Saturday, 31 May 2014

Part One - Sin City - Las Vegas - Before the First Casino ….

Sin City the people’s nickname for Vegas was definitely the best word to describe Vegas. Everything was design to dive into peoples inner mischievous devil and bring them out to the surface. Casino undoubtedly was the number one income and then there is the never-ending supply of girls in tights with push up bra so high these girls looked like dolls. Plus not all work at strip club or gentalments club,. They actually do it while in restaurant behind casino tables waitress bunny's. They sure know how to package their vice in Vegas

The Pawn Shop

So off the bus, I was walking quietly off the streets looking for my hostel which was a few kilometers away. I decided to walk as always and somehow manage to bypass the old strip of Vegas. Hence on the first day I didin knew there was such a thing. The first thing I saw was a Pawn Shop. 

I think this was actually the 2nd best business in Vegas looking at the tremendous queue. It was World Famous too …

Wedding Chapels

Things that you will only see in Vegas such as the Elvis Wedding chapel … I had to admit that at one point I was tempted to ask someone, anyone to marry me just to check that bucket list …. You know drive in one way get married … drive out the other way get divorced …


I think this one is the third best business in town. The adverts were hilarious … then again it was my first day in Vegas. I could totally see how its could go serious tone thou.. It would go something like …

*SUE YOUR HUSBAND before he LOSES it all*
*Quick divorce … We will protect your assets*
*WOKE UP MARRIED ?? No Problem we’ll divorce her in a nifty and help you keep all your money*

The Hostel

And then I reached my hostel … guess what it was located directly in front of …. A strip club …. Check in … got the super long briefing of the hostel rules … there was a funny part about Americans … but somehow I missed out taking it.

Dumped my bag, got a great shower after a long long bus journey …. Took a nice smoke and just letting my soul enjoy the moment ….. I was in Vegas ……

Time to hit the tables ….

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Prelude - Sin City - Las Vegas

Where do I start …. This stop was inevitable in a sense if you see my track record traveling the world …. So far gambling around the world was working out quite a wonder for me …. A guy once asked how many casino I had been to …. Well for the trip till Vegas the answer was :

Casino Bern
Casino Interlaken
Casino Vien
Casino Bratislava
Casino Prague ( x 3 )
Casino Berlin
Casino Leipzig
Casino Amsterdam ( x …. shit I lost count )
Casino Brussels
Casino Dublin
Casino London
Casino Niagra Falls ( x 2 )
Casino New Orleans

That was till I reached Vegas …. ( traveling for approximately 5 months now )

Writing this blog I am starting to think I have a gambling problem …. Oh well

I was nervous departing Denver Bus station headed for Vegas for I knew this was one place where I could get intoxicated …. From self indulgence. Yet there was no way in hell I was going to miss *ahem* Grand Canyon. 
A big Chuck of Gold .... at the Golden Nugget

The bus pulled into the city and the whole bus was full of conversation from fellow strangers. Some was cursing that they had a layover of 4 hours and did not bring any ID meaning they couldn’t  go into any casino. Others was warning of not going overboard and how easy it is to loose oneself here. Some were even talking about glory and the amazing things that was going to happen.

Truth … I had a smile on my face ….

Knowing that after Vegas I will have abundant of stories to tell …. I set myself one goal or two as my feet touch the ground from the bus ….

The Goal

1. To not lose more than USD 100 per Casino … I had no idea how many Casino there was in Vegas
    ( I.e when that 100 is up, time to move on to the next casino in line )

2. To win enough money to extend my 6 month stint to a 1 year stint …

To be continue ….

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

My First Time Snowboarding - Colorado Boulder

2nd Day in Boulder was a blast. Woke up kinda late but we had snow overnight and me and Scruffy was going snowboarding. Check the website and El Dora Ski Pass had a foot of fresh snow overnight. I was definitely excited to try snowboarding.

Scruffy was a badass teacher in a way. Thought me how to smoke weed and now snowboard. Scruffy manage to get a free ski-pass for me as well from his workplace which saved me like USD 60. I had to rent things I don’t have though but I was prepared to spend the money anyway. Snowboards , Shoes cost about USD 50 plus a USD 20 good pair of socks.

All gear up and board set to be Goofy … I was Goofy bwahahaha … …apparently for new first timers they would check out if you were a right footer or left footer. Left footer is called Goofy ….  now trust Scruffy my badass teacher to start me off with a course which said no beginners. It was almost two miles going down marked as a intermediate course - blue.

The first challenge was getting onto the chair was easy. The second was jumping off the chair when you reach the top as the gondola does not stop. I manage to slide a few meters and did not fall. Strap up and it was either learn to snowboard quick or tumble down all the way. No one to help you. Only one way down. First ten minutes I was stuck with no control I was steered slowly but surely towards the trees. Figuring how to get up with two feet strap onto a board after falling was also a big challenge which suck all the strength away.

The first half hour I was like a worm crawling myself away from the trees, trying to get up, falling and even vomited once probably from the altitude sickness. I was so tired cold and was having problems with moving and since I was not that flexible getting up was a pain in the ass. First run was the hardest … eventually I got my self away from the trees and slowly slowly started snowboarding down.

5m … fall … 10m … fall … 20 m …. fall and suddenly I could stay on the board going down for a very very long time. I have learned how to snowboarded in 1 hour approximately

Amazing was what Scruffy said …. Not a pro … but still amazing

Second try and I decided to tone done one level of difficulty … this time I could go all the way done …. With a few falls in between …. It was awesome.

Scruffy split up with me going for the extreme hard route and meeting me halfway down. Third run Scruffy thought I was too tired too for it but apparently the adrenalin rush gave me enough strength to go one more round. I went solo on a different route this time and half way down the blizzard came in. everything was white and I almost couldn’t see where I was going. Somehow I made it to the base.

Setting my ass in the car … I was shivering , dizzy and super tired …. Bwahahaha …. Best day in Boulder J

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Meeting Up An Old Friend & Fellow Traveler - Denver - Boulder

This adventure started way way back early in the beginning of my trip when I met Scruffy in Florence. It all started from *Smoking* in Florence .

I had mixed feelings hopping off the bus at Denver. The plan was to check in the hostel in Denver spend two nights visiting Denver then head out to Boulder to visit and bunk with Scruffy. Was Scruffy still the same Scruffy that I knew back in Florence … how well do I actually know this guy …. A few days in a hostel in Florence and suddenly I could trust him ??? Then again Scruffy may have the exacts same thoughts of this weird Asian dude that was coming to bunk with him ….. I knew I was being paranoid … luckily I was still in Zen mode from Albuquerque

SMS to scruffy stating that I was in Denver and will come by two days later. Before I know it my phone was ringing and he was in the car on the way to pick me up. Heck I had paid for the hostel. Hence that was the first time I paid for a hostel but never stayed there … luckily I manage to get one night refunded …

I ended up never staying in Denver as Scruffy picked me up that evening and drove straight to boulder. I did manage to catch a quick glimpse of Denver for a few hours a brief one ….

Scruffy and his Buddy graciously bunk me at their place for four days and it was worth all the trouble de touring to meet up a fellow old friend. It surprising how nice it was talking to someone that was once part of your crazy adventure and it sure bring back wonderful memories of Florence. Now I cant wait to reach Korea just so I could link back with *Puppy Eyes* and share stories again

City of Denver

Sunday, 4 May 2014

Hostel Route 66 - Albuquerque

Did you go to Mexico?
Nope but I did got to New Mexico :)

This was actually one of the most frequently asked question when I got back. Since I been to America and went way way south to New Orleans and Houston a lot of friends and family ask me this question since Mexico is somewhat pictured in their mind as dangerous for drugs and all kinds of illegal stuff … I had to paint the picture of the aiyacaramba tiny tunes wild wild west into their head and all the beautiful things I could think off about Mexico but have yet to change any minds.

What’s the differences between New Mexico and Mexico?

Any American’s want to answer this question on my behalf? Well as much as I always laugh or felt insulted when white men paints a whole new unreal picture of South East Asia or somehow made a wrong assumption, I realized we in Asia do the same thing too. My answer sometimes to that question …. It’s like Malaysia & Singapore … go figure

New Mexico was different compared to all the places in the states that I had visited so far. The people and culture is strongly tied to Spanish immigrant or Mexican and also the nature of American Indian which makes it more vibrant. I first notice the difference was when the Greyhound Bus driver which normally gives his bus route journey briefing before setting off in English started doing translations in Spanish as well. If the English version was 1 minute long , the Spanish translation was 10 minutes.

Hostel Route 66

Route 66 passed smack in the middle of Albuquerque so I had manage to stumble onto it somehow. Along that route was Hostel Route 66 a cosy shack with a comfy feeling to it. The people that you meet can sometimes makes a trip worthwhile or totally ruin it. Hostel 66 was kinda that special glow that made Albuquerque special.

The hostel had was also the first one that had chores built into the price, meaning you had to do chores every morning while you were staying in t he hostel. They had a chore card which says like, take out the garbage, wash up all the dishes in the sink, clean the table, so and so. Simple stuff that you would normally clean up after yourself anyway. Still it was a fun way to crack the ice chatting with fellow strangers which chores we were going to do the next day.

Lay Back and Smell the Grass

It was near end of February 2012 and the clock had started ticking again for me. I was well into 5 months of my trip and there was not much times left. So many thing to see and do and I was very tempted to move faster from one place to another.

Do you guys wanna take a walk ?

A simple question from a group of strangers who were all traveling alone somehow made up the everyday activity. Laid back chill and just watch the world skip by. No one wanted to do anything productive … a suggestion by a stranger to idle by time doing meaningless stuff was a reason for another to procrastinate. Somehow I was sucked into the warp zone but was thankful for it.

Nothing better than remembering back of Albuquerque doing absolutely nothing other than chilling and watching the world skip by ….

The Longest Bus Ride To Albuquerque - New Mexico

The price I had to pay for the impulsive detour to New Orleans to see Mardi Gras was a 28 hours bus ride to Albuquerque New Mexico. After Nearly 24 hours of no sleep the idea actually sounded good but I forgot that a bus is a bus … not a bed

This is taking forever … was one of my entry into my journal ….

I manage to survive 28 hours of bus ride somehow stepping off the bus at Albuquerque, although some people that I met on the bus was doing a 3 days non stop ride from the east to the west of America. Well non-stop does not really mean non stop since you practically hitch from one grey hound bus to another on main key bus ports. After all how many tickets could you sell for a three days non stop bus ride ?

So I went into zen mode … Sleep, wake up, check the time, sleep, bus break = toilet break + smoke break + snacks = back to sleep on the bus

Of course in between I had the games and comics I could play on my small little smartphone since they had wifi in the bus and a power point charger just next to your seat …. Oh yeah this was a luxury bus Greyhound … although it really depends on your luck if their bus is a new one or old …. (without) but after awhile … you start to just stare out the window.

You know those scene on TV where they show a lone person staring out the window of a bus deep in thought … I felt like one of em. I was at the peak of my meditation … nothingness  

As I got off at Albuquerque I saluted the guys  goodbye who was on another 2 days journey to San Fran

Friday, 2 May 2014

Mardi Gras - New Orleans

So I arrived New Orleans … checked in my 1 Night in the Hostel, for 10 minute for a shower and dumped my bag and immediately shot out the door to see what little I could of this magical city …

I am going to try this Picture Blog thing for once … enjoy  ... my 24 hours Crusade

 1st Stop State Museum of Louisiana ... no time to loose ... click click ... moving on

French Quarters - poke nose in and out everywhere .... you never know what you can find here 

Visit the Market / Bazaar of New Orleans ...
They sell Gator Jerky .... 24 hours .... moving on .... wanna stay alive and survive
Stroll by the Mississippi River checked .... awaiting sundown
All ready for Mardi Gras - with my 1 bead weapon given by a nice lady at the hostel ... you cant go to Mardi Gras without a Bead ..... :)

And the Parade Begins
and the marching band ... i think the whole state of Louisiana came down by the long long super long parade that never ended .... couldn see the end of the line for 8 hours straight ....
Cheerleaders ... many many of them throughout the parade ... D for Daddy :)
Most of the Floats makes no sense to me ... but it was RAINING BEADS ..... ALL HAIL THE FLOAT >>> PUT YOUR HAND UP WORSHIP AND YOU SHALL RECEIVE CHEEP JUNK ... HOORAY .... It was actually quite fun ...
The Aftermath of Mardi Gras
And the spoils i collected .... some might notice the majority of my souvenir around the world is from this junk