Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: International Guest Speaker: Life Coach — Ramona — From Romania!

After a friend request was accepted, I realized that Ramona was a life-coach from Romania and living in Dublin.  From that moment was the inception of a life-long friendship that could bring so much to human beings around the planet.  I’m super grateful for not only telling my story through personal development, but making connections all over the world.  I’m introducing you another International Guest Speaking Podcast today! Enjoy!

 

Things we discussed:

  • Ramona’s love for the English language.
  • Why she went to Ireland.
  • When she started learning English.
  • Her love for Romania after visiting.
  • What her appreciation of Romania was from a different perspective.
  • Problems acclimating in Ireland?
  • Becoming a life-coach.
  • Irish castles and beautiful Irish landscapes.
  • Irish cuisine and Irish soup.
  • Similarities between Romanian and Irish sense of humor.
  • Her visits to other parts of European countries.
  • Bali from a different perspective.
  • Recommendations of well-known places to visit in Romania.
  • The country Georgia and its beautiful language.
  • Her visit to Bulgaria.
  • Subconscious mind.
  • Next adventures.

Thank you for listening!

Thanks for joining me and please share it!

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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!

Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Special – United States Visa Interview Questionnaire

Three of my students had gone in to take an interview at the United States Embassy in Bangkok.  Two of them passed and one of them failed.  How did she fail? Well, the common excuse is “he spoke to fast.”  However, that’s exactly what happened.  She wasn’t able to pick up the -wh question’; therefore, it lead to her answering the question wrong and by the second question came, it was over. She lost.  So, this podcast will feature me saying the questions at 1.0 speed (natural English speed), and the questions are just for extra practice.

What are your hobbies?

Why do you want to be a ____________?

Who is your inspiration?

What’s your name?

Why do you want to go to America?

What is an internship?

How do your parents/family feel about you working abroad?

What do you think about American culture?

What do you usually do in your free time?

Have you ever been to America? When? Where? What did you do?

Do you have any friends, families or relatives in the US?

Do you have any work experience?

How long are you going to stay in america?

What are you going to do in America?

What’s the internship all about?

What do you expect from this problem?

When are you coming back?

Do you stay/live with your family?

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.

Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 1 – First Conversation: Thai & French Accents!

This was a podcast I did at the very beginning stages of my podcast.  I’m finally getting around to developing podcast art and making shownotes for this particular podcast, so I hope you guys enjoy this one!

International Guest Speakers on French and Thai accents

Things we discussed:

  • Introduction.
  • Learning German and Japanese.
  • Gigi’s experience in India.
  • Indian cuisine.
  • French & Thai cuisine.
  • General diet of Thai people.
  • French diet.
  • Famous French cuisine.
  • French red wine and other alcoholic beverages.
  • The French host’s favorite wine and champagne as well as prices.
  • Talking about Thai wine, champagne and other alcoholic beverages with its prices.
  • Recommendation of two places in Thailand for visitors to visit.
  • Recommendation of two places in France for visitors to visit.
  • Other alternatives and places in Thailand for visitors to visit.
  • Traveling plans and Songkran.

Podcast

Thank you for listening!

 

Thank you so much for listening to this podcast. Please write down some feedback and comments. Please share this podcast to your social media.

 

Links:

 

 

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

 

Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 3 – Episode 20 – Speaking Skill – Speak About A Journey

So, this will sound a bit similar to IELTS speaking task 2, but it’s not going to be academic, just a very laid back story-telling time.  This is great for non-NES speakers in order to tell a story about where they have traveled with someone else. If you’re taking a class, this is even better to give a presentation about.  So, because I have so many crazy a$$ stories that I’ve told before in regards to going to Bali, Maldives and other places, I decided to tell a story about my Hawaiian trip with a college buddy back in 2013…and what a trip this was!

Questions

  1. Where was the journey to?
  2. How did you travel?
  3. When was it?
  4. Who went?
  5. Who had chosen the destination?
  6. How had you prepared for the journey?
  7. What special thing(s) happened on the journey?
  8. What were you doing when these things happened?
  9. How did the journey end?
  10. How did you feel about what happened?

Hawaii

I set off on this journey on a Thursday evening (if I’m no mistaken). I met a friend in Phoenix, Arizona and we went to Buffalo Wild wings the night before, got two hours of sleep, then left her home around 4am.  We made our way to Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix, and there was the ticketer, talking about Nemo and looking like he had about 10,000 grams of caffeine.  We waited for our plane to take off, a very small one at that, and we needed to get to LAX to transfer planes.

Because LAX, at the time, was the biggest eyesore in all of America, it proved just that.  we landed and we couldn’t disembark the plane for at least 30 minutes, reducing our layover time to a mere 15 minutes.  We ran about 800 meters to the next gate, arrived there gasping for air, and the two workers pointed at us and said, “Arsenio, Alissa…on the plane now.” As soon as we entered, the door was shut and that was the end.  We nearly missed our plane because America….is America. Lol.

After arriving and surprisingly getting our luggage (thought our luggage wouldn’t make it), we got on Speedi shuttle and made way to Pagoda Hotel, the cheapest and ugliest hotel on the island (lol).  We went to Waikiki the first day, dragging ourselves there because the lack of the sleep we had, and we ended up going into a coma around 6-7pm and woke up 12 hours later.  When I woke up, I went running around the island to get the feel of the air.  If I can recall, we did a couple of things before going on a snorkeling trip to Hanuama Bay (probably misspelled it, but can’t be bothered with correcting it). This crazy Vietnamese driver gave us our snorkeling gear and we went into the bay, which was magnificently beautiful and lavished with turquoise waters and ultra-gorgeous fish.  After our long day there, we did a couple of others things before going out at night.

The night time came and we walked into — let’s just say — the wrong bar.  I was playing pool with three women, Joy, who ended up becoming a great friend of mine to this day — and Alissa.  I realized that men were hitting on me, so I quickly asked Joy if it was THAT TYPE OF BAR…she said “ughhh yeah!” I ran down the stairs and went home with Alissa, completely inebriated and woke up feeling like pure hell.

That morning I wanted to cancel all activities (rent-a-car and go around the island), but Alissa was adamant and aggressive with getting the car.  So, we hopped in a taxi, and I quickly got car sick and complained the entire way there.  We got out, walked into the car dealership, and there I saw an African American male wearing a fat rock on his finger.  He was a wide receiver for the University of Hawaii, and after glancing at me when I walked in the door, he knew I had a rough night.

Soon after that, Alissa and I began driving around the island and I got sick — AGAIN! I told her to pullover a many of times and we started to argue because she said she didn’t want to pull over anymore.  LOL. We went to the pineapple plantation, Aulani Disney Resort, Turtle Beach, and a few other places — all spectacular beyond belief.

The day before we left, it was pretty relaxing and we met up with Joy again that evening.  It was a little head-scratching because three men approached our table and act as if they knew my friends, but they didn’t. We call these people “pick-up” artists….such a cringing couple of hours.  Japanese tourists were everywhere and tried smooching on a friend…and I just laughed the night away.

That next day we had to check out the hotel early but our flight left at 9pm.  We sat in the lobby for some time, but we also went to the movies.  Nonetheless, it was a journey back (and we had to land in DRAB SALT LAKE CITY) before I went to Arizona, and back to Vegas.  That was the last time I had seen Alissa for four years (my adventure back last year), but it was the most memorable journey of my life.

Podcast

Transcription ESL Podcast #20

 

Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: International Guest Speaker – Marwa of Egypt!

I’ve been wanting to get someone on from Egypt, and I finally have!  Introducing Marwa, someone who speaks three languages (two of the most difficult in the world) as she talks about wondrous Egypt, things to do, places to go, climate, and a few other things.  She was inspired to learn English by the TV. series — “Friends.” Podcast down below!

 

Things we discussed:

  • Introduction.
  • Guest speaker and learning German.
  • Reasons for why she enjoyed learning German.
  • Talked about learning the Arabic language.
  • Differences in Arabic dialect in Egypt, Tunisian, Moroccan and standard arabic.
  • How she developed her English.
  • American TV series.
  • How she developed her American accent.
  • Egypt in general.
  • How to travel in Egypt?
  • Weather in Egypt.
  • Egyptian sandstorms.
  • Shared her thoughts on English learning and English communication in Egypt compared to native speakers.

Podcast

 

Thank you for listening!

Thank you so much for joining me for this podcast. Please do write down some feedbacks and comments. Please do share this podcast to your social media.

Links:

Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Special – IELTS Part III – Benefits of International Travel

Welcome back to another Part III! Today is a follow up from what I did in an earlier Facebook live video.  Here are the topics and look what I wrote  (which I recommend) for each one.

 

What do you think people can learn from traveling to other countries?

When I first traveled to Australia in 2009, I was introduced to an idea.  An idea that would change the rest of my life.  Being born and raised in Las Vegas, what I saw (in the world) was just Las Vegas and other parts of America.  When I went to Sydney, I saw what the world really had to offer, and that’s when everything changed.  Learning by traveling is the best way to open yourself up to all people of color, cultural backgrounds, social/religious beliefs.

Can traveling make a positive difference to the economy of a country? How?

Thailand has had over 20 million visitors the past couple of years, toppling the charts and surging to the #1  tourist destination hotspot in the world.  The economy in Bangkok is SOUND.  When I lived in America, I constantly heard about how bad the economy was and is heading, but in Thailand, the chatter of the economy is minute compared to other countries. If anything, it’s surging.

Do you think society can benefit if its members travel to different countries? Why?

I’ve been around Thai students who have had the opportunity to travel to the dirty south (south of the United States).  The culture they experienced there changed their entire mindset on African American people versus the perception they used to have of them (not always great).  Also, if people would travel to parts of Africa, Europe, Asia, South America, statistics probably show that those individuals are more open to accepting people of other cultures versus those who have never traveled and live around one predominant group of people.

Podcast

YouTube

Traveling Pod: Episode 10 + Vlog – Marina Bay Sands & More

The amount of nervousness that had come over me en route to the airport was insane.  When I checked my feelings to see what I was worried about, it’s always about passport control.

When I landed at Hong Kong International Airport, I was walking before being accosted by an immigration officer, asking me where I was going and other “interrogation” type questions before letting me walk off.  I giggled saying, “boy, how did the image of blacks become this bad?”  When I was clearing immigration, an officer tried persuading me to say “are you with this guy with the fake passport?”  I continued to laugh and say, “wtf, no.  american passport holder here.”

Shortly after getting my luggage, another two officers approached me, asked me where I was from, and put ONLY MY LUGGAGE AND NONE OF THE OTHER HUNDREDS through the x-ray.

Just disgusting.  Now you can see that “traveling in Asia while black” is UNBELIEVABLY DIFFICULT and not even worth it (last time ever stepping on any kind of Chinese soil).

So, this is probably what piled on top of my nervousness.  From checking into the counter (horrible experience with yet again — Air Asia a few months back), security (never a problem in Thailand…amazingly), and then passport control (a lady at Don Meung looked through all of my pages the last time I was at Don Meung International).

So, to stop this from happening, if you’re a color of any kind, NEVER TRAVEL TO DON MEUNG INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT! Avoid at all costs.

Why?

Well the main airport (Suvanabhumi — and I butchered the spelling) has never given me problems.  Coming back is a different story, because they sometimes ask legitimate questions, but that’s about it.

So, with all that nervousness and a 3-tier process, I cleared immigration perfectly with no problem.  BOOM!

Scoot – Delays & Horrible Turbulence

I’m writing this on the airplane, and my goodness, this is why I take big planes.

Sure, the airplane geeks will come out and say “it doesn’t matter.”  Yes, it does.  Cathay Pacific had an ultra-gorgeous airbus.  We took off in bad weather and it was still smooth sailing.  Smaller planes bear the brut of hell.  Honolulu-Maui, Kuala Lumpur-Bangkok,  Bangkok-Phuket…..all were tiny and pathetic.  LOL (had to laugh).

Anywho, Scoot had the most preposterous delays (I’ll speak about it in the podcast).  Nothing else to say there.  This will be my last time with Scoot though.

The Return

Wonderful airport, amazing transport system, easy check-in, and just wonderful all around. YouTube and podcast down below!

Listen to “Traveling Pod: Episode 10 – Marina Bay, Environment and More!” on Spreaker.