10 random acts of travel wacko
I wanted to share some random stuff I’ve experienced/done – and survived – during my travels! On this first list are only incidents from my very first backpacking trip with my best friend Pernilla in 1994-1995. Like complete morons, we ran around parts of Asia, children as we were…
We visited Russia, took the Trans-Siberian railway to China, travelled through the country all the way south to HongKong (which during that time was still part of Great Britain), got on an flight to Thailand on a whim, onwards to India and Nepal, to finally end up – intact and somewhat dirty – back in Sweden again.
So, here we go…
NO 10 – India, 1995:
Had a really intensive argument with a salesman selling fruit at a bus station in India, because he overcharged me. I wanted 1 kilo of oranges, and he demanded the double amount of me. The total sum I was required to pay was 80 cents, so he tried to cheat me of 40 cents!
Unfortunately, India has always had the ability to constantly make me feel angry…
Luckily, there were unending resources of animals and kids all over India, to dampen my wrath.
NO 9 – Kathmandu, Nepal, 1995:
Our first night in Kathmandu, Pernilla and I woke up in the middle of the night, rain pouring outside. Something was dripping right down on our faces.
What was that? EEEEW MAGGOTS!!!
All of a sudden we were wide awake, convinced there was a body “buried” up there on the roof, where else could these maggots come from? Our room was already on the roof; in a smaller house built on top of the roof terrace of the actual roof, but still, the roof on that roof then! There must be a body buried somewhere, right?
After our maggot fight, we found a new place, where we, amongst other things, celebrated Pernilla’s birthday. Roof terraces are big in both India and Nepal, and my favourite spot – minus the maggots of course!
NO 8 – Yangshuo, China, 1994:
Gladly accepted an invite to join a Chinese woman for dinner in her home. What an adventure, and how interesting it would be to see how they actually lived in this country!
Naively, after dinner, we all stared at her hand – reaching out, palm up, as if begging for money. Alright, now out of the blue she wanted money?
When we finally gave her 6 dollars, which at that time could buy us all 2 restaurant visits each (we were 4 white goofs), she seemed very displeased, whereas we just felt an enormous annoyance; our experience with the chinese people was they demanded money for every small tiny thing, but somehow they always started out like it would be free…
Little did we know, this is not a common chinese trait with the general population, only with those closely associated with tourists… exactly like people all over the world, everyone needs to survive, right…
Pernilla, me, Robban and Pia (photographer) in the woman’s house with her sweet kids…
NO 7 – Xi’an, China, 1994:
The bus was completely loaded with people, it was unable to drive anywhere… In spite of this, the Chinese still continued to squeeze in, laughing wholeheartedly all along.
You have to admire the chinese ability to laugh in all situations!
Me? I was mostly busy feeling claustrophobic and gasping for air in a random Chinese’s bag!
Pernilla did not seem claustrophobic at all… or maybe she’d been smittened by the Chinese ecstasy of joy? Note, the woman in the door, she needs to get in, even though the bus can’t even drive anywhere!
NO 6 – India, 1995:
Socialised with random babas and wanna-be sadhus all over the country.
The discussions revolved more about the most worldly of things, and not about the deeper meanings of life, if I’m not mistaken…
In Haridwar there were plenty of random sadhus with whom to discuss life’s frivolities… we fitted perfectly – dirty and wanna-be hippies as we were…
NO 5 – Moscow, Russia, 1994:
Changed 1 usd to Russian Rubels thinking not to spend it all at once!
They all said Russia was so cheap!
Disappointed we realized the money wasn’t even enough for a Coke, so back we went to make another exchange – for another dollar (!). Well, you’d better not overdo it…
There’s no need to mention I’ve never before in my life (nor after) spent less money than I did on this my first trip!
NO 4 – Yangshuo, China, 1994:
Forced a poor Chinese woman working in a bar/restaurant to make me some fried rice, in the middle of the night since the kitchen was already closed. My logic was water proof:
“All Chinese people can make fried rice!”
Shockingly I was right, because it was sure tasty!
Although it might’ve been the alcohol speaking, because this was early New Year’s Day, after a whole night’s of New Year’s partying!
The photo on top shows us just before we ended up in the place where I enforced me some food… luckily I was the photographer in the photo below…
NO 3 – Kathmandu, Nepal, 1995:
Caught a ride in a car full with random Nepalese guys, because we were late for our dates with the “local bad boys” on Swoyambhu! Our newfound friends, however, wanted to take us to another place for homemade ricewine/chang instead.
After 7 years and 1 year of famine (Swedish expression!), as well as lots of cups of chang, they finally brought us where we wanted to go… This time, too, we arrived safe and sound, without a scratch! Although a teeny weeny bit drunk. Incredible!
We always spent our bus rides on the roof, while travelling in both Nepal and India. Almost always accompanied by our own personal harem of harmless, curious boys, though.
NO 2 – Goa, India, 1995:
Enjoyed (?) a disgusting red wine to the tones of real Goa trance on my first rave. Quickly, however, we realised we were the only ones drinking alcohol! All the other cool hippies drank huge amounts of water… for some reason…
Finally: NO 1 – The absolute strangest, weirdest and perhaps the dumbest thing I’ve ever done while travelling:
All over China, 1994:
Travelled all over China, from Beijing in north to Yangshuo in south, with a real sword by my side!
I bought it in Beijing, but I was unable to send it back home to Sweden. Until I reached Yangshuo, which was the only place they didn’t yell: NO CUSTOMS! as soon as they caught wind of me and my sword…
But, on the plus side, I did have protection against those murderous Chinese! Well, to be honest, they were hardly murderous, and I don’t know if it was such a great protection; if anything they were more fascinated than scared when they saw this white girl running around with a sword!
So happy about my new sword bought for 10 dollars!
I love travelling – it’s what make life worth living; experiencing new cultures, meet real characters, and discover new sides of yourself.
Thinking back, remembering all the craziness, I thank my guardian angels (yes, I’m sure I have at least 1, probably more, because I’ve always managed to come out on the other side relatively untouched!), for letting me completely loose control without having the battle scars to show for it.
Thankfully today, I’m much older and a tad wiser, but I wouldn’t have been on this particular page had I not first experienced all of the above, and well, so much more…
We are all children of our actions…
U like me? U pin me? 🙂