Asia – fitting in, finding out, forging in, freaking out!

Well, I think there comes a time when you start to feel ‘Asian-i-fied’ in Asia, without a doubt! Its called blending in, being part of where you are, accepting whats around you.. and because Im in Asia.. Im going to comment on that – though some parts of it, I can’t get used to / struggle to accept.

Asia in general:

Starbucks – though you’d never drink it at home, it becomes a haven when traveling in Asia.  Air conditioned, ‘normal’ tasting coffee, not made with condensed milk or instant nescafe.. And free wifi (but not in Thailand)

You notice you start doing the ‘peace’ sign in photos, just like the locals do. (whats with that?)

Gym memberships are so cheap, its awesome!

People ‘assume’ you speak English – why? I could be european and not speak English you know!

Flying: yep, thats right folks, ignore the messages – keep your phone on, your ipod going, your ipad powered up, oh, and dont wait for the plane to come to a stop, why?!?! Just get up and start unloading over-head lockers.  I mean, hurry up!!! HURRY!! or you wont get to….. stand in a queue..

Being stared at: HATE it! Worst places – Iran and Indonesia…

Cigarettes / smoking: Its still cool in Asia, to smoke. Well done to Thai government – a recent ban on smoking outside establishments (well, in Chiang Mai that is, not sure about if its country wide or not.. so, outside seating is safe from smokers! yay!)

Plastic: whats not wrapped in plastic? Where don’t they automatically put stuff in a plastic bag, or include plastic straws with your drink (straws that come wrapped in plastic).  The amount of plastic in Asia gives me the droop.  Is it any wonder our planets screwed?

Copies of real brands: the best stuff is not ‘made in China’. The best knock-offs come from Korea or Taiwan.  Yes, really, there is a huge difference!

Air Asia- whats not to love? Great low cost airline, though, as I found out when I went to Indonesia, not necessarily the cheapest!

THAILAND:

You get really used to (too used to?) mega cheap taxis – and honest drivers, who use a meter and that’s that!

Accommodation: cheap, great, nice and all the rest of it. Here is a country where you wont be guaranteed cheaper or better from choosing a hostel over a hotel

Street food: hmm Im not as big a fan of this as others. Yes, its cheap, but have you seen the ingredients?  Big deal, there’s some raw cabbage in your soup – look at the ‘imitation’ this and that (like vinegar), the msg, the SOY oil – UGH… of course its cheap, but it doesnt mean its good for you.

Dentistry: yep, go there!! Mega amazing! I cant complain and il never get treatment at home again (unless it was some uber emergency)

Buddhism: though religion is not for me, Buddhism is the most pleasant, for me, to be surrounded by

The people: Love them! And they don’t care about some tourist, they wont stare, they wont bother you… you can just be!

Ladyboys: real girls do NOT have legs like that!

CHINA

Spitting: cant get used to it. Cant try it. Cant partake. Cant tolerate it.

Volume: if you’re going to use your phone, do you have to talk so SO loudly? I mean, though I cant understand the conversation, Id like to get away from you (whoever you are) with my hearing 100% still intact!

Soup: Chinese DO soup. Unbelievably well. Amazing, outstanding, mind-blowing.  Mmmmmm

Slurping soup: Chinese do this incredibly well to. For masters of medicine, you’d reckon they’d be more aware of the pitfalls of gulping in air when eating.. in saying that though, they dont exactly get around with distended air-filled bellies.

Beijing airport: the biggest airport in Asia? No free wifi? And not one tampon for sale… yep, believe me!

Ruthless salespeople: I will NEVER go back to the silk markets in Beijing again. And as for any stalls in China, forget it. Its only in China Iv had sales people grab my arm, try to force a sale. And if you don’t buy? Don’t be alarmed at the string of abuse that will follow. Piss off….

IRAN

The men are hot, YES thats right. Not all, but many (and the women are stunning!)

Food: to DIE for!! No wonder theyre not all fatties over in Iran, the live the paleo / low carb life!! Apparently NZers and Aussies can do lamb, were famous for it! Huh, whoever decided that obviously didn’t go to Iran and eat lamb!

Good bike racing

Amazing people. SO friendly, open and warm.. Did i say amazing as well?

Ali As’habi

Nose jobs: Yep, they’re big business here, apparently.  And the amount of people I’ve seen in Iran with ‘tell-tale nose plasters’ would attest that this is, infact, true.

INDONESIA:

God awful food: how do they survive on such processed shit? I know, I havent been everywhere in Indonesia, but for the love of Christ, what Ive seen scarred me. What I ate, in desperate times, scarred me more. I think Indonesia is a solid representation of processed food. Yes, that is only my experience, and I have only been to Sumatra, but, it was pretty hideous.

Get OGLED at! Look! A white person!! Come on, we’re not that rare or strange! Gimme a break!

Smoke : NO where is safe. No one is safe. Even children smoke (unless theyre tiny, young looking adults Ive seen)

FRIENDLY people: the land of smiles

MALAYSIA:

DONT rate it! Had such bad luck here.. More expensive than Thailand. I got warned, by Chinese, that the Indians will try to rob me.  The Indians tell a different story, the Malays have their own story… The taxi drivers… is anyone an honest driver in Malsysia? Some of the stories I got spun, to make an extra…. $3??!! just ask me for it!

FOOD: dont rate it. Rice, carbs, ick ick ick…

Something nice about Malaysia:… the Burmese I met. 🙂

Airports MILES from KL, and its a pretty beige airport.. Considering its so busy……

Palms – I know Palm oils hot right now, but, palmsssssss everywhere, as far as the eye can see. I dont mind them, Im just saying..

Tune Hotel: at KLCC airport. What a great spot! Rock on!

🙂

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