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Trippin' in ChinaMy father and I were fortunate enough to find an honest cabbie who later became our tour guide for 2 days around Tai Shan. Many Chinese cab drivers are crooked toward Western tourists and rip them off. They drive you in a big circle even, cuz you don’t know the area and the structures look all the same to you, and drop you off like 45 minutes later. But later you look around and off in the distance you discover some tall landmarks that are oddly familiar from your starting point, and ultimately realize you could’ve just walked to your nearby destination in a third of the time, doh!
Our amusing cabbie was an awesome dude in his mid-20s. He kept blasting Chinese rock music in the car. I had cds with me back then and when I showed him my “Def Leppard’s Greatest Hits” cd, his eyes popped out and he was in air guitar and air drum rock heaven after that. At the end of our visit there, the cabbie asked me if I’d accept his Chinese rock music cd (probably a
The Long Walk HomeI'm not very religious, but I believe in guardian angels and that the one assigned to me is usually bored and makes any regular outing for me into an ignorant yet amusing misadventure. Yesterday I went to meet a man named Edmond about a car for sale. I am looking for an AWD (All Wheel Drive) SUV (Sports Utility Vehicle) for my next misadventure in a cold and harsh climate.
Yesterday was a typical summer day in Chicago: sunny, hot and humid. I brought a bottle of water with me so I wouldn't die of thirst. I wore a baseball cap, t-shirt, shorts and heavy duty walking slippers. I decided to take a train and a bus to the location. Due to the bad traffic, it took me exactly 1 hour to travel just 4.5 miles (7 km).
The man I was supposed to meet was late, so I decided to walk around the area he told me to meet him. I wandered 2 blocks east and I found a lot with cars in repair/disrepair by an auto shop. I found the car that was for sale online (on Craigslist). Unlike the car in the photograph
Layover in JapanOnce I was planning a trip to Asia, so I went to my travel agent in an Indian neighborhood. Chicago is the most segregated city in the US, thus people of the same nationality oftentimes reside in the same area.
In Chicago, most of the Indian stores and restaurants are along one street called Devon Avenue. If you don't mind the strong smell of spices coming from the restaurants and stores, you can find many bargains in that area. Indian people are shrewd businessmen, so prices are competitive.
I asked the travel agent if she can get me a layover to Japan on my way to China...Success! She was able to book me a one-day layover in Japan. It was about the same price as tickets without a layover. Included was a free hotel stay and a free meal to boot, woohoo!
A month later, I arrived at the Kansai Airport in Japan. It is an airport actually built on a man-made island. There is even a hotel on this "island". Perhaps it wasn't a busy travel season at the time, because I could tell many rooms w
The Sweater with a StoryOne day years ago, my grandpa died. My grandma gave me some of his belongings: his bed and all of his gold wrist watches. Somehow I knew I couldn't keep any of his stuff. I gave the fairly new bed/mattresses and one watch to my neighbor friend Big Ralph. And I gave the two other gold watches to another friend Kyu. My friends wondered why I was being so generous because I could have sold the watches for a lot of money. When asked, I simply replied, "I dunno why. I just can't keep it. You want the stuff or not?"
Years later, my two friends worked at an antique shop. They would return to the store with boxes full of old stuff. One summer day I dropped by, and I don't know why, but I was drawn to one of the boxes. I looked inside. The box basically contained a bunch of old clothes. I don't like the idea of wearing used clothing, but I dug into this box until I discovered a gray sweater. The sweater had a small triangle shape sewn just under the collar area. (All the sports sweaters I
Videogame HauntingIn Chicago, I lived alone in a basement apartment two doors away from my parent's house. Like my parent's house, this apartment building was also haunted. My cousin Franz would come over sometimes to play videogames with me. His hand-eye coordination skills weren't as good as mine and he was kind of a simpleton, so I won most of the time.
One afternoon, we're playing and I'm winning as usual. All of a sudden we hear a loud "Bang! Boom! Thump!" coming from my washroom just across from my bedroom. With his videogame controller, Franz immediately pauses the game. I unpause it with my controller. He pauses it again and asks, "Whoa. What was that?" I reply, "It sounded like something fell down and landed in the tub. I dunno. C'mon let's play." With a fearful look on his face, Franz says, "No. Let's check it out." I'm like, "No! Let's play!"
My cousin drops his videogame controller onto the floor and just stares in the direction of my washroom. "Okay, okay. I'll check it out," I tell him. I
Haunted Railroad TracksIn Evansville, Indiana there's a famous haunted library called the Willard Library. One day I saw a ghost show on tv and the library was mentioned. So I went online and googled it. The library even has live webcams and a chat room.
I stared at the images and live webcam video for 30 minutes: I was so excited! What did I see? Nothing! Feeling cheated and skeptical, I looked around the website and I noticed there was even a chat room. There was one person in the chat room named Jennifer from Indiana.
Neither of us ever visited the library btw. We became chat friends and we kept in touch over the years. She would send me handwritten letters while I would send her little boxes of inexpensive gifts (an assortment of strange goofy gadgets mostly) for her birthday or Christmas.
My aunt, uncle and grandma live in San Antonio, Texas. Jenn later moved to the same city. I kept telling her I'd visit, but I kept putting it off. Last year around Thanksgiving was my grand
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