9 Things With Strangers That Changed My Life Forever.

This post was inspired by Jas, a friend of mine who writes a blog on Thoughts And Views That Matter in our society today. She posted a picture on my Facebook as picture below. This got me into thinking deep, am I really a person who spend my life doing weird things with strange people ? I took some time off to reflect. I am not sure where to begin, but I do have many stories to share from my travel experiences. This will surely make you think on how rewarding it is to accept the universe as it is.

Thanks, Jas. For this wonderful piece.

I am sure many of you encountered interesting incidents during your travels. Do share it and I will see you in the comment.  

9 Things With Strangers That Changed My Life Forever. 

1. NZD $ 1 for 1 minute of hot shower, can I make it? 

It was on a cold morning in Taupo, New Zealand. Me and Angie, a stranger at first then became my travel buddy decided to clean ourselves after days of not having proper shower. This was when we were traveling constantly on the road driving from one place to another spending nights sleeping in the car by a random neighborhood. We were happy to finally have a nice hot shower that we excitedly looking forward to at a public facilities. We were blessed to have the whole space to ourselves, including an all equipped toilet with hair dryer, A luxury we never had in a long time. As we got into the shower, hot water was running down cleaning all the dirts we collected. Merely 1 minute passed, we felt the water was no longer hot. It turned into freezing cold water. We felt something was not right. Since I was having shampoo on, Angie put on her towel, braved the cold and clarified with the attendant. Apparently hot shower was being offered for the first one minute only. Remaining minutes will be on our own with the cold shower. No complaints as it was a luxury to us, we happily jumped in joy cleaning ourselves under the freezing cold water. Angie and I still laugh about it when we met recently recalling our journey.

Angie ( left) & I ( right)

2. The Bollywood beats.

When in India, do what the Indians do. So we did ! Jyoti and I decided to watch a new released Bollywood movie, Agneepath. It was not being shown back home in Malaysia yet. Since we were not well versed on how things work when it comes to Bollywood, we decided to treat our tuk tuk driver, Mr Ali who took us on our day tour around Jaipur to this movie. We got on his tuk tuk, rode under the cold winter night, got our tickets, and watched the movie with good experience on the Bollywood craze. We had to bare with the rain in the cold winter night riding back to hotel before bid good bye to Mr Ali. Till we see you again, Salam Namaste !

Related :
Our movie tickets.

We were so ready for Bollywood!

Jyoti ( left ) & Mr Ali ( right)

3. A date with a Chinese guy.... uhh ?

This happened at Hot Water Beach, New Zealand. When a local Kiwi guy saw this lonely Chinese guy all by himself, He decided to introduced him to me and Angie. So that we can all keep each other company. An Asian guy with two Asian girls eh ? The Kiwi guy then left after He did his job with a wink, trying to indicate what ? I did not bother. Anyway, it was a good time spent getting to know a new friend from China. We ended up going for a hike the next day, which was cool. I do not know what happen to him or where he went after that day.

4. Unexpected hotel room discount !

Being an avid runner, My friends and I registered for Penang Bridge International Marathon 2014 which will take place in weeks time at this point of writing. Accommodations are mostly fully booked during this time of the year. I managed to secure 2 rooms for us with the price of RM 58 each. Since I was in Penang few weeks back, I managed to stop by to check if our reservation is secured. Upon confirming on the rooms, the receptionist said that the price is RM58 each room. It is not a surprise since prices went up recently with the economy. I mentioned to him it used to be RM50 each room when we were there for the same running event last year. He then agreed to offer me RM50 each room without having me to ask further. I did not see that coming, at all. How cool is that ?

5. Luxury of a stranger's house.

Traveling in New Zealand driving alone, often left me spending nights sleeping in my car to save on accommodation cost. I parked by a neighborhood outside a house to call it a night. Not long before the owner came back and was being suspicious on my presence. He came out to check on me. I assured him that I came with good intention to park and sleep in my car. His wife then followed through to see what was going on. They both were kind enough to offer their backyard for me to park my car and spend the night. Before I was getting ready to sleep in my car, they decided that I could use their daughter's room to sleep comfortably, help myself to the shower with a fantastic breakfast the next morning before I continue my journey to Christchurch. The wife then gave her dad's contact number and address who is living in Christchurch in case if I needed any help. I was sick at that time, that was when this lovely family offered me more than shelter to keep on going. This is one of the greatest time in my life.

6. A Stranger who transformed me

Spending the last few days in Colombo, Sri Lanka before returning to Malaysia brought me to surprise by this stranger. I was tired after traveling for one month in Sri Lanka, tired of checking the 'must-see' list. I decided to take a day off from being a tourist to relax by walking around town. Came a stranger from across the street approached me and stroked up a conversation. Nothing new to me since I got that a lot from being a solo traveler. He introduced himself by showing me his office ID explaining that he is a tour guide working for Sri Lanka Tourism Ministry. I did not buy it, why should I anyway ? Trust is not something that came by easily. I was tired and hoping not to have this guy to ruin it. Little did I know, he offered to be my tour guide around Colombo for FREE !!! I did not jump at it since it might be a trap. Let's just say I decided to trust God and give this guy a chance to show me what I have to loose if I spend a day with this stranger. We spent the day visiting around, talking on history, politics, religion and culture. I did have a relaxing day after all.

7. Too rich to pay NZD $ 0.50 washing powder for laundry.

This stranger who then became my travel buddy decided to forgo from putting NZD $ 0.50 into a box for a scoop of washing powder to do our laundry when we put up a night at Raglan Backpacker, New Zealand. She said why must we pay when nobody is watching? I did not agree and told her to do what she wants to do, as long as our laundry gets done. At the end of the day, we had all of our laundry hanging across the room with white spots on it. Turns out to be the washing powder did not dissolved entirely during washing. Thank you for making the memory count, and remember we still owe them 50 cents, Angie !

8. Microwave my lunch box, please ?

Learning how to cook saves me a lot from eating out. A fellow couchsurfer, Vasya who was being hosted by the same host as me cooked and packed up the lunch box before we head out for a day cycling around Auckland. Vasya persuaded me to approached the owner, an elderly Korean man of a convenient shop downtown to heat up the lunch box for us. Never in my life someone told me to do that. Neither had I thought about that idea. Brilliant ! So I stepped up to the challenge and got the Korean man to do me a favor, he agreed to it. We had a chat while waiting for the microwave. He realized there wasn't any greeting from Malaysia posted on his wall of fame behind the register counter. I was then being handed a paper and marker pen. My lunch was done, and he was a happy man with a new addition to his wall of fame.

Find me if you can :)

9.  A rewarding scam that ended in a Police Station.

It was my last night in Yangon, Myanmar during December 2013 before I was scheduled for my flight to Malaysia. I was already running out on money. With few dollars left before my flight out of Myanmar , I have to survive with what I had. I took the opportunity to visit Golden Rock which is one of the 'must-visit' places while there. It was not an easy travel since I had to take the train, bus, motorcycle, and a truck to get myself there after missing the direct bus. Bummer ! Things started to get interesting when a guy approached me offering bus ticket service to Golden Rock after arriving at Bago train station. There were few other tourists that was buying tickets there, so I guess it was save to give it a go. Paid my tickets and they took me on a motorbike to where the bus supposed to arrive to take me to Golden Rock. I got suspicious when the guy was trying to stop anyone on the road be it a car, truck, bus or motorbike by paying them a sum of money to take me there. I knew it instantly that it was a scam that I paid for. I demanded for a refund immediately and got back my money tho it was not a 100% refund. I stopped a bus myself and traveled with my own rules thereafter.

Once I was done, trying to get the last train at 7pm from Bago to Yangon back to my hostel. No train showed up. Obviously I had missed the last train out. The guy that got me into the scam ran after me recognizing me from the morning incident. I got furious and walked into the Police Station located next to Bago train station. I was tired from the cheating and lying, not able to get on the last train and there I was stranded in the dark. Frustration got me to burst out in tears in front of all the police officers. I explained to the officers on what happened. They then instructed the guy who got me into the scam to arrange a transport to send me back safely to Yangon with a full expense paid ride along with some pocket money to keep me going.  He was feeling terribly bad for my experience and apologized. I arrived my hostel safely and flew out with a real life experience that I will never forget. 

Simple things like these has since then changed my life forever. Why don't you give it a go.

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  1. I wish 1 day I can travel around the world like u...btw...juz loved ur blog...

    1. Hi zarachocwalnut : I am sure you can do it. One step at a time. That's how we all started. Thank you for supporting my blog. Hope to hear your experience soon. :)


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