Traveling Pod: Episode 9 – Singapore for The 6th!

Here we go! The 6th country of the year.  Boy, what the hell is going on.  To be honest, I’m in a transition phase right now with work, and have been seen the dawn of the New Year.

Because this phrase has been ongoing, it requires me to leave the country often because of visa complications.  However, now that I have a reputable agency working on my visa and documents, when I come back that following week, I’ll be getting my one year visa and I won’t have to travel for the rest of the year (I think 6 times is enough).

So, why Singapore again, Arsenio? My happy ass got excited with jumping over a pond to Hong Kong and ended up having the most FORGETTABLE trip of my life.  Hong Kong is everything I didn’t WANT it to be, from the stereotypical immigration officers, to a wack ass hotel.  Sure, I met a nice individual there, but it was still….BLAH.

Should I go to Cambodia? Terrified.

Singapore is a safe trip and allows me to go to the main airport in Bangkok, (versus the dog house called Don Meung).  The main airport is connected with transportation that goes all the way to my condominium. I like my chances.

Singapore is going to be a trip of ME! Last time I went there I saw one of my ex-students, and now that she has grown up and forgot about her teacher (happens with youngsters, lol), I’ll go there to enjoy time by MYSELF and Vlog at the amazing Marina Bay Sands, a hotel I’ve always dreamed of seeing.

Now with having the ability to get outside the hotel and the area I’m living in, this could be a much more enjoyable trip compared to the last one.

Stay tuned for a variety of vlogs, instagram videos and other things that will be making their way here! Oh, and of course, a Ramble of Positivity!

The Big 1,000k! Thank You, Everyone!

Man, it’s been a long wait, but after this month, I’ve finally hit the 1,000 visitors mark on my website.  The majority of bloggers on here (and they shouldn’t deem themselves as just a blogger) go after the likes.  However, I rarely get likes on my post; in fact, I get people to get into my website and check out all my videos and stuff.

Yes, premium the premium and business plan are especially expensive, but once you’re able to put plugins from your podcast, Youtube, Paypal, PDF and other things on your website, it’s gold.

While I was looking at the analytics, the majority of my blogs (especially the “remember, no one ever kicks a dead dog”) have skyrocketed in the viewership category.  Also, the outside clicks, search link box, and other sources that people are finding my blog on….have gone up considerably over the past few months.

Just at the beginning of this year, I had maybe 500 views and 300 viewers.  I’m now at 2k views and 1k visitors.  You already know what my goal is…and I’ll keep that coming.

With that being said, I’m so grateful for all of you who have come onto my website.  Remember, don’t think short-term economics; think long-term impact.  Write on and continue looking for ways to grow!

The Latest Technological Trends & Innovations You Should Watch (Longread – 3/3)

The biggest thing that’s about to occur will be virtual reality or augmented reality in medical science where it allows doctors to make a better diagnosis and learn more about the function of human being’s organs that are deemed to be vital to doctors — especially in training of trainee doctors. With the power of virtual reality or augmented reality, it will lower cases of medical malpractice. Even VR technology can be used for online shopping and fully utilised in property purchase and tourism as a typical client or tourist could only display their intended products and tourist destination.

Learning about artificial intelligence is going to be magnificent because the ability to enhance intelligence.  With deep learning and artificial intelligence capabilities, Elon Musk seemed to be quite pessimistic as he envisioned judgment day like the 1990s famous science – fiction movie where robots were out on their mission to terminate humans (remember Terminator 2: Judgment Day). Ok, the US government, after all, isdoing R&D on artificial intelligence robots as their soldiers and high, technological defence weapons that may deploy into war in the future to come. Moreover, Google AI managed to defeat a professional Go player and Facebook previous AI technology research did bring some horror to the team by experimented their AI to code a software by automating it.

However, AI is capable of creating its own programming language to replace the programming language that the AI was originally unable to use.  The Facebook research team quickly shut down the experimented programme, prompting fears that something can happen. I think because AI is capable of self-teaching and defeated a professional Go Player that required creative thinking and critical thinking, most importantly, humans were biologically programmed genetically as a risk.  That’s what makes us unique and different from AI and other deep learning machines.

All isn’t lost with hope because PwC did research that AI is capable of creating many jobs for people to earn an income, despite many jobs becoming automated.  Many opportunities are already being laid on the table, provided we have the necessary skills to make ourselves employable once again. The real big thing will be the law of singularity which means the AI and the human brain would eventually merge and become known as the neutral link. Many futurists already foresaw it since the internet boom and being depicted by a Hollywood science-fiction movie where it was known as the human hybrid which you conversing with. A couple of years ago, despite Elon Musk’s pessimism about the AI, but, amazingly, he was interested to merge both the human brain built out of biological tissue with a supercomputer.

It is interesting to know about all these predictions by futurists, technologists, business leaders and venture capitalists. All I can say is that we are living in an exciting era that just like our great grandparents and our forefathers had witnessed the twi Industrial Revolutions in the late 18th century and the early 19th century, till the dawn of the 20th century where Henry Ford managed to master the production lines that were so perfect that he managed to increase his factory’s output and his workers’ productivity. This managed to bring these people from their farms and stuck in poverty into great urbanisation and ushered the new era of the 20th century and the 21st century as an age of the rise of Middle Class and Upper-Middle Class.

It is truly a good time to be alive to see history in the making once again and live with history. The Millennials, like me, are already the pioneer of a new way of doing things that don’t need to lock up in the old way of building a business and working place by leveraging the power of the interconnection and globalisation. This allows us to work with others through collaboration, to build new things, and bring social changes that are truly making a great impact as long as the Roman writer once said as he wrote Aeneid by Virgil “Fortune favours the bold….”

Hong Kong Airport Review

Airport Link = Arrival Hall

Well, my first experience coming to Hong Kong Airport was forgettable, but this experience was stellar.

When I got off the train, I literally walked 15 meters and I was greeted by an open-air arrivals terminal.  I thought it was spectacular to connect the train and even passenger drop-off (vehicles) directly to the arrival hall.  There were literally buses and vehicles just above the train, which is unbelievably efficient.  Not to mention that I got to the airport taking two trains across four islands in 30 minutes.  HK has the most efficient train system (that I’ve personally been in) in the world.

In Bangkok, check-in would have about 3 people.  With lines of 75 people, there would still be only 3 check-in queues, which is repulsive.  However, Cathay Pacific and HK Airport had 12…speeding up the lines and never being a problem.

Immigration

After going to Malaysia and being in line for 45 minutes, I realized how pathetic it was.  Hey, Los Angeles Airport, for visitors outside of America, is an absolute DISASTER! The lines are sickening! However, for American citizens, it’s a breeze.

Well, HK Airport was also a breeze.  The lines for “visitors” was a bit long, but only about 10 minutes.  When I came here, they didn’t have 2 officers per 75 people like KL Airport has.  They had 12-15 officers…speeding up lines considerably.

So real big props to immigration in HK!

Hot Place To Eat – Beef & liberty

Hands down, the best place I’ve ever eaten at since the taco house at San Francisco Airport.  Delicious beef burger (but without the fries) and a freshly squeezed juice.  This was just after immigration (on the same level).  I was a bit worried, because the worst experienced I ever had was at Vientiane Airport.  Luckily I had eaten at a family-owned soup shop before heading to the airport because there wasn’t a single eatery inside the airport.  Always do a little research before checking in.  At Bangkok Airport, I always get the usual pepperoni pizza (ridiculously delicious) at Dean and Deluca.  That’s another must have.  If you’re not a meat eater, these shops have a great variety of vege dishes.

FYI – If you go there, make sure you get someone who’s “non” foreign.  Apparently the foreign waiters and waitresses have terrible attitudes. LOL

Scenery

As I sit here, I’m looking at clouds blanketing the gorgeous green hills that are off at a very-close distance.  Skyscrapers, and I mean a many of them, are just before the mountains, some of them even on the mountains.  Cathay Pacific jets are coming in and out of the gates with yet again, a very efficient ground-working crew at the bottom.  This restaurant, which has a spectacular view, has great jazz music playing and wonderful decor.  What fascinated me the most was the girl who was sitting across from me.  She’s absolutely American (with a Chinese heritage) because she didn’t pull out her phone once and had only a book.  I miss those days.  Just to the left of me is a businessman making a powerpoint and another guy on his phone.

All in all, this is my second favorite airport.  I still think Bangkok Airport is quick with checking in, security and immigration (at times).  However, there’s a massive separation between 3 and 2/ 2 and 1 — 1 being Singapore Airport.

Nonetheless, I’m so grateful for having gone on this trip and I hope you guys enjoyed all the content I put out.  What’s next? Not exactly sure.  Have to handle some documents and get a new visa, and if I do, I might take some time off until October/November.

Traveling Pod #8: Esther Inspiration, Chinese Food, CBD, Mid-Level Escalators & The End + YouTube Video

Here I was before my travel vlog sitting in my hotel when I met a girl named Esther.  Esther is a teacher who wants to become so many other things, and hearing what she had gone through was utterly heart-breaking.  From physical abuse, to verbal abuse at a French school.  So many different things have happened in her life for years — and most of them bad.  However, the brilliance of this young individual and the ability to still be grateful — is amazing.  In the wake of so much that has happened in my life, and not trying to compare my life with hers, but how could I complain about the things I’ve been through when others are enduring in so much more pain and anguish.

When the evening rolled around, I met up with her and we had an absolute blast.  I had my first Hong Kong dish, and it was pretty good (although I prefer spicy because I just love Thai food so much now).  I noticed that the way people talk to each other is amazing. LOL! They scream and look angry all the time.  Well, not scream…those are the native Chinese, but even hearing some of Esther’s stories about the dispute because the two countries, was saddening. The way Chinese people are treated here is deplorable; and the way Hong Kong people are treated in China is worse.  Why can’t we just get along?!

After the restaurant, something caught my attention while walking.  There was this open area situated between gorgeous buildings, so I pointed to that area before walking there.  There it was!

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Here I stood in awe.  It felt like Sydney, Australia all over again, but with an insane amount of humidity.  This vibe and the energy that was in this square was something I’ve never felt before; and at the moment, I said, “oh boy, I hope Hong Kong isn’t growing on me!” Ha!

Mid-Town Escalators

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I’ve always wanted to see these things.  Because Hong Kong is a vertical city in its own right, they make it easier for people to get up hills (rather than going up the traditionally and stupendously hard way) by building escalators all around the Mid-Level area.  These escalators were rows of three, and apparently there are much more stretching all around the city.

Colonial Square

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Now, you guys already know how I’m not so particularly fond with the British (mainly because they’re deemed as gods in Asia for whatever reason), but this colonial (what looks like French to me) square at the top of the escalators, was amazing.  Groups of three sitting down and laughing, people doing their hair, taking pictures, and of course, it’s never a square without seeing a foreigner with his two children, frowned out of this world and angry….sitting down. LOL!

In that moment, everyone was enjoying but he wasn’t.  People simply miss out on life so much and it’s a damn shame.

We walked through some of buildings and found a quaint cafe situated just on the left side of where the picture was taken.  Filipino girl with top-notch service got us some drinks, and then I saw a guy who looked like an islander.  After having an amazing conversation, I wanted to ask him if he was Samoan.  First, I asked him where he was from.  He said the Philippines.  I said, “hmmm, big and with that hair?” He then went onto say, without me even asking him, “my father is half-Samoan.”

BOOM! I win!

All in all, I was walking home and captured one final photo before doing a podcast interview with an ecommerce entrepreneur.  That was the end of Day 2. Day 3 was just a relaxation day + the harbor.  The trip is officially over, unfortunately. So many more to come though!

Podcast

 

YouTube

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 8 – Head-Scratching Trip

Boy, documenting means everything because I can show everyone what I see what my own eyes.  Hooves of pigs hanging from shops, chicken feet right there on the sidewalk, an dan insane stench around every corner of the street.

What I just realized is as I’m writing this, I see a puff of black smoke that was let off by a passing by ship.  This relates to us descending in Hong Kong just yesterday.  As we were going down, we were going through a heavy amount of yellow smoke.  I thought it was dirty clouds (lol), but in fact, that was the smoke either from China, or the pollution from these ships.  AMAZING.

I walked into McDonalds (yes, after seeing what I mentioned above, I just want something that’s familiar) to buy some food and they were acting very odd.  I mean you can’t expect much apparently with customer service in any part of HK or China in general, but the cashier was so terrified to touch my hand when I was giving her change.  She pulled back her hand more and more and I was just dumbstruck at the whole ordeal.  After that, there was a man behind the counter who slammed my soda and my bag on the counter before slamming the piece of paper.

Just weird stuff. I’ve never seen any of this happen before in my life.  It’s all very new to me.  It doesn’t make them good or bad people, but after that happened, I sought refuge at my hotel and didn’t leave for the rest of the night.

I’m a little scared to go around at the moment, just because the amount of weird looks and things I’ve been seeing in general.  So, to reset my mind and everything that has happened, I decided to stay in for the evening and just relax. I don’t want to see anyone or anything for the rest of the day, do some meditation and working on me — just as I do continuously out there in my home in Thailand. So, let’s hope the next one to my travel blog is much better.

Traveling Pod: Episode 7 – Cathay Pacific, Hong Kong Impressions & Hotel

After writing blogs, posting videos, running into a student, and so many other things….including a big, succulent slice of pizza, I went to my gate and they were already boarding.  Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the 5-star airline they call Cathay Pacific.  The efficiency was magnificent getting on and we left right on time.

Aircraft A330-300 – an aircraft that flies middle-distance flights, was on hand today.  2-4-2 seat configuration with a fair amount of space was decent.  This was a bit different from the previous once I’ve flown before on Singapore Airlines.  Flight attendants were attentive and cooperative.  What was really fascinating was the Thai flight attendants for Cathay are very proficient-speaking compared to others.

Immigration — Racial Profiling Hell

Yikes.  This was definitely the worst I’ve ever been profiled since maybe America.  Sure, some instances had risen in Thailand where immigration profiled me, but it was just a dirty look.  When they got the information, they couldn’t do a damn thing but give me back my precious, American embedded document.

However, Hong Kong has its own share of racial profiling.  Upon leaving the airplane, I past two immigration officers before one asked me some dumb ass questions while I was walking in about a 15-second “wtf-are-you-serious” walk.  So, that was the beginning. They went to an Asian and a few others, too…so I felt better.

Boom, got to the long immigration line and was standing before an Indian man with a Chinese passport.  Didn’t really know what that was about, but then I got to the immigration counter, just before the Indian guy who was standing there for some time…and just like that, the immigration officer signaled a girl over and I guess they had to do a thorough background check on him.

The immigration officer then asked, “are you with him?”  Ummm….fuck no? Wtf? No…bitch.  I’m America. You’re going to put some respek on my name.  He cleared everything quickly and then I left to get my baggage.

This was the ugly part.  At the “do not declare” zone — a green zone where people go not declaring any goods — an immigration officer picked me out of the entire crowd, looked at my luggage and gave me passport to another filthy officer who then asked me to put my luggage through the scan.  No one else around.  I was trying to fester up the words at that moment to sarcastically destroy such a repugnant human being, but I kept my cool and said, “ok, you guys win this time.  Those were two quick, idiotic profiles….I’m coming with an insurmountable amount of heat, sarcasm and smiles next time.”

I know, “Arsenio, you will never win an argument.”  Completely agree.  That sense of peace and standing up for all colored people by telling white-media driven hooligans at immigration that what they’re doing is wrong — priceless.  That’s true fulfillment.

Critical Stage

Do two, racist, vehement government enforced monsters represent an entire nation of people? Absolutely NOT.  Can’t allow dumb shit like that control your mind, people.  This stage is very important because I know a lot of us, including myself, hold an entire country accountable for a pair of jackasses.  That’s unfair.  I’ve met some amazing Thai people….should they be held accountable for others’ actions?  Nope.  Completely unfair.  Now, of course the media demonizes the hell out of black people saying “one bad apple spoils everything.” Just because they do doesn’t mean everyone else should.

Let it go.  Let ridiculous situations go and never take it so personal because it’s not about YOU! It’s about what the media has made it, twisted it, and impressed on the minds of those who are completely weak and unwilling of having their own opinions.

Hotel – Lackadaisical Staff

The reviews were a whopping 8.7, but very sub-standard.  Hotel staff were unhelpful and the wait was ridiculous.  However, there was one lady who was friendly, so I’ll point that out.  No amenities, pools, bars, or ANYTHING.  So there’s no way I can give this place anything above a 6-6.5 because they lack everything.

As the days progress, it will get better. I’m sure of it.

Stay tuned!

Podcast

The Journey Before The Journey: Humble Pie!

Here we go! We’re going to kickoff the festivities on a serious note.

After getting off the AirportLink here in Bangkok, Thailand, I grabbed my luggage and went down three flights of escalators before reaching the base of the station.  Looking as incredulous as I possibly could at that given moment, I picked a direction and walked down the street with a huge smile on my face. A motorway starts at a perpendicular angle amount 100m off the train tracks…..so I decided to walk WITH the motorway (underneath it) and just looked for an opening into the neighborhood which was on the left side of me.

After walking about 200m or so, I found an opening and went down a very uninspiring street that looked rundown and drab (as a street would normally look like in the outskirts of Bangkok).  The looks came, the head-scratching followed, and then the “man, where the f*** am I, man” was dropped.  I walked, while dripping sweat, deeper into this neighborhood and made a right hand turn into a street that was full of homeless dogs, trash, and raw sewage.  As I was walking, a guy yelled out, “hey! Where you come from!” — drunkenly.  I told him and then a very soul-crushing stare followed — one that if you see something like this in Las Vegas, you run.

I reached a junction and saw two little girls playing outside with their full-tatted father (or someone) standing in the doorway with his hands above his head.  They said something, and then a woman helped me (in Thai) and said I can continue going on.  The girl, without any hesitation, was in awe that such a handsome man was standing before her very eyes (or so it looked).  She then said, “ok?” LOL! As if she helped me.  Giggles, smiles, and a continuation of what seemed like a super long journey ensued into the deeper crevices of what was turning out to be a slum.  The sewage was more widespread, clothes on clotheslines outside (no, this isn’t uncommon, but they were soaking up the stench of the neighborhood), and girls playing on wooden floors with a green river just below them.

I crossed a dilapidated sidewalk and came upon a temple while seeing some technical college students hanging around (I emphasize the technical college because these students are probably the worst as seen through the eyes of Thais).  Another broken bridge came, and finally I crossed the river before reaching my destination.

After that, I walked through this area again just to really get a few and to be grateful.  We really don’t understand how precious  things are in our life.  What I saw reminded me of the “green river,” which to this day, is still on my Instagram (spend 30 minutes scrolling and you’ll find it).  However, they seemed — happier.  They were playing outside, unattached and completely oblivious to their surroundings.  Remarkable, ey?

Stay tuned for days worth of blogs, travels and things coming from HK!

 

Spartan Beast Malaysia = Cancelled; Now What? Spartan Beast Australia!

I went from booking a ticket, thinking that my Spartan Beast in Malaysia was on a Saturday, to cancelling a plane ticket and realizing that plane tickets on other days were at extortionate prices.  YIKES!

What a disaster.  What seemed like a sure Spartan Beast and trifecta claiming weekend turned into a nightmare whereas I almost lost out on $167 dollars.

So, Arsenio….your health goals of 2018 have suffered a minor hiccup.  What are you going to do now?

Well, there were three options.  First, I’m grateful I don’t have to fly back to Malaysia at this point because I’m so sick of the garbage airlines (Malindo Air & Air Asia) that are ALWAYS late.  I’m sick of almost getting in mid-air collisions (on Malindo) and Air Asia) and terrible service — along with cardboard box seats.

So, got it.  “It’s a low-budget airline.”  Well, no more!

I’d much rather take some time off from these low-budget airlines than deal with lunacy of them always being late.

Well, I’m first very grateful for having experiences both airlines, but it’s time to spend a tad more and fly reputable airlines from a better airline that’s connected to the rail link, which is connected to the city.

Anywho, let’s focus on the matter…my Spartan Beast has been stopped, momentarily, and now it’s either the Beast in Thailand, Australia, or Malaysia (lol) in December (in the Malaysian/Singaporean border town of Johor Bahru). What will I choose?