Saturday, February 28, 2009

We are on budget but we are not Desperate!


We would like to thank Rick Ong for his donation in our trip! Rick, you are getting married, i thought i could be your "door knocking party" but im sorry. instead of us giving u angpao for the wedding, u gave us! thanks!

Heartache: u have been digesting our blog. thanks... i didnt want to see my blog these few weeks, just want to see if im addicted to internet or not.

Be_yourself: you understand my situation well. thanks for all the words but im still trying hard to digest it.


The death of my relative, reminded me of my mum, Mdm Chua Siang Keng.

2003, when I retook my diploma for a year, I was working for my uncle at the same time studying full time. Timetable for school wasn’t so tight because I needed not to take all the subjects. I worked half a day and had to ride to school for the rest of the other half day. On Saturday there was no lesson so I worked full day. On Sunday, the company operated for half a day so in a week I only had half a day rest.

I had good results in my studies. 2003 was the period of SARS in Singapore. To visit a hospital with mum, we had to go through scans and there were many limitations in the hospital.

13th April 2003, about 7pm, I was studying for an important exam which took place on the day after. I received a phone call from Sis that Mum couldn’t make it. Mum was in a special room in the hospital. The hospital only allowed one visitor at a time in that room. I entered, Sis got out. She was breathless and couldn’t talk much. I couldn’t help so I let Sis to be with her while I went out to study again. Mum was diagnosed with Leukemia 2 years ago. She had various therapies but didn’t work out.

At about midnight, I received another call from Sis that mum really couldn’t make it, this time the hospital made an exception for both of us to enter the room. She was much breathless and shouting something weird in mandarin:

Wait for me! The bus is going away! Wait for me big brother!

She kept repeating this while struggling for her breath. She was unconscious even I pinched her. We could see her eyes were open wide, trying to reach out for something.

We consulted the doctor and we had two choices.

1) Leave her alone till she is short of breath and pass away as the doctor couldn’t help with the situation.
2) Give an injection for her to be calm BUT it was a very high chance for her to lose the life. This would make her pass away peacefully.

Sis looked at me, asked for my opinion.

I don’t want mum to struggle any longer. She had struggled for the past 53 years in her life. Now she is fighting the cancer. I chose option 2.

After the injection, she closed her eyes, breathing normally and slowly. After about 3 hours, she passed away.

We had to organize the ‘out process’ for the dead body and the funeral. It was until 7am than I could catch some sleep. 9am was my examination. I was quite satisfied with the results but mum couldn’t attend my graduation.

Her life triggered me much to go for this trip.

………………………………………………………………………………………..

From Mendoza (Argentina), Sam and I rode the same border and went to Valparaiso (Chile). We arrived in villa kunterbunt. Enzo and Martina welcomed us with a beer and coffee. This is a biker’s place to stay. We met Andreas, Saskia (Swiss) and Daniele (Italian). It was a gathering again for the 5 of us.

We couldn’t get any parts from Mendoza, we thought that Valparaiso, the main sea port of Chile, would be a good place to source parts but Andreas, Saskia and Daniele had been there for some time looking for the same part as me. They could not find any.

villa kunterbunt was amazing. The rooms were full when we reached there. Enzo offered us a beer first, cool down and Martina tries to organize us to park Hope Too next door and introduce us to the hostel next door for a special price. Martina also said we could use all the facilities in Villa Kuntabunt though we are not staying there.

Hope Too was parked next door with 5 dogs in the garden. After one night sleep, 3 of our plastic straps (1 to hold onto the tank bag, 1 to hold onto the shoe bag and 1 to hold onto a rear big bag) were bitten by the dogs. Enzo gave me a better strap.

On the 3 day, Enzo went to feed the dogs. 2 of the dogs started fighting, biting each other. It was a mess. When 2 dogs fight, the other 3 went around the 2, barking and running around. The fighting crowd went near to Hope Too and the dogs might topple the bike. Enzo tried spraying water on the fighting crowd; tried beating the 2 dogs with a stick but it doesn’t work. In the end he had to go into the fighting crowd to pull the 2 dogs away from each other. A fellow biker saw this and went in to help. He lifted the dog in the sky and slam dung the dog on the floor until it raise white flag. It was all over, quiet and could only hear Enzo panting, breathless and cursing the dogs. The fellow biker that slam dung the dog was bitten on the arm. I had to attend first aid to him.

From this incident we could see that how Enzo took care of us and the bike ensuring that we have a good stay with them although we are not sleeping in Villa Kuntabunt.

We left villa kunterbunt and head for Santiago, again with the Swiss and Italian team. Daniele was staying in Santiago at a friend’s house. He knew this friend from crouchsurfing dot com. The Andreas, Saskia and both of us were allowed to stay in that house only for one night. Daniele didn’t tell us the real reason but I believe it’s because there is no need for the owner of the house to show sympathy to us and we are not inside the crouchsurfing group. Daniele tried very hard to let us stay for the next few days, tried to invite us over for a swim or food but we didn’t.

My personal point of view about crouchsurfing:

It is a good way to travel so that we could save money on lodging.
We could also get to know more about the local’s way of living.

BUT

We will definitely not allow to stay if we do not have a crouchsurfing account. Example: if some crouchsurfing members come to Singapore and contacted me through the crouchsurfing website, they stay in my house for free and will leave some comments on the web. So if I want to travel to their country, it would be easy for me to find a place to stay when they looked in my crouchsurfing history.

So these people, Nicolas, the owner and friend of Daniele, travels a lot. They need to ‘earn points’ to let travelers stay in their house so that they can stay in the other people’s house.

Sorry Daniele, we know that you tried very hard but it’s Nicolas’ house. We were lucky to stay one night and the rest of the night you came all the way to our hostel and accompanied us and ride alone in the dark back to Nicolas’ house. Must say thank you to you. I have a crouchsurfing account when I was in Singapore but I didn’t really use it during the trip.
.
.
.
.

So, next day the Asian team and the Swiss team with the escort of the Italian team went to Hostel de Sammy. Cool and awesome! One of the best hostel in Santiago. It was worth the money to stay. It had a small garage that can hold 3 bikes easily. We could work on the bike on the day time comfortably. The breakfast is the best so far in our trip. Home made pan cakes, home made bread and fresh scrambled eggs, not forgetting Juice and coffee.

6000 Chile Peso per person including the breakfast, with free bike parking, 4 fast computer with free WIFI and internet, free billiard table usage (not pool table), TV room with a wide screen TV, 3-4 times bigger than our TV at home, humble management, clean dormitory and toilet, bicycle available to use. Kitchen was in very good order. Strongly recommended for budget traveler’s like us; for bikers; for meeting nice people; for good rest.


Also the dog and the cat is much friendly.

.
.
.
.
.
Good news! M-Technik from Singapore is sending a 5kg parcel to me in Chile. He included a DID525VM X-ring chain, 2 front sprockets, 1 rear sprocket, alternator, starter relay and some small but important parts. it will arrive in Villa Kuntabunt around 3rd March. Meanwhile, we are traveling up north with the Swiss team. When the parcel arrive, we might take a bus back to Villa Kuntabunt to collect and meet Enzo and Martina.

Information for fellow travelers:

Camping along ruta 5, Pan-american highway:

Near the town Quilimari, S32 07.735’ W071 30.767’, we named it as an expensive campsite. for an area for both of us to camp, it cost 15000CPL. Then I went to use their toilet. Sam was with Hope Too. The daughter of the owner, about aged 7 came to Hope Too tries to open the box. Sam was irritated. When I came back we asked for a bit of discount, it came down to 10000CPL. I told the owner we are on budget and he offer us for free! guess what, we rejected his free offer.

WE ARE ON BUDGET BUT WE ARE NOT DESPERATE!

we don’t feel comfortable here so we went on…

Furthur north near Chigualoco, S31 45.181’ W071’ 30.808’, another beach camping. Cost per area is 10000CPL. Minimum facilities.

Ovalle, free camping at S30 35.680’ W071 10.398’. there are many food stalls in this free camping but we don’t feel safe. 2 locals had warned us to look after our belongings.

there are 2 more camping site along this road.

The best around is at Valle Del Encanto. top up supply before going in. 1200CPL (no typing error, in English is one thousand two hundred Chilean pesos only) for visiting this monumento arqueológico and staying in the safe camp site for a night, for 2 person. worth! S30 42.233’ W071 22.727’

La Serena: we look at the guide book. recommended a hostel with German management with good parking. Sam went in, first thing that the lady at the reception asked was do we have a reservation? We did not have one. The lady said that we can only stay in a private room as all the dormitory are full. also we could only stay for one night as there are many reservations. Private room is out of our budget and we enquired from her if she could recommend us another hostel nearby with motorbike parking, she said: I’M NOT SURE and continues clicking on her computer trying to ignore us. is this some problem with foreign owned hostel in Chile? after being recommended by travel guide book they seems to be high class. Andrés Bello 979. hostel El Punto. Go there if you like. we don’t feel good from their first impression.

after some rounds of recommendation from other hostel, we came back to the same place, one unit before Hostel El Punto (and that receptionist don’t recommend their neighbour). Excellent! Safe parking for 2-3 bikes. the lady owner is very friendly. She is a Chilean. if you want to meet the locals this is the place to stay. free WIFI and nice people. S29 54.516’ W071 15.223’ Hostel Vergara. La Serena, Andrés Bello Number 991.

Popular tour from La Serena goes to the East, visiting Pisco distillery and sky observatory. Prices from La Serena to Pisco distillery, eat some food, see some free sights cost 20000CPL. Observatory cost 15000CPL. so we ride east, about 60km east from La Serena to Vicuna.

Vicuna, book the tour to Observatory Mamalluca at Gabriela Mistral 260. cost 3500CPL for tour and 2 way shutter bus to observatory and back to Gabriela Mistral 260 is 1500CPL. don’t try to ride your bike to the Observatory. it’s a mess and very dark. no body switch on lights around the observatory. Camping at Rancho Elquino, 300meters walk from Plaza de Armas. S30 01.685’ W070 42.861’ Independencia201. ranchoelquino@hotmail.com
don’t be surprise to pitch your tent under the sun as you will not get a chance to sleep in the day. there is a shed where everyone can use as a kitchen, BBQ, reading. Nice swimming pool. very nice people. not crowdy and not noisy. kids are real nice, so as the owner Mario. 3500CPL per person. RECOMMANDED!

there is also a Pisco factory at S30 02.384’ W070 41.892’
Solar restaurant, they use sunlight to heat up the food. 4000CPL for menu of the day: S30 02.720’ W070 40.857’

Valle del Elqui: about 60km east of Vicuna.
We camped at S30 08.021’ W070 29.784’
very steep slope down hill to this campsite. Good swimming pool but gets crowded. surrounded by grape vines. Nice! Agrocamping Dona Josefa. 4000CPL per person.

Pisco tour avalible in the town. 5000CPL with free tasting of Pisco and free Pisco glasses.

Top up gas before heading up North of ruta 5 from La Serena, into the Atacama Region. Next estation will be more than 180km at city of Vallenar.

We camped wild in the desert by the coast of S28 17.442’ W071 09.930’ possible. we reach at about 530pm with Andreas and Saskia, clear the area from cactus and stones, cooked dinner and when it was about sunset, we set up the tent. Thanks to Thomas and Andrea of Germany, we learn to camp freely from them. we see the stars more clearly then in the observatory. there are many shooting stars to catch here!

Good supermarket at Copiapo S27 22.885’ W070 19.769’

now we are camping at Bahia Inglesa S27 06.340’ W070 51.043’ Cost 19000CPL per site up to six person. we found a couple traveling by their car so we asked if they want to share the site and split the cost. nice couple, Jessica and Miguel from Sweden. nice beach and swimming pool.

Don’t envy us, we are traveling with Andreas and Saskia! 26th February 2009, Bahia Inglesa.

Monday, February 16, 2009

no post!

sorry readers. this is my diary.

no post for the past 1 week.

i lost a close relative in Singapore.

im wordless.

update: went to Mendoza after Santiago to look for chain, spockets and rear tires. much expensive on argentina side. ride to Valporiso (chile) and met with some bikers friend and rode back to Santiago to find parts again. bought a rear tire, metzeler tourance for 70000 chile peso (made in brasil) and change it myself. (it cost 15000 chile peso to change a tire by the mechinic).

im waiting for monday to call usa to order a good DID525VM2 X-ring chain (124link) that cost me US$174 with shipping to chile. singapore it cost S$130 for the chain and S$400++ for shipping by DHL from singapore to chile (express services). i also want to buy sprockets.

i ordered from

http://www.sprocketcenter.com/

we are no longer traveling now. we are living day by day at the same time gaining experience.

sorry, i don't feel like blogging now.

i can't do anything when someone that had took care of me when i was very young, treated me like his own son, passed away and i couldn't be there, even he was sick.

its part of the trip. i have to make this decision and prepartion before the trip.

i have to move on.

let me have some time on my own before we update you on our trip.

i really can't get over it.

goh mia chun

santiago, chile.

some interview from argentina:

Saturday, February 7, 2009

dogs, monkey and Gay












top: sniff dog of the Chile custom officer.

below: Maggie, belongs to Mage of Brasil. lovely,clumsy dog that always got bully by the parrot















beside: Fly, farm dog of Felipe. English breed. she always stand behind the truck with me while Felipe was driving. fun!











Below: Blanco.














video



Firstly, we would like to thank,


WEE HENG WANG
HII CHUN HUI (2nd time of support)
DEREK YAP (numerious donations)

for their donation in our fund, maybe also as a chinese new year ang pao, or a relif of our expenses in the equipment that we are going to purchase.

Thank You!



We have always fond of dogs. After our RTW trip, the next dream will be: owning a dog. Sounds simple? But it is not.

1) we need time to have a dog. not just to buy one and keep at home and accompany the maid.
2) we want to have a huge sized dog like the golden retriver. such a dog cannot stay in my 3 roomed flat. We need a good piece of land with big garden.

Last year November, we camped at Junin de los antigous, argentina. our plan there was just to eat the famous trout fish and next day proceed on the road. at the campsite, there came a white dog. we nick named him Blanco.

Blanco just came to our tent. I have a straw mat and I slept on it above the grass. Blanco came by to sleep with me. We didn’t give him any food. when ever I go for a scroll around the camp site, Blanco would accompany. We went to pick up wood for fire, Blanco helped us bit a piece back to the camp site. we didn’t give him any food. in the night, Blanco would stay around our tent, barking at any passer by. Next morning, we decided to stay for another day.

We went to the town supermarket as usual to stock up our supply. Blanco followed us. Sam and I went in and bought some stuff and dog food. when we came out, Blanco was gone. I told myself: ok… he is just a stray dog. we would follow any one that is friendly and give him food. we will eat the dog food tonight.

after a walk to the plaza, Blanco came. It seems like he had met some friends and he joined us still. we fed Blanco with the dog feed. He followed us back to the campsite.

I had wonderful memories with Blanco. he would follow us where ever we go. on the day of checking out, we packed our tents, spoke to him that he shall not follow us because we are leaving to another town and he did. we rode our bike and I looked at the mirror, he was just sitting there….

here in outskirt of Santiago, we camped here because of the high cost of living in the city. we met a female dog with a puppy (1 month old). What do u name a female dog??? anyway, she is so skinny and we could see that she is still giving milk. we gave her a few biscuits and we want to buy her some dog food tomorrow instead of giving her our only chicken drumstick that we are having for lunch tomorrow.

are we doing the correct thing? are we spoiling the ecology cycle? will the dogs be dependent on campers for survival? will they not find their own food in the future?

we went to many parks. even those in Singapore, we could see signage of ‘please do not feed the monkeys’. Ok, we understand. if we feed the monkeys, they will not find their own food and be depended on humans on giving them food. if one day a man pass by jogging, the monkey shows up, the man continues jogging, the monkey gets angry because of the man not giving food. WHO IS IN FAULT? the monkey or the man?

this matter reminds me of a fellow motorcycle rider that we met, riding ‘around the world to save the poor’ while traveling. it is an intresting ‘add on’ to the trip, making the trip worthy. he went to some places, be with the AIDS patient, donating $ to the home. the $ came from donations in his website. readers reading his web would feel that these people really need help and they donate money. yes, he did really hand over the money.

this rider, lets give him a name, lets call him Gay. Gay went to a lot of countries. He helped some local communities to give fund to built a house for a family. Gay will incharge of giving the money while the community chest in that particular country will decide the money will goes to which family. can u imagine, it only cost EURO$350.00, that’s S$700.00 for the family to built a new house. Gay also talked to people along the road. He heard of stories about the grown up child, not having enough $ for further studies and he donated the $ to them.

S$700.00 to help a family to built a new house! what are u thinking?

what would be the consequences of giving money to help the poor people?

it is like my dog story. like my monkey story.

we have traveled for more than 13 months along the road. visiting non touristic places. staying at local’s home and recive raw news from them about politics and everything which we at home, the news were often filtered. SO FAR, WE SAW MORE GREEDY PEOPLE THAN THE HUNGRY ONES. WE SAW MORE SIMPLE PEOPLE THAN THE POOR.

what are you thinking about now? please read again the above highlighted.

we felt that what Gay is doing is not wrong but it affects the future travelers. what is S$700.00 for us to help a family to built a house? Gay is like a saint, helping the needy, or rather helping those people that he felt not richer than him (according to Gay’s country standards). Gay had affected their life, their ecology cycle. the first few days I saw Gay, he is like the people that we met in the bag packer’s hostel. just that he don’t drink so much, just that he rides a bike, just that he is abit older. I saw him once banging a thick book he was reading onto our table, the table where all of us (germans, swiss, Americans, Canadians, aussies) were sitting. then in the night, he took out his lap top to impress the newly travelers about where he had been, like being on the same room of a Buddhist leader that had stayed in that hotel, same room. yes, HOTEL! im not saying that staying in hotel is a sin but let me remind u, Gay is that kind of traveler/tourist that goes to poor country and spend rich! Remember about my dog and monkey experience?

Like our travel in India, many people in cities came to us to ask for money, especially in touristic location like Taj Mahal. BECAUSE previous tourist/travelers that went there, see these people as pity or ‘poorer than them’, they give them us$1.00. to the travelers/tourist, US$1.00 is nothing but for the local, it meant a lot. years after years, the ‘ecology cycle’ change. these people see foreigners as a source of work or income, they don’t work anymore, as we know the term, they become beggers.

If someone come to us and beg for money, we would ask why they need the money. If he says he is hungry, we would buy them food on the spot. so far, it never happened.

Shall we still donate money to the charity?

I don’t know. when I was in Singapore, I dialed the 1900 number for the charity show because I want to win a condo or a car, instead of seeing the ‘advertisment’ made by Television Coperation of Singapore.

Not to give a fish to a man but teach him how to fish.

If I would do some charity work, I would help them by giving my time and effort, reach out to those that really need and teach them how to fish.

Yes, I did give out book prize for a local Polytechnic. I’m not doing charity, I’m promoting the bloom for my industry, support/encourage the students for coming into this landscape industry. that is not charity.

So, readers, I’m not trying to say that Gay is a bad person or a poser. in my opinion, I would have done something better, to teach them how to fish.

Enough of all these theories I had. some up date for you.

we got our USA visa, we got our passports in hand. the visa is a multiple entry that last for 10 years. hurray!!!

today we recived an email from the costa rica embassy that Sam’s application for the visa was denied. no reasons stated. they advise us that we could only reapply the visa again six months from now.

so now, panama visa doesn’t sounds good for her, costa rica visa was rejected. how can we fly thro these 2 countries from Columbia?

For your info, Sam is not carrying a Singapore Passport. for some readers that asked why do I have to apply for usa visa: I wanted to accompany Sam for the USA interview. the previous time when she applied in Singapore, I wasn’t allowed to go in.

so rather than waiting and staying in the busy city of Santiago, we left for a camp site 70km south east. here we met the female dog, that had just given birth to a puppy and she is so skinny. we rode out to buy a packet of dog food for her, only for her because she had just delivered.

On average, a day of lodging in Santiago would be S$30.00. In this campsite, we are spending S$20.00. we felt much comfortable camping although the tent had zip problem. the zip just couldn’t zip up and its very annoying. leaving the tent of a 12cm part unzipped, sleeping in fear that some creepy crawly would come in and sleep with us. camping is about eating, washing, cooking and surviving. we are at a more luxury campsite so we had table and bench, lights and electricity. its more carefree here. I could switch on the lights in the middle of the night. campers here are more peaceful. we are closer to the nature.

remember we were asked to leave La Casa Roja hostel, that party hostel that couldn’t get to sleep before 2am? we stayed in another hostel called Hostelling international. our experience were:

slightly expensive, we can’t do our own cooking BUT it’s much quiet here as the people staying here don’t party in the compound. Sam was going to her dorm in the late night at about 0030hrs, (BTW, male and female had different rooms so Sam and I had to split), the room’s lights were off but only 2 gals were talking to each other in the dark. when these 2 gals saw Sam using her torchlight trying to reach out for the lockers, the gals said its ok to switch on the lights because they are not sleeping. Sam replied: its ok, I don’t need the lights. the 2 gals immediately changed from their pajamas and get out of the room to the common room to chat, at the same time apologizing to Sam that they had disturb her. they have considered about other room users, very good. my experience was the hostel staff try to reach out for your eyes and try to say good morning or hello to me, So as the other travelers staying here. everyone are much attentive to each other. unlike the previous hostel, we had travelers coming into the room in 3am, switched on the lights, pulling their luggage on the wooden plank floor to reach out for their party clothes, talking loudly from one end of the room to the other end (about 5 meters away), not knowing that we are asleep in the same room. The hostel staff that walked passed me would treat me as transparent. this is the little difference but we enjoyed.

too much of city life for us. Panama visa was another crazy thing to do. we supplied them with all the supporting documents. the first thing that we need to do is to take all these documents out of the embassy, fax it over to the panama visa section in panama by our selves. it cost s$2.30 per pieces, Sam had 13 pieces. then we have to call the Spanish speaking operator in panama to confirm that they have recived all the 13 sheets of documents.

2ndly, we have to ‘courier’ the documents back to the embassy to that old lady (the visa issuer), that’s about 70 years old and could not read a word. she asked: are you going to live in Santiago for 1 month to wait for the visa? I bluffed: yes, of course.

who the hell is going to wait stupidly for the fuckers to reply. meanwhile, we are sourcing for direct trip from Columbia to costa rica, skipping panama. one of our biker friend, residing in USA but holding to a Turkish passport, waited 4 months for the reply. he didn’t wait. we proceed with the journey till the embassy in LA emailed him and much trouble he had to deal with.

One of a record breakers trying to swim through the panama canal had to pay like US$10.00 for using the panama canal.

very intresting country. most of our biker friends that went thro panama advise us to skip this country because there are nothing worth to visit. now I think we had to skip costa rica also. after 2 weeks of waiting and it’s a negative reply. it’s a waste of $.

we are staying in a good campsite now, saving our funds for unexpected and compulsory expenditure, like bike insurance, visas, transit for the darien gap between Columbia and panama. still, more to come.

it is so troublesome for us to find a place to fax. simple things like email or corrier is easy. our Spanish is limited. even we need to mail some stuff back to Singapore, we went to DHL, their service is about us$60 because they only have express service. we went to a local corrier, they checked our stuff, call up here and there to check if our matchboxes without matchsticks were allow to be corrier. finally solved, then in their office, they don’t sell envelops! we have to go around this big city ourselves looking for envelops. it’s not like in Singapore, we know where big bookshop or the next stationary shop is. small little things adds to our time and the meter is clicking everyday, we cannot wait for tomorrow to solve this problem. well, this is part of the ups and downs of a travel.

friends, lets think about the dog and monkey story again. is there anything that you and I can do?

goh. (want more comments from readers abt dogs and monkey.)

Monday, February 2, 2009

we were ask to leave the hostel thou we have paid for the week

our chinese new year dinner
we got a free ride from someone that i asked direction from.

This is Anke.


xiao xiong enjoying her suntan by the pool.



can u see that she is enjoying?




her brother is an advertisment star in chile!





Anke with her full luggage. i had problem carrying them.






german pie!!




one of the owner setting up 'barrier' for their own group dinner. this is the first time in my life i saw such selfish act. what to do, he is the management and we are staying at his ground. swollow it!

in such a big city like Santiago, its really hard to find a cheap and good lodging, for us and Hope Too. La Casa Roja is the cheapest choice.


here is some feedback on this hostel:

1st day, we rode about 8 hrs to Santiago. it was about 530pm when we reach the Hostel after the bike heated up due to the jam.

we were glad that the hostel had 2 dorm bed for us. we had a travel guide book and it advise: BOOK IN ADVANCE.

we were not allowed to park hope too inside the hostel, thus, we have to park at the paid public garage (quite safe, 2000p/24hrs) and unpack ALL our lugguage and bring it into the hostel. If you know Hope Too, he is carring alot of lugguages. we do not want any of the lugguages to be lost so i have to carry it fast to the door step while Sam is looking after it. While excuting such quick movement after a hard day's ride, I saw a couple talking to Sam (while Sam is looking after all the belongings). i think i pissed off this guy (lets give him a name: Nipple) because i was throwing all the stuff to Sam and i didnt give a shit about what is he (Nipple) is talking about. Cut long story again, Nipple told Sam he also traveled somewhere from south america to alaska on motorbike a few years back. I told myself: bikers don't behave like that. if he is a true bike traveler and been through it, he should have offer help.


still at day 1, no, 1st night:

the hostel often organize mass cooking. just pay and they cook. we didnt paticipate because it is out of our budget. the beer there is so cheap: S$2.3 per bottle of 1000ml. in the night (2am-3am) they are so drunk and walking along the corridor and made alot of noise by shouting and screaming, PARTYING all night. it was certainly no sense of consideration. we are there for important business. the next morning 7am i have to wake up and visit 5 embassies. I was pissed.

few days later:

they organized another mass cooking. we didnt participate due to the same reason. everybody (guest and management) was using a common kitchen. one of the management (i think this hostel is shared and owned by a few aussies.) put a barrier accross the kitchen, it is like giving a sign of: IM DOING A BIG BUSINESS, I OWN THIS AREA, DON'T COME IN, YOU OTHERS THAT DID NOT PARTICIPATE SHALL USE OTHER SIDE OF THE KITCHEN. i'm pissed. we don't feel welcomed.

we observed: people that come to this hostel seldem leave the hostel door. they came here to meet people of the opposite sex.

in the day, they (the guest) wake up at 11am, shower, slack around, have lunch, drink a beer, read a thick book by the pool with their swimming suit. many try to impress others by bring the book around... 'oh, you are reading this book, its so cool!' then in the night they will be drunk in the hostel till morning. when they wake up, they asked each other, hey how's last night? i over heard some guys saying: tonight im going to get drunk like fuck!!! they behave like baberians. lets look back: these people dont speak spanish: they work for 2 years, save hard and spend all their saving for the past 2 year's work on this 1-2 months 'traveling', partying in another country. they take bus (im not against taking bus) from 1 city to the other (500km away), they buy round the world ticket (to be used 5 times not in the same direction) and when they go back to their normal life, they tell their friends: 'i have been around the world', 'i have been to santiago', put their pictures on facebook.

they are doing the same thing here in santiago, like what they did at home! going to pub crawl on mondays, cooking and reading a book under the sun. im sorry, complaining on my own blog. we didnt really enjoy staying in such a big city, its because we need to do up our paperwork, repair our tent and buy bike equipment. the management, not Chilieans, i think they are aussies, don't talk to us. maybe they are sick talking to people living here, maybe they don't like asians, maybe i pissed them off someway... my sense told me that they are the most arrogant owner i met but i still have to stay there. everyday we kept humble and low profile, waiting for our passport to be delivered here.
one day we went to the pool side for dinner, Nipple was siting there with a pretty lady. he suddenly talk to me:
Nipple: Hey, did u say that u are going to ride to alaska?
Goh: (happily replied because he though nipple is going to start chatting with me) Yes.
Nipple: (stops talking immediately to goh and turn this face to the pretty lady). yes! they are doing what i did before! (then nipple continues talking to the pretty lady)
Goh: (........feeling like an idiot replying to him......)
Nipple has a dog. its a cute big dog. it has also facebook. everyone (worker and staff) in the hostel cuddles him. this dog barked at me on the first day when we were busy moving the lugguage in. i dont blame the dog, it doesnt have any sense. a few times at the dining area, this dog came to us, hoping to get some food off our plates. we gave it to him. the final trigger was last night, we were cooking our salmon, he came and i gave him a generous portion. he didnt want to eat after sniffing it. i used my flip flop to slap at his face. the dog just went 'nggnggg..ngg...' and ran away. the guy next table (i assume its one of the aussies management), asked me why i slapped the dog. i told him i dont like the dog.
aussie: do you think you have the right to slap the dog? you better watch what the fuck you are doing, u want some fuck and sleep outside at the fucking street?
my reply: ok, you are the boss, what ever you say is right. you want to kick me out, i have to go out.
at this case, i was the bad guy. i do this to my farm dog. when ever i slap my farm dog he will not run away but still face me hoping i would give him more. i guess a dog's beheavior reflects on the owners'.
after this aussie go away, a lady came to me and say i have to leave tomorrow. she mention something like this dog is sooooo important to this hostel. well, i took back my money on the next day and got to another hostel, which is more expensive but much less noisy.
well, i might be in the wrong. it's different culture when u see this case: for me, i slap my dog if he did something wrong. for 'these' people, they don't have children (at that age) and they treat their dog like their children. i see them as loser. not someone that is retiring off from life. many of these aussie management there are single, staying in santiago for long time, did not have a proper family, drinking and treating the hostel as their castle. living standards in santiago is much cheaper that their own country, so they choose to hide there. if these aussies are so great, they should go back to their country and live and stay there! this is what i notice some 'foreigns' living and working in singapore, taking the job of us, singaporeans. client will then contract the aussie service rather then the singaporean services because it will give the client some 'fame' like :hey, u know this peter thomas william from XXX country? he designed my garden'.
rather than saying : u know goh mia chun from clementi? he design my garden.

ok... back to that doggy... the thing that im not satisfied is that aussie guy warned me again: after the meal, you better get back to that fucking room and don't come out. if you come out and i see you when i'm drunk, i think i'm going to beat you.
FUCK! who the hell is he? i have to swollow my pride. im here waiting for my passport to be sent here in 2 day's time. now i have to try changing the address with the spanish operator of DHL chile on monday. what to do, it's their home ground. we have been very humble for the past 1 week.
we are not visiting Santiago, we are living+surviving in Santiago.






video

didn't really meet any new friends in this hostel because many just come here to party. we met Anke after our Hong kong friends left. Anke was alone to santiago, transiting to Pucon. she baked cake for us and shared so many things from us. the first night we saw her, taking the left over rice from the organizer, put some salt and try to eat. we offered her our stuff, filled her with everything we have. we had a good time together. also she is strong! strong in mental and physical. that impressed us!

the doggy thing was a trigger point as we were struggling in that hostel. you can report this matter to SPCA. thats me, like my grandpa, like to slap at dogs that don't behave. i loved dogs but this dog is sick like the owner... weak.... no dignity......