Lessons Learned While Blundering Abroad Pt. 5

Stay classy, E.

My last lesson for this series will save you from a lot of discomfort but may keep you from a funny story.

Lesson 5: Flying Is The Only Reliable Form Of Transportation

In the US, flying can be cumbersome and expensive. In South East Asia, it is inexpensive and delightful. There is rarely a long wait to get checked-in and security checkpoints are less intimidating and pleasant. I remember getting ready to board a flight from Taiwan to Kinmen while holding a drink in my hand. I looked around for a place to dispose of the drink but, before I could, the security representative ushered me through, told me to take a sip, and sent me on my way.

I taste no hazardous materials in this cup.

Flying may be easier in Asia but you ought to be careful when choosing a budget airline. You should always check online to verify the safety ratings of the airline ahead of time. Usually, the flight is cost-effective because of the service but, sometimes, the rate is low because of their safety ratings.

I’m looking at you, TransAsia

Regardless of where you’re traveling in Asia, it is usually best to choose to get there by flying. Even if the alternative offers massage chairs, movies, and free Wifi. Even if your friend tries to convince you the alternative will be fun and a good experience. With flying, you know what to expect but when you choose to take the party bus, you’re in for a bumpy ride.

My good friend Elston(pictured above) had discovered a different way to get from Singapore to Malaysia. There was a bus that drove you across the border. The bus boasted having massage seats, wifi, a meal, and movies included. The tickets were about the same price for a flight but taking a bus across the border sounded like a valuable experience. Unfortunately, in the infamous words of Donald Trump, we were

The stuff of nightmares.

Here is a list of reasons why we were wrong:

1. The bus was two hours late.

2. The massage chairs were broken. Massage chairs have those round knobs that usually move and rotate to help work out the stress in your back. Well, if they aren’t moving, they tend to add stress to your back.

3. The “meal” they provided was a stop at a convenience store where they picked us up water and a plastic-wrapped meat pie. Yum.

4. Crossing the border this way made me feel like we were doing something illegal.

5. The Wifi was broken.

6. The movies were not free.

7. It took four times longer to get from Singapore to Malaysia.

Don’t get me wrong. If you have the chance to backpack across a country or someone offers you a ride on their elephant to get from one city to the next, the story itself is worth the difficulties you may encounter.

But, always remember, that flying is the only guarantee to get from point A to point B blunder-free.