What’s your Inspiration?

First time I came to Thailand, I was put in such a crazy, uncomfortable position. Seeing green rivers covered in days/weeks/months old trash, the way people were looking at me (which ended up being a huge foreshadow of things to come); nevertheless, I saw the ultra-gorgeous, lush green vegetation towering over turquoise waters down below.

Was this inspiration? Not necessarily, but this was the beginning of my journey.

Vietnam – 2016

After visiting the Remnants War Museum in HCMC, I saw the absolutely destruction of what the United States Military did to Vietnamese people, also known as “communists.” I stood next to a Chinook (ironically named after a tribe of Native American Indians — a group which that was wiped out by the colonizers), and then switched to a heavy-artillery propeller. A plaque read, “this machine causes mass damage and casualties in Vietnam.” I then glanced up and said, “you’ve killed so many people.”

I took a step back, clicked on the photos app in my phone and deleted all the militaristic garbage from my phone. When I went inside and went up 5 floors of anguish and hell, it caused so much grief. I saw my friend tearing up, who was Vietnamese, and all my life I’ve been told to respect a military.

Not anymore.

I was going to @ Borack Obama and all United States military channels and berate them words of hell. Never again have I saluted, represented or mention the military anymore and I never will again.

Innocent people in Laos are still dying today because the bombs that were dropped 45 years ago.

Americans would say, “look at the brightside,” I would say, “well, with how pooly you treated blacks, and with the Native American genocide, you’re now depicting us as the monsters….but in fact, no one knows about what you’ve done.”

I didn’t make it a mission to expose anglo-America/Europe for their genocides that wreaked havoc around the world, but I did want to give back. Seeing the children, the photos of my friend teaching at poor schools in the war-torn, ravaged middle of Vietnam…..I found my inspiration.

No one deserved to have anyone come in their house and kill them, but in saying all of that, Vietnamese people of BOTH SIDES came together after the war and has coexisted to this day. What I saw was an inspiration for me to give back — to come back to Vietnam, and to help people who desperately need help.

Laos – 2018

I was approached by an amazing manager of a hotel who had sent me a number of whatsapp messages, wanting to know about my arrival. I arranged a taxi and a few other services with the hotel. It delivered (although loud from music), but the hospitality was amazing compared to other places. The manager of the hotel invited me for drinks at night and took me to a wonderful noodle shop before my flight.

He invited me to come back and to volunteer at a poor school about 1.5 hours outside of the main city.

This was my dream. This brings more happiness then making 5k-10k per month. This is true fulfillment.

Finding my inspiration. It dealt with a lot. Seeing poverty, seeing death, but also seeing my soul open up to the masses out there. People need my voice, and that’s why I created it.

How to Become a Good Conversationalist: Part III – The Brazilian Model

So, this is an episode on how to increase your conversation capabilities.  Most of you don’t know how to converse, initiate, or to just be someone’s friend.  I’ve become a master at it, and this is how I’m going to show you how you can get better.

Again, this is with no pun intended.  This is simply just showing how far I’ve come in terms of being an excellent listener, as Dale Carnegie would coin the phrase.

So, currently I’m sitting at a place where there are loads of people waiting to collect their passports/visas to head back over the Thai border.  Just a day before, I was standing in a long line, waiting anxiously for the doors to this place called the Thai Consular to open.  Smoke filled the air of burning cigarettes and people, of all nationalities, flooded the grounds of the embassy.

In the specific area where I was standing, there was a girl that was getting a ridiculous amount of attention from men in the area.  Glances, small-talk under their breath, and their eagerness to want to initiate a conversation with her.  A conversation between her and another guy from Israel was first initiated.  He asked her, “where are you from?” She said “Brazil.”

My ESL podcast, which has been doing an amazing job, has a “top chart” list — Brazil being the top 5, consistently, on a monthly basis.  Cities such as Belo Horizonte, Salvador Bahia, and others were memorized without any intention.

NICHE!

Because she’s from Brazil, I can instantly make her talk about these two places.  Remember, being a great conversationalist revolves around you shutting up and hearing the other individual speak.

To kill my boredom, I initiated.

“Excuse me, I have plans on going to Brazil next year.  I overheard that you’re from Sao Paolo and I was wondering where I can go to see beautiful nature?”

Her eyes glistened with intrigue.  She told me a few places (the initiation and making her talk) and then she asked me “how did I know all of these places?”

“Well, I have an ESL podcast and I’ve had it since April.  These two places have always been the top charts, so I was compelled to ask.”

Showing Interest

Because I’m interested in her country, anyone and everyone would love to open up and talk about their native country, right? It’s all about you asking the follow-up questions and digging deeper into one’s culture.

After talking about favorite places, occupations and other things, she asked for my details.  Just before that, she told me and the other guy, who has just come over to sit next to me while we wait for our passports, that she’s a model.

Things That You Shouldn’t Do

I’m living proof that regardless of how someone looks, things can be done and initiated very easily.  Regardless if the friendship never blossoms, it doesn’t matter what anyone looks like.  It’s all about showing general interest, without any sexual intent, towards the other individual and establish the close listening needed to carry a conversation and develop what could be a lifelong companionship.

 

Listen to “How to Become a Good Conversationalist: Part III – The Brazilian Model” on Spreaker.

Vientiane, Laos: Part II & The End – Opinion Has Changed

So, I’m standing in this long immigration line and I couldn’t help but look and see who was around me.  Smokers from Russia over my left shoulder, smoking where everyone was standing; backpackers who had red eyes a couple of people in front of me who had slow reactions to everything, druggies sitting on the ground talking about what drugs they’ve experienced with on Koh Phangan.

Do I need to continue?

Ok, so Laos attracts the bare minimum of humanity.  No, I have no authority, nor do I like speaking negatively about people, but to see these types of people entering Thailand, it’s no wonder the visa laws have gotten strict to get these types of individuals out.

Ok, outside of immigration, what else?

Vientiane Luxury Hotel – 3.5 out of 10 stars

Staff unhelpful, pool bar advertised but doesn’t serve drink, unhelpful and unfriendly staff from different nations (they’re not Laos people, but more Vietnamese and Indian), dated hotel, elevator looks like a horror film.

Grr, I hate being negative, but this could help people with making a decision on coming here in the future.  Why did I stay here? Looked very nice in pictures with great reviews.  Outside of a slightly above average breakfast, walking through the lobby scares me because everyone is just RUDE.

You’ve Pointed Out Everything NOT About Lao People

That’s right. Lao people are amazing.  The restaurants I’ve gone to have been superb.  Excellent service just outside the main road in town at a small, but wonderful restaurant with some pretty good food.  Went to a burger joint in the evening on Thursday and had a DELICIOUS Aussie burger.  Staff was FANTASTIC! Yes, the embassy employees were rude, but who wouldn’t be? If you would’ve seen some of those people yesterday, you would be disgusted.  But if I can some this all up, lao people are unbelievably friendly, but the city is overrun by druggies, smokers, and the worst backpackers in the world.  I was walking to my hotel yesterday and an American walked by, suspiciously looking at me, wreaking of marijuana and wanting a conversation, although he could hardly even hold himself up.

I’m grateful for Laos and Lao people, but this is a place I can never come to again because the energy is downright depressing.  Seeing these foreigners here, drugged out and socially awkward (AS HELL), makes me cringe.

So long, Laos!

Vientiane, Laos: Round III!

YEAH! Here we go! As I normally do, I document this experience from the moment I leave my place until I get to my hotel and settle down.  Of course there will be photos and YouTube videos coming soon, but let’s see what we have going on right now.

Because I have everything sorted out in terms of my visa and passport, and now that I understand how my mind works, I’m no longer trembling while going to the airport.  I can ease, collect my ticket, go through an easy customs line before going to my lounge.  Pretty straightforward!

Bangkok Airways Lounge – 6.0 out of 10

Extremely disappointing.  So, I thought this lounge was going to have a full breakfast, but it’s only for business class passengers.  Here are just a couple of cakes, snacks, orange juice and that’s all.  However, I still believe that this is FAR BETTER than sitting in a concourse area where there are loads of people walking by.  I’d much rather be here.  The Airline, which is right down below (I’m typing this exactly where I am), will have to pick up just a bit of slack.  Other than that, for an extra $50 dollars to have a private area, chargers, no loud announcements and people passing by while trying to eavesdrop? Better than the other airport!

Bangkok Airways Flight –  9.0 out of 10.

Boy, this was super interesting.  Never have I been to this specific side of the airport, and never, have I EVER, had to take a bus to the plane at this airport.  Interesting.

But first and foremost, before the flight even began I must give a big thank you to the elderly woman at the airport.  I had bought a slice of pizza at Dean and Deluca, and when I sat down, I hear someone say young and pizza.  I was occupied with the things in front of me, and then this wonderful American woman approached me and said, “you look young. I don’t want to waste this pizza. Would you like it?” I glanced at it and noticed that it was the same pizza I ordered just 3 minutes prior.  I laughed, accepted it and was unbelievably thankful.  That’s one of the best gestures of the year. THANK YOU!

And onto the flight. The people on this plane were ALL FOREIGNERS — well — most. Not that it matters, but I think it’s interesting to say the very least.  This boutique airline, which labels themselves the boutique airline, is really great.  Honestly? If they had better routes and bigger planes, they can easily eclipse Thai Airways.  That’s how good they are.  From the beautiful flight attendants that speak perfect English and are very welcoming, to the fantastic food.  Yes, airline food is not what most westerns perceive it as.

For those of you traveling around Asia, please check at klook.com.  No, I don’t get paid for any of this, but if my flight left later from Bangkok Airport, I could’ve bought a simcard for this country and use it without any problem.  Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Japan, China…klook.com is GOLDEN!

The Arrival

Immigration forms were provided on the plane, which wasn’t provided when I flew my initial flight from Air Asia.  That sped up the processing time and it was much more convenient versus my last visit.  Air Asia simply did not supply the cards.  Happens.  But BA did! BOOM! Arrived, stood in line about 20 minutes and then got to the window with my sparkling brand new PASSPORT.  Visa in, walked out.  Pretty easy. Got into the car and headed to the hotel where I was greeted by an Indian receptionist.

Why do I emphasis the nationality? Well, this is how a town/city/country can begin speaking English — by having foreigners from all over the world speaking the language.  It’s brilliant.  I also saw some Vietnamese lettering in my hotel room, which makes sense why two Vietnamese workers responded to my email through booking.com.  I LOVE THAT!

All in all, there’s a lot of things that might happen in the next couple of days, and even my very famous YouTube traveling video.  I’m excited about what’s to come and the amazing people who are coming into my life. Stay tuned for more and tune into the podcast!

Listen to “Vientiane, Laos: Round III!” on Spreaker.

Wheel of Life: November 2018 Edition – Closing Out The Year STRONG!

What a year! I mean, I’m so excited to just dive right into the December version, but I’ll be doing a wide range of those coming up with other people in a “coaching style” consultation (TBD).  I’m super excited about going over another edition, a long standing tradition of evaluating my life on a month-to-month basis.  Here are the categories.

Since I don’t technically have friends, I’ve switched my category from the “friends” category to the “circle of friends” category.  

 

Personal Development – 10

Scribd, which is a site I’m not getting paid from, offers a 3 month free trial of listening, downloading and reading online books and magazines. Brilliant idea that I wish I had come up with in the past.  Ha! Nonetheless, this has enabled me to listen to three chapters of a book which features Napoleon Hill interviewing Andrew Carnegie.  Chapter 3, the chapter I’m on right now, has been life-changing! Guys, check it out and see if it helps you. No more listening to music (unless you’re working out or in the mood) and start listening to books that will enable you to take your life to the next level!

Physical Environment – 9

Because where I live has always been great, the workplace can go up and down.  However, after getting an additional project in the heart of the CBD, two of my week nights are pure glory.

Romantic Relationships – ??

I’m not going to jinx anything right now; therefore, I will not spill any beans.

Health – 9 

The Spartan Beast was a test of will. This was a race that scared the living hell out of me on mile mark 16km, and luckily I was able to finish the race.  The most difficult race, by far, since 2015 and I was able to overcome such a gauntlet.  I’m super proud.  I’ve stopped staring myself down in mirrors and now I’m focused for next February’s monster in Melbourne.

Wealth – 8 

It could be better. Still grateful and consistently consistent, but nothing fantabulous. However, I’m sitting myself up for the greatest 2019.

Career – 10

I’ve connected with just about everyone.  I have people from Jersey, Ireland, and Romania who are coaches and so many other things.  With all the webinars that are being created, Academy that’s being developed and getting ready to launch in early January, and a handful of other things just makes it perfect.  Super grateful for the amount of great characters that have come into my life and partnerships that are developing at a rate that will up-level me and help me achieve my highest of goals!

Fun & Hobbies – 8

This is probably the highest I’ve ever had it.  I’m starting to enjoy my life more, and it’s because I’m working some days in the CBD rather than on the outskirts and until 9pm.  If I can finish work at 9pm, which I normally do a couple days a week, that gives me time to meet people, especially if I’m just outside reliable transportation. However, if I’m working in the depths of hell, which I normally do three nights a week, that cancels out any opportunity of meeting people.  Well, after a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner and two friends coming in from Chiang Mai and Mongolia, December could be the first possible 10, starting off with a trip to Vientiane, Laos!

Circle of Friends – 8

Now, for many of you, this is the family and friends category.  However, for me, you already know this story.  I’m my own family and my best friend. There isn’t a soul that could save me if things fail. My circle of friends, on the other hand, have done some great things for me and have improved my mindset considerably.

Listen to “Wheel of Life: November 2018 Edition: Closing Out The Year STRONG!” on Spreaker.

 

Last Trip of The Year: Vientiane, Laos — AGAIN! End of The Month!

Ok, so that’s Malaysia twice, Singapore twice, Laos twice, and Hong Kong.

DAMN!

Now, I won’t go so far to say that I’ve traveled to these places for all the reasons, but out of the exception of my Malaysian trips (awesome holiday and Spartan Race), these have been for visa runs.

However, this one coming up right now will be for a better visa run, requiring me to stay for two nights and finally make a mash-up of YouTube videos to show you what the capital of this gorgeous country looks like.  Soooooooo…elated about that.

Let us just take a moment right now and appreciate the madness I’ve been through this year.  The jobs, which were a bunch of dead end promises, have made me go outside these borders seven times this year — a record.  Now, I’m unbelievably grateful for traveling to these wonderful countries, but they weren’t legitimate holidays which are absolutely looming large in the New Year.

Nonetheless, from the scattered forests of Seminyih, Malaysia, a place I could’ve potentially died because there was zero transportation; to stepping outside singapore for the first time and seeing just a snippet of what I saw (compared to my last trip there); and also going to Hong Kong — a very questionable trip (this was the trip I’ve scratched my head about a lot….ha!).  What a magnificent and fulfilling year I’ve had, and I’m going to top it off by finally enjoying a place I can eat my wonderful banana pancakes at.

Traveling Goals for the New Years?

Yikes, after being challenged by my best friend (COME ON! DO A BEAST WITH ME AT TRI STATE!) to do a Spartan race in New York, to a toss up between Japan/Egypt (I really need a change of scenery and need to get out of Asian culture).  When I finally do these trips, they’ll be legitimate because I will no longer have to leave the country and come back on a short notice, just to get a refreshed 30-day visa (complications of requirements in this country is ______________<—-fill in the blank).  I won’t jinx anything yet, but with what’s happening in my personal development career and ESL life, we’ve got historical trips looming large!

Podcast

 

Traveling Vlog #1: Deep Within Hong Kong

Wow! What a morning it was! I’m going to just sum what happened yesterday morning, then 3pm onwards, I’ll talk about my new friend and seeing the real city + escalators + amazing cafe filled with so many professional people with similar accents.

So, in the morning, it continued.  That’s right…from the hotel staff saying, “we won’t give you water until you make up your room,” to not finding food.  But let’s first start with the magnificent run I had.

I started off running in front of my hotel and it was just an endless series of rights, lefts, over the bridge, up the stairs, up the hill….this was a New York City type of run and I’ve never been there before! I think having the towering skyscrapers hanging over my head and seeing other runners pushed me a lot harder.  I love the fact that it has such a business feel in the center of the city.  Something tells me that this city has ample opportunity, but only time will tell.

After making about 100 rights and lefts while running, I ended up back on the street where my hotel is (and I didn’t even use my map). So, you know how I do — FULL ON SPRINT! I loved seeing the Hong Kong people look at me in awe, stride-for-stride, flying down the street.  It’s what I live for. LOL

After that, I went up a ridiculous hill (which is the video in my Instagram), and was winded almost immediately.  Grabbed some oranges and bananas from a lovely couple, then went to my hotel before I met Esther (in my podcast following this blog).

One thing about Hong Kong is it’s pretty difficult to find food.  Where I am, it’s a bunch of dry seafood and pig hips hanging from the rafters.  I was irritated as hell trying to find just a place that had some legitimate food, not a cow hip — uncooked.

I kept searching until I finally found a cafe tucked away on the corner of a street.  I think it was a vegan café, but it was delicious to say the least.  Also, foreign girl working there and she was pretty nice and attentive.

Honestly, as difficult as it was trying to find a place to eat, I went on search for Subway, which was apparently nearby…..and this is when my Vlog started…

Traveling Pod: Episode 4 – Vientiane, Laos — The Roots! Stunning Human Beings & Gratitude

Air Asia flight bound for Wattay International Airport in Vientiane.  Hmmm, I’ll just let the nostalgia sit in for a bit.  Just 3 years ago, I was scampering across the streets of Vientiane with a Frenchman who couldn’t handle his alcohol, got snubbed by some tuk-tuk drivers (just like Thailand), and ended up walking home angrily, leaving the Frenchman behind (had no idea where he was after a few drinks).  I know, it sounds like a trip from hell, and it sorta was.  I paid next to nothing to stay in a garbage garbage room ($10 USD a night) and it was infested with mosquitoes (ripped me to shreds that night) and had spider nests in each corner of the bathroom.  That was the last time I was cheap (LOL).  The next day, however, I stayed in something sexy, met a funny guy in the immigration line, came across a wonderful breakfast with great locals and so many other things.  I wanted to go back to my roots — just a bit — to relive some of those special moments.

Check-In + Security + Immigration = 5 minutes

Like, how can you beat that? Hey, I went from checking in, to the immigration line, to going through screening in FIVE MINUTES at Don Meuang International Airport (the sister of the massive one in Samut Prakan — located in south Bangkok).  Now, the other airport that I refuse to spell does a pretty good job, too.  However, I went from a traffic jam, to walking 400 meters to the airport, weaving through traffic (and I mean pedestrians) and got to my counter exactly 3 hours before check-in.  Wow! Oh, throw in a workout I had this morning  that included a crazy amount of arms and legs (which equates to soreness) and there you have it! It hasn’t even reached 10am and it feels like I’ve been awake for 8 hours already.

Arrival

I was a little bit scared about my hotel (S Park Design Hotel) because I received a number of emails from them….same emails.  I received the 8th one over the course of four days and said, “guys, I’ve already emailed you! What’s happening?”  Thanks to my instinct, I checked booking.com’s messaging screening through my email and they had responded to me, giving me their whatsapp number.  So, I contacted them and they confirmed everything with suburb service!

[9:34 AM, 6/13/2018] S Park design: Hello Mr. Arsenio Buck, Thank you very much for contacting me.
[9:37 AM, 6/13/2018] S Park design: We will be there waiting for you for sure. Actually, we planned to pick you up even if we might not have your flight number. Anyway, it is perfect now. By the way, my name is Phonepasith PHENGVILAY, Executive Assistant Manager. My team and I are delighted to be part of your good stay at our hotel. See you soon. Take care.

Now that’s some damn good service!

Flight Mayhem

Ascending was already a pain in the ass, but what was even worse was descending.  We were flying around some pretty dark clouds and it was tossing the plane as if was a god damn toy.  After descending to about 1000 feet, we could finally see the ground.  What guided me through this turbulence? Aloe Blacc’s “The Man.” LOL!

Failed Visa — Again!

I had no idea that I needed a visa on arrival.  Last time I came to Laos, which was three years ago, I didn’t need a visa.  But because I didn’t check this time around, I was in for a rude awakening.  I had Lao Kip (local currency) and I brought only 66$ with me.  The visa was more than half of that, so now I have about 20$ USD left! DAMNIT! I’m so pissed because I didn’t learn from my past mistakes!

The Arrival At My Hotel

And these are the days I live for.  The overwhelming sense of joy when meeting such gracious people who are willing to help you.  From the customer service, to the hospitality.  It’s pretty remarkable to see the willingness of other people’s actions.  All smiles (just as last time), funky hotel (pictures down below), and a very quaint room.  This is only the beginning!

image1.jpeg

The rest of the stay is in my podcast. I don’t want this blog being insanely long.

Podcast

Another Emergency Vacation: Vientiane, Laos!

Oh-EMMMM-GEEEE! Clowns, angry women on their phones, changing of rules, hair-flipping…I’m over it.  Yes, I’m talking about the same thing I’ve always battled with immigration here in Thailand.

However, let us be grateful today.  I’m so unbelievably grateful because that’s the last time I will ever have to take that bus, the moped taxi, and step into some a toxic atmosphere such as the department of hell in Thailand.

Now, in saying that, here we are! This is literally my 3rd travel this year. LOL! Ok, Singapore was a day, but it was the first time going there!

This time is a serene, therapeutic country that has lots of smiling individuals.  This remote country at the top of Thailand is called Laos — which is the land of smiles.

Yes, Thailand is not the land of smiles.  That was 50 years ago.  Laos is the new Thailand.  I’ve been here before to get a visa (which was a pain in the ass), but it was surely memorable and they have some nice spots scattered throughout the small city.

Pictures, stories, maybe even interviews…are coming your way!

Podcast

TOEFL: Main Clause Structure; Partial & Complete Main Clauses

If a sentence has a subject, it must have a verb unless it’s a double-comparison structure.

If a sentence consists of a main clause and subordinate clause, each should have a subject and a verb.

The clause word is placed at or very near the boundary between the main and the subordinate clause.

Sentence Breakdowns

  1. Packet switched networks ___________ information so that it can be remembered.

a. organize

b. organic

c. organization

d. organizing

 

2. As some grow older, many children __________ bonds to living things such as birds, dogs, cats, and other animals (depending on the country).

a. forms

b. form

c. forming

d. a form

 

3. Always ____________ the necessary documents to their original place as soon as you remove them.

a. return

b. a return

c. it is returned

d. they return

 

4. According to a survey, test scores ___________ influentially in university admission decisions.

a. may figure

b. may be of figure

c. may be a figure

d. have a figure

 

5. ______________ are vibrations or a main accent in music or poetry.

a. It beats

b. Beats

C. There are beats

d. That beats

 

Youtube