Tourists are an attractive target for criminals. I have a friend that got robbed in the first month in Thailand. He lost two laptops and hard drives with backups. Thankfully nothing such serious ever happened to me, but I'd occasionally lose some stuff.

For the first time, I got pickpocketed on the border between Cambodia and Thailand while I was filling an immigration form. The place was so crowded that I didn't even notice that I lost my wallet until I crossed the border and was about to pay for a bottle of water.

After that, I became very cautious with my wallets, and when I got pickpocketed in a club in Bulgaria, I immediately noticed and managed to get my wallet back.

I lost three pairs of sunglasses: two in Bali, Indonesia and one in Somo, Spain. I naively thought that Europe is a safe place, so I left glasses on the beach next to my flip-flops while I was surfing. I'm especially salty about those because it's hard to find fitting sunglasses.

Once, a burglar got into our Bali house and stole $40 leaving two laptops behind. We didn't notice that for hours until I went to close windows at night and realized that one is broken. It turned out that the house has CCTV, so the poor bastard got caught at the very next day.

A week ago I lost my helmet in Sri Lanka. As usual, I left it on a motorbike handle when I went to a grocery shop and couldn't find it when I returned. I pushed the shop manager to show me the CCTV record. I didn't have a hope to return it and did it out of curiosity.

At this weekend while we were shopping in the store, the manager came to me and gave my helmet back. They found the guy who stole it. I was amazed as I didn't think a have a slight chance to see it again.

Miracles happen!

Please, share your opinion in the comments.

Ants

Dec 13, 2018
2 mins read

If you leave a can of soda pop in Thailand for a mere half of an hour by returning you'll find a caravan of ants stealing it. I have no idea how they manage to find sweets so fast, but they exceptionally good at that. No matter where you leave the treat, they will find it.

The knee-jerk reaction is to start a fight against them, but then you quickly realize how powerless you despite your size. How can you fight ants? You can start killing them one by one but how long you can keep up? A colony could contain hundreds of thousands of little bastards, so apart from a short feeling of satisfaction from the revenge, you'll get nowhere this way. You can get a killing spray and start exterminating them in packs, but this is also pointless. After you retire they will get to your chocolate anyway, they always do.

Sometimes you can see an ant expedition going through your apartment to your neighbor that forgot something yummy. Sometimes they chose to go through clothesline where you dry your towel but you realize that only when the cruel motherfuckers start biting you while you try to wipe off. Oh man, this sucks peculiarly.

One time I saw an ant colony moving into a new place. It was an endless flow of ants carrying their eggs and food going somewhere to my neighbor's house. Better my neighbor than me I thought. I messed with them a little, by spilling water on their way and screaming on them. They always panic for a while when something unusual happening (like a huge screaming head) but then calm down and continue to mind their business. It quickly became boring so I left and when I returned they were gone celebrating housewarming I suppose.

Eventually, you get used to omnipresent ants and start to be mindful where you leave your stuff. You could even begin to appreciate them when they clean crumbs from table and floors. If you see a dead inspect, why bother? Ants will come and dissect the poor thing away.

Ants are a part of nature so like the weather they just happen, and you can do nothing about it but make peace.

Please, share your opinion in the comments.

In many countries in Asia, it's considered rude to hand money with a single hand. You supposed to use both your hands like that:

It's most common (among places where I've been) in China and South Korea.

There's also less official method dominating in Vietnam and Sri Lanka (all of the sudden):

Once I learned this thing I started using it without a second thought. It felt natural, and whenever I notice a "rude" foreigner using one hand, I would give my self an imaginary pat on the back. Today I decided to share it and realized that I have no idea about the origin of the gesture.

I turned out that I do not alone take it as granted and there are tons of resources teaching etiquette but just a few trying to explain the phenomenon.

The best guess that I found is that it shows your mindfulness towards the recipient and that the gesture is intentional.

When you think about that it kind of makes sense and also explains why in South Korea restaurants you never leave money on the table. Once we did that and the waiter screaming MONEY went chasing us to the street.

Please, share your opinion in the comments.

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In the beginning, nomad life feels like a drug. You get new experiences all the time without the need to waiting the whole year for it. You do your thing and then go out, and voila, you're on vacation. Just like any drug with the time your brain build up the tolerance.

The very first Buddhist temple, a waterfall or scenic waterfront view gives you a fantastic feeling of discovery. You enjoy every moment of it, no matter how far you had to drive. No matter how hot is it outside.

After a while, you don't go to any temple. You only go to the temple of temples. The biggest, the most famous and better if it's next to a waterfall, sea or ocean or all together. You become picky.

In the end, you don't care about the attractions. Temples, mosques, towers, lighthouses, waterfalls, monuments, you name it. You saw it all. Finding something new is tough.

From time to time, to kill time you go to see a popular place, but when you're there, you don't feel anything. Once you got the imaginary check, you go back to your thing whatever it is. It must be something outstanding to touch you. The standards became sky high.

I call it the nomad's curse.

I don't think there's something you can do about it and it's okay. Even after visiting 39 countries, I still enjoy living in travel. I rarely go to attractions, but when I do, I make sure it's worth it. Yes, I'm rarely impressed, but I do become amazed from time to time. It still takes my breath when I look at the land from the top of a mountain. It always fills me with joy to be in the ocean during sunrise. There are eternal things, but usually, they are too simple to be printed in a guide.

When cinematograph just became a thing, people were content seeing a train coming to a station. Nowadays, a movie must have a decent script, acting, and picture otherwise people won't go to see it.

The same with travel, when you travel enough, you lose your pink glasses, and suddenly mediocre things become mediocre.

Maybe it's not a curse, but a cure.

Please, share your opinion in the comments.

When I tell someone that I surf, I often hear back "aren't you afraid of sharks?". If you put aside traffic crashes that take 1.25M lives every year and other more-likely-to-happen accidents, there's a deadlier animal that poses a danger to surfers — crocodiles.

Humans are natural crocodiles prey while sharks usually attack us by mistake (we're too big for them), so there's no surprise that crocodiles kill 100 times more people.

Until today I never considered crocodiles as a threat. I saw them in the wild only once, in a river in Sri Lanka that runs through the city where we stay. Even for the locals, this was a big surprise. Just like us, they stopped by the road to gaze at the monster. That thing was huge (the average size of a male is 4-5 meters), but unfortunately, the only photo I have doesn't convey how scary it is:

Today we came to the beach, the waves weren't good enough to jump into the ocean right away. We walked back and forth and when I decided to go out and was preparing the board a guy stopped by and said that there's something big pointing to the break. I struggled to parse what he was saying and thought that he's talking about a wave, so I answered not looking where he was pointing, "okay, sure." He was excited and repeated: "no, really!". So, I answered: "yeah, I'm going now, cool." He was confused. I went to change my shirt to the surf vest and when I returned it turned out that there's a crocodile in the ocean. Dozens of surfers already rushed to the beach and were swarming and staring at the monster.

Nobody was hurt, but I could imagine how they felt. I wasn't there with them by the sheer luck, but if I would, I'd probably be scared to death. I surf at this spot several times a week and often go out alone before the sunrise.

By estimation, approximately 10 surfers die every year, and the most popular reason is the head injury with subsequent drowning. Crocodiles aren't in the list as the most of the crocodiles are freshwater species and posses greater danger in the lagoons, rivers and on the shore. Although surfers sometimes die in the jaws of the monsters, like that poor guy took a break from surfing to poo in the bushes:

There're also crocodiles that live in salt water, but they aren't common especially in Sri Lanka, so it's hard to tell if the crocodile we saw today was one of them or it was a freshwater specimen moving from one river mouth to another because of territory dispute or another reason.

Right now while I at home, sit at a sofa and type this post I'm not afraid and looking forward to the next surfing session, but I can't say how I'll feel in the ocean.

・・・
Statistically speaking, I'm safe.
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