Tales of Travel Trials & Tribulations

Story #1

Summary: I had a bag full of souvenirs stolen from me while in Olongapo.

While checking into my hotel room, I placed my bag of souvenirs on the floor between my body and the reception desk. After being handed my room key I went to my room. I forgot that I had left my bag on the floor. When I returned to the reception desk, it was gone. I knew the contents of the bag equalled about forty dollars. The next morning when I was eating breakfast at the  hotel a couple who also was staying at the hotel was having breakfast. I overheard them say “forty dollars.” Not wanting to make a scene I just politely walked over and chitchatted with them. I suspected they had picked up my bag, but I did not bring up the subject. I chalked up losing my bag to my being careless. Neither did I want to accuse them nor did I want to remember that I had been careless. I just let it go. To make matters worse, the guy was also from my native city of Los Angeles. If they got my souvenirs I hope they enjoyed them.

Story #2

Summary: The taxi driver who took me to the Mall of Asia gave me counterfeit currency as change.

I jumped in the taxi, but hadn’t exchanged much of my currency for smaller bills and coins. Just before exiting the taxi, after arriving at my destination, I pulled out a one thousand peso bill.  The taxi driver sighed, grunted, and gestured as if I had presented him with a new burden — making change for a large bill. He searched his car and found change. Unfortunately for me much of it was counterfeit (unbeknownst to me at the time). After receiving the money, I entered the Mall of Asia and went shopping. At my favorite Japanese store, Muji, I was rudely awakened by the revelation the cashier made: “This money is fake. Where did you get it?”

Story #3:

Summary: Little children tried to pickpocket me along a rode in Angeles City.

As I walked along the rode, I could hear little feet behind me. I could also hear giggles. I had heard about little pickpockets like these kids so I was prepared because earlier I tucked my money into my sock. One barefoot child tried to distract me while the other reached into my pocket. To no avail there was nothing there. Ha!

Story #4

Summary: Never ride a horse drawn carriage in Manila.

Although I ignored the warnings to not ride the horse drawn carriages posted conspicuously in the hotel lobby, I rebeled in search of adventure, and suffered. I got on the carriage and the driver said he would take me to my destination for “fifty”. I thought he meant fifty filipino pesos, but he had fifity US dollars in mind. I told the driver to take me to an ATM where there were two policemen. I pled my case and the police told the man to accept the money I was willing to pay, which was a fraction of what he demanded. Never take the horse drawn carriage in the Philippines. This is what those warnings were there for.

Story #5

I spent too much for a hotel room.

I booked a stay at a decent hotel room on the advice of a friend. His advice was not to get stuck at Manila’s airport. To avoid this occurrence, he advised me to book a room and have someone from my hotel pick me up at the airport. I did. After finding that another friend of mine was also in Manila, I inquired about where he was statying. Come to find out he was paying a fraction of what I paid per night at the quaint hostel. Upon learning this I immediately made resrvations at the Pink Manila hostel where I remained for the remainder of my stay. The hotel cost about $100 per night while the Pink Manila hostel was $14 per night.

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