World traveling: good for the soul


Laura Anderson, Assistant News Editor

Over holiday break, I traveled to Hong Kong to see a friend who teaches English there.

This was my first time traveling by my lonesome, as well as flying internationally.

I’ve been on many a flight, but not one that was over 15 hours long. Thank goodness for in-flight movies, otherwise I would have keeled over in boredom.

I may have watched ten movies, but I stopped counting after the sixth one. I tried napping, but it only lasted an hour. As someone who values their sleep, I was outraged. I kind of pride myself on being able to sleep anywhere, but, man, it was cramped in that plane. This guy who was sleeping behind me was snoring so loud it would have made a chainsaw sound quiet. His knees were also pushing on the back of my seat and I was trapped by the window.

After what felt like 20 years, I landed in Hong Kong. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever seen. The public transportation it has is insane.

It has a MTR, which is its subway system, trams, mini-buses, taxis, ferries and buses. The Hong Kong International airport has a branch of the MTR that is located in the airport itself so we took that on our way to her apartment.

The MTR was incredibly fast and clean for having over 7 million people living there.

She told me Hong Kong was efficient — I had my doubts — but after that experience I was a believer.

It was a rarity to wait in lines for more than 15 minutes anywhere you went.

The fact that everything was cheaper over there than it is in America was a total bonus. I thought I was going to be homeless when my travels were over, but I was only in the poorhouse.

After a week in Hong Kong, we flew to Thailand into the less sketchy airport in Bangkok.

We went into Thailand with zero expectations of what we were going to see. We thought that Thailand is like a giant Las Vegas because everything that happens there stays there.

There’s a motto in Pattaya which is “Good guys go to heaven, bad guys go to Pattaya.” To be honest, I’m not really sure what we were expecting out of Thailand, but it was better than their motto. Yeah, there were prostitutes, but the scariest thing I saw was a hairy Russian guy with a beer belly sunning himself in a Speedo. It was one of those things where you can’t help but look because you’re botht fascinated and equally disgusted. I’m pretty positive that this guy is what nightmares are made of.

Other than the mass amounts of Speedo-clad Russians that were swarming the place, the Thai people were some of the nicest people I’ve ever encountered.

Well, maybe I thought they were nice because they kept making me banana daiquiris but that’s a different story altogether.

Thailand is a pretty popular holiday spot and we met quite a few Russians as well as British people.

At the resort we stayed at, we met the loveliest ladies from England.

They were these two older heavyset ladies that were obnoxious as hell, but damn, if they weren’t a good time. They kind of reminded me of the two geese from the “Aristocats,” minus the waddling.

It was my first time not attending my various family Christmases, but those two ladies and my friend made my holiday blues go away. They made me feel at home in a country thousands of miles away from mine during the holiday season.