check-in (good job loser!). Funny moment: The prior night we all got pretty drunk; on way to airport, 5 of us are in two separate cars. Me/Andrew/Ming look out window and see person yacking as we pull into departures. We're all "dude, look at that person... geezo! At least we're not that messed up haha" Few secs pass, "Hey, is that Val (girl from our group)?" hahaha a complete bukkake! Girls, do not hang out with me/Ming/Andrew, we are dangerous. FYI! =)
Penang was awesome, enjoyed good weather + time at beach-- def made the most of our time there in 1.5 days. Ate very well, loved the food there, was super cheap + delicious. I could eat that Malaysian style food all the time... def took a liking to it. =)
Kuala Lumpur (April 9-12)
I ended up saying "it's not my fault" 10000x on this trip. hahaha Case #1: We order some Mcd's. I tell the Mcd's people, "I want sweet & sour sauce, bbq sauce, etc. Just give me ALL YOUR SAUCES!!" Food comes and there isn't even ketchup; just 20 packs of Chili Sauce hahaha hence, the Mcd's people thought I wanted "Sauces" (only packet of sauce that says SAUCE on it is the chili I guess). Of course, the group gets mad at me hahaha all sensitive and shiet about no ketchup! Miscommunication boo boo hahaha sorry guys, but yes still say "it's not my fault!" =P
KL! Great city. We got to do a rain forest hike outside the downtown area; which was really fun during the daytime. We sweated our asses off up/down the mountain through that rain forest (and saw a King Cobra Snake in the parking lot haha ok, fu*king crazy! *scream like a school girl* and RUNNN!!!). Night-time, we "partied like rock stars". Got to chill with my homie, Daren-- who was nice enough to take us out partying with him and his friends. Met a pretty cute girl out there haha too bad she lives there, I live here in Taipei. Always been a sucker for a pretty face. =)
Phuket (April 12-16)
Debacle #354899: I tell Ming, "yo our flight is at 5:10pm". Ming + Val seem adamant, flight at 6:10pm. So I leave it alone, trust them vs. my photographic memory hahaha =P So we miss the flight KL to Phuket; luckily got another flight that night on another airline, at another airport as well. hahaha 2 missed flights and counting. =P
Phuket! Loved it as well. Who doesn't like nice beaches + crystal clear waters + immaculate weather? There was also a really cool "WATER FESTIVAL" going on in the city-- basically the whole city was in water fight mode; anything and everything goes. Everyone and their mother had a super soaker water gun and people were splashing buckets of *ICE COLD WATER* all over each other. Basically equivalent to Mardi Gras, but with water hahaha so much fun! We were busy each and every day at Phuket; we were there from a Mon-Fri. The busiest of the days being a day where we indulged in: white water rafting, elephant riding, atv-through-jungle. That's a pretty action-packed day. haha good times though as usual. The best activity in Phuket had to be snorkeling and seeing so many fish. I just got my scuba diving license few months back, so I can appreciate the whole experience that much more (the ocean and the livings things within it are simply amazing!). I'm pretty spoiled though, cause I've snorkeled on the nice beaches of Philippines (The beaches of Philippines > Thailand in my humble opinion).
Mishap #35889 (and top 3 dumbest things I've ever done in my life!): I was doing some freestyle laps at the pool of our hotel. I was swimming pretty damn fast (like torpedo-style fast haha) and swam right into the freakin' wall. I basically reached for the wall and MISSED. *BAM!* Not one of my brightest moments indeed. Ended up having this big cut between my eyes, top of my nose. Was a bloody scene hahaha not pretty sight. Had to wear a band-aid on my nose the rest of the trip hahaha so 1/2 the pictures have me *wounded* with assortment of band-aids (with cute little animals on them haha yeah FML!).
Most Embarrassing Moment: Didn't belong to me for once hahaha Lillian!!! =X
Had never traveled with girls (non-girlfriend, platonic friends), usually go on these trips with all guys haha def different experience, but just as good. What makes traveling fun isn't just the places you go-- but rather the good company that makes it that much more fun! I definitely had a great time with my friends; I'd even say one of my favorite trips of all time (sans the swimming into wall incident). =)
Discovered that the one really cool thing about being in Taiwan is it's so easy to travel to the neighboring countries; there's so much to see and do out here in Asia. Living in California pails in comparison, as the only closeby trips are really Vegas and snowboarding trips, Socal/Norcal (to and fro), or ghetto parts of Mexico. I'm definitely feeling lucky to have the opportunity to be out here in Taiwan. Live it up, baby! WORK HARD, PLAY HARD!!! =)
Some of the pix from the trip.