Want to be Street Tough? Go to Naples

If you want to learn how to be street tough, you have to go to Naples.  Naples has a bad reputation for having high crime rate (albeit they tend to be the small crimes such as theft), high poverty, and just tough people that surround you.  Quite possibly, it’s one of the worst cities I travelled to.  Quite a contrast from having just been to Amsterdam, where I felt that I could be completely wasted and still be fine.

NaplesNear the Napoli Centrale Railway Station

We must first begin with a story.  While taking my flight from Amsterdam to Rome, I began reading a book called Travellers’ Tales ITALY, and the very first story was called The Fiume Runs Through It by Thom Elkjer.  In this short but true story, the author, an American, recalls his experiences of being utterly confused by how Italy works.  He wanted to go fishing, and was first told that there were no special laws for this, and proceeded to go get a fishing license.  He was told to call the Department of Hunting and Fishing, who then directed him to go to the post office (I know right?), where a fishing license for three days costed more than a year’s license in California.  When he tried fishing, there were signs posting everywhere saying no fishing.  He went back home and asked his Italian friend/host to help out (he laughed when he heard the author got the fishing license from the post office), who introduced him to another friend to get him another license and drove him to go fishing.  The author wanted to go up higher in the valley to fish, which the Italian friend said it requires special authorization.

The point of the story is, Italy in general is sloppy and confusing (Milan being perhaps the only exception).  It’s the family and brothers, not the law, that governs how society works.  The philosophy is as long as it’s done, it doesn’t matter how it’s done.  Professionalism, in the sense of preciseness, is lacking.  Maybe it’s the way of life or the culture, but as a person from a city where every minute is valuable, it feels frustrating sometimes. Continue reading Want to be Street Tough? Go to Naples

Do Not Sleep in Amsterdam Dance Event 2018

I first heard about Amsterdam Dance Event through a friend of mine in 2017.  I’ve always been curious about what Amsterdam was like, given that its been know for being liberal on many things.  Plus, I’m a big fan of techno and all sorts of house music (genres which I finally was able to narrow down to prior to this event) and what better event than ADE would supply these types of music?  Also, I’ve always been sort of dipping my toes into the music industry, and I thought this would be a great way to listen to conferences and learn more about what goes on in the music industry.

Having experienced both researching and experiencing the event itself, I would love to share my thoughts, experiences, tips and strategies on Amsterdam Dance Event so that if you plan on going, you would be prepared to do so.  I will split this post mainly into two sections – one about the conferences, and the other about the events.  You can also read more about my Amsterdam post if you’re interested about the city itself and also about my accommodation and getting around methods.

Continue reading Do Not Sleep in Amsterdam Dance Event 2018

Amsterdam, The Biking City of the World

Before I came here, I knew little of Amsterdam.  All I knew was the stereotypical features of the city – the Red Light District broadcasting prostitutes in public as if it was the norm, the acceptance and legalisation of all sorts of drugs, the passion with their cheese, and the immense clubbing and partying scene.  From this description alone, you would think that Amsterdam would be “the” Sin City of the world.  Yet, something about normalising and framing drug substances and prostitution as something ordinary makes them less of a vice.  When the rest of the world declares such things as evil and anyone who consumes it is evil, Amsterdam manages to give off the vibe that it is about moderation that’s the key to enjoying these vices in life, or at least the acceptance of it and that it isn’t all pure evil.  Perhaps Amsterdam is on to something… as humans we tend to want something we cannot have, so this may be the perfect example of reverse psychology.

Anyway, this post isn’t about debating the merits of accepting drugs and prostitution as a society, it’s about describing Amsterdam in general and tips and strategies to have you plan your trip well the next time you do come here.  Also, please note that the main purpose I came here was for Amsterdam Dance Event, so most of my time was actually spent at ADE, but I did manage to squeeze some time to do some of the touristy things.  I will have another post specifically on Amsterdam Dance Event right after this post.

Continue reading Amsterdam, The Biking City of the World

How Times Have Changed in Macau

The first time I was drunk, it was in Macau.

It was me and a group of 6 other friends.  We were 16.  We all bought some Tsing Tao’s, had some drinking games, and were testing our limits.  Needless to say, since we’ve never knew what it was like to be drunk before, I remembered that night my world was spinning like crazy, as if you were on a roller coaster that spun you around 360 degrees over and over again.  I remembered feeling really bad and wished that I was a better son to my mom, and that I was going to die. Continue reading How Times Have Changed in Macau

FUJI ROCK 2018: The Experience, Tips and Strategies, and More

This year was Fuji Rock’s 20th year hosted by SMASH Corporation Limited.

Fuji Rock 2018

This trip was somewhat unexpected for me.  I “raised my hand” to say that I would go and let my friend did most of the organizing.  Even about 2 weeks before the event, I hadn’t heard back from him about any confirmations for hotels, the flights, or even the event tickets themselves, so I thought that I wouldn’t be going to FUJI Rock after all.  Thank goodness that this trip actually went through, because I had a lot of fun. Continue reading FUJI ROCK 2018: The Experience, Tips and Strategies, and More

30 Hours in Kuala Lumpur

This has got to be my most spontaneous trip of my life, a 30 hours trip in Kuala Lumpur.  Here was how it started: an e-mail on Wednesday evening… I tried calling her to reconfirm but no one picked up.  Started making a pros and cons list at night as to whether I should go to Kuala Lumpur in case I was eligible.  I tried calling her again on Thursday morning and no one picked up.  Then I sent an e-mail.  OK if she doesn’t reply in a few hours then I’m not going.  All of a sudden, I receive an e-mail confirming my status to qualify for a pitch competition.  I gave it a few extra minutes thought, then I started looking for flights that could get me there on Thursday night and come back as early as possible on Saturday.

Kuala Lumpur feels like a city with massive potential and very urbanized, but lacks in being as modern as compared to its other Asian city neighbors.  The first thing that really caught my eye was the diversity of the people there in terms of race and ethnicity.  The second thing was… it did not feel as humid as Hong Kong and therefore not as hot as Hong Kong.  I actually quite enjoyed the heat there… maybe I just so happened was there on a day where it wasn’t as humid. Continue reading 30 Hours in Kuala Lumpur

Honbo Wombo

Conquering the burger scene in Hong Kong in just a little over a year, Honbo is the place to go now to fulfil your burger cravings.  Even the name (which means burger in Cantonese) has a winning “ring” to it.  I had the extreme pleasure to speak with Michael Chan, the owner of Honbo, to discuss how and why Honbo has succeeded, where the future is headed for the burger joint, as well as the celebrities that have been to his restaurant.

Honbo

Continue reading Honbo Wombo

In New York, Concrete Jungle Where Dreams Are Made Of

Yo yo yo!  New York is the place to be!

After my recent trip to New York City, I’ve decided that, excluding Hong Kong, New York is the place I would most want to live in… at least for a year.  It’s got everything I want – fantastic restaurants, astounding number of things to do, a diverse array of people, everywhere is walkable and through public transportation, and I adore a competitive and driven city – laid back cities are not for me at the moment.

I’ve been to New York many times, each time trying to accomplish something touristy and never really experiencing ‘living there’.  This time, I did feel like as if I was ‘living there’, as if I was a resident in this city.  Super fun.  Every time I come back, New York grows more and more for me.  As I’ve mentioned to other people, NYC is the place to be if you’re 25-30 years old. Continue reading In New York, Concrete Jungle Where Dreams Are Made Of

A Lancaster Wedding

You’re probably wondering why I was at Lancaster… what is this place and what is there to do?  I asked myself the same questions and purposely booked more time at New York, a city that I’m sure everyone is familiar with, and booked 2 days at Lancaster, Pennsylvania only.

Lancaster

In retrospect, if I had more time, I would have actually liked to have stayed there for one more day, at least one full day without any interruptions.  You see, being located in Pennsylvania, I was expecting that this town would be too quiet for my tastes.  In general, I’m someone who likes to go to places with lots of things to do and things to eat.  The last time I was in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, I only remembered horses and amazingly delicious Philly cheese steaks (which I couldn’t find this time unfortunately). Continue reading A Lancaster Wedding