Tips on Pesky Problems Encountered While Wandering

Trip Start Nov 15, 2010
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Malaysia  , Pulau Pinang,
Thursday, December 23, 2010

Wandering has its share of recurring irritations that, if not handled properly, can lead to a loss of face, sleep, or money.  Here are a few of the most common and tips on how to handle them.

#1 HOTEL TOUTS-  These are the sharks that hang around areas like bus stations, ferry terminals, and the like, trying to strike up a conversation with new arrivals.  Their real goal is to steer (chaperone) you to a place of business where them appearing with you creates the impression that they brought you, earns them a commission and you pay a higher price.

When the popsicle stick ferry beached at Gili Trawangan, Wandering_man walked behind a couple who were beseiged (before me) by touts.  "Where you from?" was the bark of a dozen of them.  "Scotland", the husband barked back.

That ended it.  They threw up their hands and quietly mumbled curse words among themselves about Scots.  Not worth the effort..

These were experienced touts and they deduced--on the spot- that it was a waste of breath to attempt to separate a Scot from his money.  I started laughing --the couple turned around and I told them this story.  Now WM is Scottish in tout land. 

#2 BUS TOUTS-  In another tout story-- American Nicky and I had just gotten off the Kuala Lumpur Metro and did not have our bearings as to which way to walk to the bus terminal.  A tout ran up and excitedly asked "Where you go?".  Bus station. Di mana? (where is it)""."S´ngapore?  "No, bus station".  "Bangkok?" "No, bus station.""  "Penang?""No, bus station.""

Young Nicky was laughing as my response was monotonal, so I turned to him and asked "Should we tell him our destination? "Why would you do that, 'WM?".  Íh I think he has earned it, my friend." 

WM then turned to the tout and said  "We are going to the seventh ring of the Paraclete of Catharsis.  Where is the bus station?""  The tout thought hard for  a second, then gave up and pointed dejectedly in the correct direction to the bus station.  He did not know any bus company that went towards our destination and there was to be no commission for walking with us to the Paraclete of Catharsis ticket counter.

(Another tip-- always bargain at the ticket counter.  The Penang bus was discounted from 35 Ringgit to 30 after gentle haggling.)


There are two kinds of people who should not sleep in dorms.  Folks with night terrors and Men who Snore Loudly.

A couple of years ago WM stayed in a dorm room in Melacca Malaysia with a night terror guy.  He was  so committed to saving a few Ringgit he kept all 14 of his fellow dormers awake all night with his waking up screaming.  This guy should not stay in a dorm.  If he does he needs a thumpin'' from his dorm mates and an unsympathetic packing and sidewalking of his gear.

Snoring_men are different.  Some men snore briefly and lightly and are, at worst, a minimal distraction.  This morning 4 of the 8 folks in the dorm got up very early to catch a 5 PM minivan.  They were quiet and did not turn the light on--good dorm mates.

At about 7 AM WM was awoken by horrific, seemingly synchronized snoring.  All three of my remaining dorm mates were snoring furiously. When the snoring abated for a brief respite (probably woke themselves up)- WM farted-LOUDLY- and with rump facing the common area and not the wall.  All three Snoring_men got up, leaving WM to sleep quietly and peacefully in the dorm by himself.

These handy travel tips brought to you by the real life experience of Wandering_man.

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JJ on

Was the fart smelly too?

Rudy on

Have to make sure my wife doesn't read this. If she learns to fart on command, I'm in trouble.

wandering_man on

Rudy-- I know you and I have met your wife. I doubt she has ever farted in her life. I cannot say the same about you.

Just to be on the safe side, NEVER pull her finger.

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