Hard to contain

January 10, 2018

Inner peace was easier to achieve when nothing was going on with my life.

I find that the hardest thing to do nowadays are my attempts at controlling my mood swings from having to contain my excitement. My joie-de-vivre. So many things that I cannot tell people, things that will bring problems if I did. Not being able to brag about them, about things I am proud of, is somewhat damaging to my psyche. Like some form of masochistic punishment.

Meditations nowadays are always about bring myself back on earth, coaxing myself back to normal as opposed to trying to convince myself that life is great. I have outbursts of joy from time to time you see, as the control is not absolute.

I don’t know the consequences on what will happen if I stop controlling myself only stories of  mentors and ppl before me that have definitely happened. “Enjoy the relative peace for the moment while you can.” A moment in the future will come when you cannot hide anymore if you keep going the current trajectory.

So clamp down the lid of the pressure cooker and soldier on. Prepping for the inevitable day. Maybe that day will never come, but all I can do is prepare for it. Oh god, but the mental control I expand. It is almost unbearable.


Drink, Dive, Dance 5: Gemma

January 6, 2018

Gemma_ArtertonI was reminded of a summer fling today while reading about an actress. My fling looked like a younger version of Gemma Arterton without makeup. A mixture of German, Belgium and Dutch blood. Skin as pale as snow hair as blond as gold. German blond, not the viking’s platinum blond. So I will call her Gemma from now on. Before her, I wasn’t into tall women with strong square jaw and a curvy body because it is the exact opposite of Asian culture’s standard of beauty, but after Ylva and Gemma, that look have taken root in a special spot in my heart.

It’d always remind me of how naturally we went from fun adventurers who bumped into each other on the road to wild night of care free sex. Then they mess you up because that’s all they wanted and leave you in the dust for someone else on a whim. Northern European women are strange like that.

I couldn’t understand why I was so sexually attracted to this not-too-pretty women beside me and remembered thinking as we walked down the streets in Paris and London; “Why is everyone staring at us.” Later that night as we lay in bed, sweat glistening all over our bodies, I asked her: “Are you supposed to be hot in your country?” She didn’t say anything, but she took out her phone and started showing me all the guys she’s slept with and the current contenders who are trying to bed her: A Mexican and a Dutchy. She have also told everyone about everyone.

“What kind of cruel game is she playing with everyone’s heart?” I had thought and just brushed it aside as an European thing cause I couldn’t deal with this weird extreme open view on sex and relationship at that time. I mean, if I was the Mexican or the Dutch guy at that moment knowing what she was traveling with me, I’d feel like shit. But apparently they know.

Most fun summer of my life probably. Gemma was extremely open to new experiences and she is a very sweet, submissive girl. Never complaints about the conditions of the environment we are in. Whether it’d be a shitty hole in the wall, or on top of a cliff with nothing but bread and water for lunch. She loved all. Almost reminds me of high school romances.

Ironically, she left me for a rich old man as I was starting to convince myself that it actually might be ok to make a baby with her. Alles ist gut. I suppose. I do not believe anyone can hold a free spirit like her. Wish her the best of luck in life and best of things for her, but I don’t think I can handle that Free spirit of hers.

2018 Resolution

January 1, 2018

Haven’t done one of these for a while because I am usually somewhere traveling around this time of the year, but this year, I am still here dealing with a stupid passport problem that appeared from a 9/11 anti terrorist law passed and enforced in 2014. Setting a new year resolution also makes me lazy. Instead of tackling whatever it is I want to do right NOW, I’d often put it off till after new years and it eventually never get done. That said, I have a list of project that’s ongoing as of this date so I will just list them. These goals are not meant to be achievable as I have mostly completed all the goals I previously set.

Get stronger: Hulk Smash

Travel to all the countries

Flagpole in every country

Fix this blog:

Just went and read through my spam filter. Many readers pointed out many things wrong with my site. Ever since the ISP change, many things got broken and I haven’t touched the programming side of things for 2 years.

Reach 30

Achieve Master Diver status

Learn Guitar

Learn Leather working

Learn German

New Bucket list

Great wall of China
Porcelain Tower of Nanjin
Hua Shan
Monk life at Shaolin Temple
Kumano Kodo
Heaven’s gate
Han Soong Dong cave

Great Pyramid of Gyza

Machu Pichu
Camino del Inca
Torres de Plaine
Chichen Itza

Aurora Borealis
Great Barrier Reef

SS Thistlegorm

2017 year of becoming

December 31, 2017


Growing into my place in society is a slow and long process. I planned it this way as I’ve heard so many story of people crashing after instant fame. It is scheduled to be a 3 year process and year one is basically simulating life starting from zero to minimum wage. Yes, I’ve been here a long time ago but because of pouring close to 75% of take home pay on improving my place in life and increasing experiences the amount of actual spending money/cash flow verges on below poverty.

For this year, I lived like every minimum wage slave and spent everything I got. It was already pretty good and comfortable and I realized how much my life sucked back then. I can also better understand how some people could live the life they lived while making less than me. Anyway, this lifestyle is done.

Next year, I transition to the lifestyle of a professional. I honestly cannot imagine how much more hedonistic my life will become. Before, I never understood why people say cash is king or cash flow is important, but now I understand that it determines your life style. Everything cost money, the only people who gets to experience “The life” without having to work are hot girls spending someone else’s dime. It’s funny how I thought being able to talk and beg my way into getting free shit is actually a good character trait. Little did I know that these are traits that are looked upon favorably for women, but for men, people lose respect for you.

Death of Valor

Took me a while to figure out. That last part. I believed in the American dream. Starting from scratch, never take anyone’s money and always repay kindness. I believed that being able to make it on my own will teach me important lessons in life. On top of that, I didn’t borrow anything. The most I was in debt was when I bought my first condo and took on that mortgage.

And it did teach me many lessons. I had to take a hard and pragmatic look at the true state of what I was born with and what I am good at as well as dispelling the media lies about society’s rainbow and unicorn view of human nature. I had always known about human nature and the outcome based on it, I just refused to believe it was true because it makes the world so dark and cold.

Here’s where that dark view on the world shines. One of the thing I am good at, is figuring out how a new system works. Once I was able to admit I was wrong look at human nature as a new system, I devised controlled tests that allow me to figure out the truth. Before I did this, I spent two years believing in the inherent goodness of people. That’s the reason for the soul searching/meditation/yoga period. What I learned during that time is that I suck at telling lie from truth and was deceived by quite a few shady fellow.

I “believed” in people’s good intentions and took things at their face value. That style never suited me anyway. I was always better at being skeptical and working from the belief that all people are selfish and what I think is evil and immoral are actually not when people look at the situation from the belief that they are the center of the universe. The closest approximation I can find in popular culture is Mark Baum from the movie “The Big Short”. I find that I have taken on some of his habit of asking to clarify and explain while agreeing with people who says I have no idea what I am talking about. It comes from the transition in mindset where my ego and reputation in that moment with someone I do not care about no longer matters and what matters is whether or not my theory can be disproven and I come out ahead on the outcome. Everyone else is just a guinea pig to bounce the idea off of.


It’s a major decision. I’ve been on the fence for too long as being pumped full of caffeine gave me a false sense of ability to get things done. This year, I went through numerous cycles of complete abstinence and complete immersion with coffee and have finally figured out its effect on my body. I suspect, that as I age more and my body become more reliant on caffeine, the negative effects are more pronounced. Being able to objectively list out the effects can also be partly associated with meditations which allow me to be more sensitive to changes to my internal state.

What I believe happens, when I consume 1 cup of caffeine, that is not enough to provide my body with what it needs, is that it puts me in the withdrawal state. Which means runny nose and a general sense of vertigo with headache. It also comes with a decreased sense of upbeat outlook on life. I am also less enthusiastic about completing tasks. Electing instead to repeat mundane useless things.

I had thought that caffeine helps me get things done before as well as keeping me awake. But whatever benefit I gain from longer period of wakefulness is lost with the general sense of wanting to get complex matters done. My ego is more fragile, so I tend to avoid things that have negativity with it. Once I consume enough caffeine, of course the negative traits of withdrawal goes away, but then I get stupid and prefer doing stuff that are repetitive.

Evolution of thought

Three major change in the way I think as the ramp up in cash flow increases through out the year.

First is how my purchasing habits evolved. I’d buy all the different choices to do the same thing and make a decision on which one I like best. Then I’d buy enough of the one I picked to last for the rest of my life since most vendors nowadays disappear after a few years. I also don’t bother with returns anymore since that takes too much effort and time.

Two is the fact that I no longer need to make sacrifices… Usually I can have the cake and eat it too. Insane when you think this is how the majority of people live their lives too.

Three is that I don’t criticize people in position of powers anymore. Nor do I have such an inflated ego that I believe I am in any place close enough to criticize them or make comments and suggestions. Take Trump for example. He’s a very easy target and I understand what most people think of him, but I will leave the criticizing to people who’ve been presidents before because I understand now that I do not have all the facts that someone in that position of power is looking at nor do I understand what it took to get there.

Every field gets bigger and harder as you climb up and I’ve lately been involved with more and more intense projects that I understand what it took, no matter how stupid and one sided an argument is. Comments like “You don’t know what you are talking about” or “Are you stupid?” are common and usually an indication that I am onto something. In fact, all my greatest ideas have encountered statements like this. It is similar to what silicon valley venture capitalist believes. That if a lot of people hates an idea, then they are usually on to something. Funnily, I can’t find any psychological research on this topic. Maybe one of you university psychology students who read this blog can get something started on this.


20170810_141616 From bulking to flailing about on everything to the surgical strikes designed for a pro to the final keto diet cut today. The whole journey took 5 years. I didn’t know what I was getting myself into, but I had a general idea that I want to be fit and the general consensus is that Brad Pitt’s body in fight club is fit. It just so happens that he is the same height as me so I looked him up. 155lb at around 10% body fat. There was a lot of theory reading, a lot of trying things out and understanding what each modification does to my body. My dad actually said that I am the first member of our family history to achieve a 6-pack.

This is one of the intense projects I took on which contributed to the evolution I mentioned in the previous section. Initially, I was skeptical about everyone claiming they can achieve strength that are twice what I was capable of. From that, I thought one of two true is the reality: everyone else is bullshitting or I am just very out of shape and am deluding myself. What do you know, it was a hard pill to swallow, but I was deluding myself.

Five years later, at my peak and before the shoulder injury. I reached 2x the average male adult’s strength based on weight and repetitions. Now after the injury, I am maintaining a 1.5x ratio. If I remember the progress correctly, it was about 2 years of stumbling about with cardio and light weight. Then 3 years of pure strength training starting from 3 times a week at 1 hour each and ending with 6 times a week at 2 hours each. The dedication needed was incredible and meeting other like minded individual whom you nod your head to everyday is also incredible.

To get there, I had to learn all about nutrition, correct forms and research everything about a cycles of working out. Now I am learning the painful lessons of recovery. Specifically injury recovery. Like every idiot, I thought my body is invincible and never planned for recovery. I wanted to reach the top too fast, just like everything else I do. This is when I began to consult with professionals in sport therapy and discovered all these new information about our body and my own experience correlates with their theory. Shoulder injuries takes about 3 months to heal. My body is not genetically made for strength but for flexibility and the bone structure is not made for pushing weights up from my shoulder. Which explains why I can never do a hand stand. Which sort of sucks since I live in North America where body strength is highly valued.

So my left shoulder has one small hairline fracture at the clavicle and a couple of knots (about 10 different places) and one torn tendon. I couldn’t lift it up higher than shoulder height and touching the skin on my shoulder makes the whole thing hurt. These all started from the hairline fracture which made the rest of my shoulder adjust to tackle the weight. The good that came out of this is I finally balanced my left side strength with my right side, the bad is that I had to stop for 3 months and set back my improvement by about 8 months.

As you can see, I went into it thinking I just need to lift. Came out knowing that there is a lot more I need to do. Lifestyle change, plans, food time and money. The biggest lesson I learned though is that the details to reaching the top is a lot grittier and to think I know what it take is to be conceited. Most people don’t want to hear about the struggle and just want to hear and see the result usually. Which contributed somewhat to the lack of information.

Progress Earliest Record I think it was 2011 tmp_15667-abs-1082911424 Dec 2014 tmp_15667-abs201455839292 Feb 2017 tmp_15667-20170213_1927152515438 March 2018 tmp_15667-20170331_142704-88860620 May 2018 20170512_171013 At my prime in August 2018 20170828_121045 Back 20170828_121108 20170828_121154Untitled                        

Ballroom competition and regrets

October 29, 2017

So I just watched the incomplete anime called Ballroom e Youkoso (Welcome to the ballroom)…



I am having a really hard time sleeping. My emotions running wild. Ballroom is, after all, an emotional sport for me. Just like the main character, I am the type who dance with emotions, so the impact hits even deeper as we both struggled through the same things.

I’ve never reviewed that part of my life through my meditation journey and while awake at night, I’ve had plenty of time to go through it with my now adult eye. Doubts started to resurface and I desperately tried to reason it out to make peace with my feelings. All the what-ifs on the choices I made.

My biggest regret was not staying with the partner I had in Taiwan. We were getting somewhere and improving exponentially. But I couldn’t handle the homesickness and the long hours of engineering work paired with dancing. I wasn’t rich enough to dedicate my whole life to dancing and I didn’t start with her young enough to want to stay. After all, I was still trying to mend my broken heart and she seemed irrelevant to my life.

I had given up on describing to people what it was like for me. What this other part of me that most don’t get to meet is like. Well, now I have a way to show them through this anime. The camaraderie, the passion, the inner turmoil and the wonderful cruel world of ballroom dancing.


September 27, 2017

I have a crisis of conscience.

There was a deal I negotiated that ended up collapsing a while back. I negotiated it in good faith, believing that both parties really wanted what they claim they wanted.

On paper, I have no involvement in it since I own neither any share or hold any position with either party, however, I was the name and trust with which the deal was negotiated based on.

My conscience is saying to make it right, but my knowledge of both party is that they both acted some part on bad faith.

My experience in the past says that “No good deeds goes unpunished.” Of which, the act of making things right is one of those good deeds.

So I am here looking back at my life, reviewing all the good deeds that I’ve done which ended up screwing me. Also, making things right will not make any difference in either party’s situation.

But it’s what made me who I am today and the experience taught me how the world works. Which might have inadvertently contributed to my success because I no longer do good deeds.

So why is my conscience telling me to go ahead and do the good deed?

Drink, Dive, Dance 4: Alessia 2

September 14, 2017

There’d always be some shitty cafes beside the dive shops serving bitter tasting mud that they’d try to pass as coffee accompanied with overpriced croissant that resembles the pastry by name only. By some shitty unwritten rule, they’d always have 2 tables on the side of the road exposed to the dust for you to sit and sip your cup of mud.

The reason why these coffee shops survives, and I am really guessing here, is because of all the early morning divers who have to show up at the dive shop at 6 am in the morning after a night of dancing and binge drinking. Divers are always tourists and tourists always party the night before. The tables outside is for divers to keep an eye out to see if their dive group is departing. Logistics and organizational skills are not the fortes of people living in the country side of Asia.

At dawn, I’d stumble back to our cabin with a bit of the ol’ sailor shuffle from a long day of diving. Swaying from side to side as I fight against the gravity called exhaustion. Everything felt heavier.

Alessia often tried to describe what it felt like seeing me hobble back like that and I’d always chuckle inside because what she experienced and what I was feeling at that time are as different as night and day. Laying in bed at night, she would tell how she’d catch herself holding her breath watching me appearing from the horizon, with my long dark hair flowing in the wind and my tanned body glistening from sweat. Such was our typical day on Poya Lisa island, a true Robinson Crusoe-esq existence, heavenly and harsh at the same time and I wouldn’t do it for longer than that. Our toilet paper would run out for example.

This happened several weeks later after I parted way with Alessia last in Labuan Bajo. I was investigating how to get on a boat to swim with the Whale sharks at Gorontalo, North Sulawesi and preparing for the final leg of my adventure in Indonesia when Alessia decided to join me after finishing her trip with her father. Alessia, it turns out, had two weeks before school starts in UK, but instead of spending the time moving in to her new apartment and getting oriented with the new environment, she wanted more adventure before getting back to the real world. So like this, our path crossed again.

The adventure through North Sulawesi was to finish a trip that I couldn’t finish from Ylva‘s recommendation. It took especially long to prepare as It is a Malaria infested region with real civil war still going on in central Sulawesi with some truly untouched jungles and still unique tribes unfazed by civilization: Tana Toraja (The mountain plateau people) and the Sama Bajau (Sea Gypsies).

Gorontalo, the place that we met for preparation is a frontier town, almost Indiana Jones-esq-ish. Imagine Indiana Jones style conditions with some modern cars thrown in and you get the idea. It has one special feature that most people don’t know of until you get there. Every year, the whale sharks (a holy grail that every diver chase after) would come around summer and feast on the fish trimmings from the sewage pipes of a fish cannery.

It was during this time when Alessia witnessed the power of the Chinese language at work and I have to admit, without Mandarin, I wouldn’t have been able to arrange the whole trip with basic official Indonesia (they speak a different dialect in North Sulawesi) and pointing at a map. Han Chinese lineage, it turns out, is everywhere in the  world. “I feel so safe and protected when traveling with you, never had to think and worry about anything.” said Alessia as we retire back into our cabin on Poya Lisa 4 days later.

This final adventure turns out to be one of my more memorable ones along with that time Mark and I got in trouble in the souqs of Morocco. Particularly because it’s the first time I had an adventure like this with a women who is able to handle such discomfort. Another time perhaps, my coffee ran out.



Drink, Dive, Dance 3: Laurence

August 17, 2017

Laurence is French, albeit an atypical one. When nobody is around us on the snowy Annapurna trail, I’d tease her about her Polish accents. She’d lower her head as a reflex and then sneak a peak at me in between her bangs, eyes betraying her anger while simultaneously trying to hold back a laughter. For the French, my Quebec accent is just way too funny to remain serious with me for long.

She is the first French traveler I’ve met who wanders outside of the French circle and mingle with everyone else. Not only that, she is perfectly fluent in English (with that Polish accent). A walking Oxymoron for those of you familiar with how typical French travelers act.

Laurence, revels in finding the cheapest place to eat and then proceed to negotiate the price down. We’d often find ourselves in some hole in the wall local restaurant to eat; grimes on the wall with a fan that’s older than my grandma. She’d sit down after ordering, napkins on her lap, back straight and then proceed to eat her Dal Bhat with the most elegant command of the fork and knife I have ever seen.

Dining, it seems, is a very important event in her blood. I’d learned the difference now her different needs after a while. “Quelque chose à manger” means, let’s grab something on the go and keep sightseeing. “Bon! On trouve un resto là.” means I need to sit down and go through the proper routine of dining à la Français.”

For her, my ability to barter even better than her was the biggest turn on. We’d often have bartering matches where we take turn at different shops to get the same items at prices lower than the other was able to get. Each one of us is fully capable of planning the whole trip by ourselves and is able to get the best deal out of it while the other person can focus on whatever frivolous adventure that we want to try. The complete trust in each other’s abilities as travelers is unprecedented.

Laurence, for me, is the perfect traveling girlfriend… except for her quirky need to experience proper dining from time to time, as if straying away too far from “culture” is too painful. But its the memories of these quirks that brings a smiles to my face.

Whenever I miss Laurence, I’d visit a high end French restaurant, lean back on my chair and just close my eyes.



Drink, Dive, Dance 2: Alessia

August 6, 2017

The strange thing with me and diving is that I never experienced any anxiety at any stage of the diving experience, even when I was just a beginner. During my travels, I noticed that I have a natural affinity with anything water related.

The beginners nervously threw a glance my way from time to time, double checking to see if they are checking their own equipments properly. The new ones never just ask, somehow fearing that we’ll look down on them. They also, always ask how much air is left in the other diver’s oxygen tank.

If diving is meditation, then prepping the equipment is like the ritual you go through to get into the flow state before entering meditation. I enjoyed every bit of the the process as it is my own life and I am the sole person responsible for its outcome,  whether I fuck up or not.

Breath in, breath out, left hand at the back of the head, right hand on the BCD and lean back. One by one, we flopped backward into the water into the famously cold arctic water of West Coast Canada. My world blacks out as I instinctively closes my eyes. For some reason, I can never keep my eyes open when entering the water. Probably a reflex from the shock of suddenly being overwhelmed with cold water…

Exhausted from fighting against the famous strong current of Komodo island’s dive sites, I grab hold of the ladder as I await the others to climb up first. The dive master called the shot and we made the emergency ascent after only 40 minutes as the others are now too exhausted to fight the current. It must be because of the timing of everything together, but when I looked up into the boat, Alessia stood by the railings in her red bikini and flashed her big white smile at me. I had neglect to get to know Alessia before as she is a shy girl and I spent most of the time chatting with Leilani, an advanced diver whom I’ve been traveling with for the past 2 weeks, about the beautiful dive sites around Komodo Island. However, during that moment of exhaustion and delirium, seeing that welcoming smile, was like seeing an Angel smile.

Alessia is an Italian to put it simply. Dig a deeper into her roots and you are dealing with multiple citizenship and genes. But for the most part and simplicity’s sake, she is a traditional Italian who’ve had a protected upbringing and I am the dishevelled Vagabond, free and fearless. Alessia with the little curve at the end of her lips, long and shiny curly hair, the wider jawline from her other lineage and her propensity for single minded pursuit of something once she decides she wants it in her life. All of these combined made her a refreshing breeze for the me at that moment.

The trip around the nearby village with flat and dusty, nothing exciting, but we had each others company, the sun and the ocean whenever we got too sweaty. I would often tease her about her binary conflicting internal struggle. That of her clear desire for jumping me and her traditional upbringing of being a good girl before marriage.

Besides diving, sun tanning and making out after beer with Alessia, there wasn’t much to do at Labuan bajo. Leilani and I already went to the Komodo islands on our way east towards Labuan bajo, so there’s really no interest in taking that trip again and beside that and the diving town of Labuan bajo, there isn’t much else to do. So like that, we spent three day at this little unknown tropical paradise until Alessia had to leave to travel with her father. It was supposed to be their bonding trip.

Nothing further happened between us in those three nights. We’d always come back to find Leilani going at it with some guy she picked up from “Paradise” (if you go to Labuan Bajo, you will know this place) and a sock on the door knob. Besides, Alessia is still mentally panicking about the whole issue. I was in a good mental place at this stage of my journey so I didn’t push any further. Then, two more days later, after saying goodbye to the other vagabonds I met on the way, it was my turn to step onto the propeller plane back to Bali. You know you are in a very remote place, when the planes are small, propeller based and your luggage cannot be heavier than 10kg. It really brings about the feeling that you are on an adventure and along with it, all the things that make your heart skip a beat, like the huge dive your propeller just took because it couldn’t fight the strong downward air stream. I shut my eyes thinking “this might be it, I am going to die a happy man.”

And that’s how I am brought back to the current reality. The freezing cold water of the North. A different climate and a different reality. Every time I do something that I did on my long journey, I get flashbacks of a different place in a different culture. Feels like a lifetime, but happened in an instance with all the feelings compressed to a second. An explosion of nostalgia. I will meet Alessia again though, in another part of the country but I didn’t know it back then. Like all the people I’ve met on this journey, our stories continues on just as our lives continued on.

Travel anecdote: Labuan Bajo is an interesting little diving village, what surprise me is how the people I met on the way there seem to throw away their inhibitions once at this place and openly hook up without any fear of shame like in other places. Other than that, there’s really not much to do here. I would recommend every diver to go there to experience the dive sites as this place is, so far, the site with the most marine life I’ve seen.


Drink, Dive, Dance 1: Prolog

July 26, 2017

Every once in a while when I close my eyes and lean back on the chair, I get catapulted back to a different time, different place to relive a small part of the journey I had. Little insignificant things will trigger the memories, It can be a familiar tune I heard while somewhere, it can be the familiar feeling while crossing the street on a red light or it can be the silence from the absolute absence of civilization. Whether the memories were good or bad, I’d stop whatever I was doing in order to cherish the once forgotten experience.

I slowly opened my eyes.

Kathmandu, deep past the chaotic Thamel. The plan was to walk until we don’t see foreigners anymore. That has always been the preferred travel style of Laurence and I; two veteran travelers who met each other while wandering around the Annapurna circuit randomly. Tagging along are three newbies we picked up along our journey to join us in the excursion into chaos.

The smell, the donkey carts, discarded food on the street and people everywhere alongside  the safety of a group of similar minded travelers who are open to experience a place instead of passing judgment. This, to me, was the height of traveling experiences.

From time to time, we’d lose sight of each from being swept away by the crowd or some over zealous barter session with a stubborn shop owner, but we’d always end up finding each other. No man left behind, was the unwitting rule between us. Not that Kathmandu during the day and smack in the middle of the local maze is any danger to any tourist, but we didn’t know that back then.

The fun lasted for the whole day until Matt, one of the tag-alongs, decided to try one of the delicacies from a street food cart. I cringed at the thought as Matt is from England, where food safety is paramount compared to Nepal. “A boy has to become a man one day” I thought. Just as one of the traveler’s rite of passage is to taste the local street food.

Needless to say, our excursion didn’t last too long after that. I closed my eyes and shook my head in laughter at the memories of Matt semi running towards the direction of Thamel where we were all staying.

When I opened my eyes again, I am back where I am. With a cup of coffee in my favorite cafe but sans Laurence.

Travel Anecdote: I didn’t write about the women I am/was with in my life out of respect for their privacy, just as I don’t write about my friends or people I live with nor visit their blog because I want the interaction to be real. But the stories of my journey cannot be complete without including the adventures I had with them. Laurence was an integral part of this part of my journey. I know will meet her again in future flash backs.