Sunday, April 21, 2013

Travel Laughs and Silly Moments

by: Mhe-anne L. Ojeda

some people call me "minion" instead of "mhe-anne".
does it have something to do with my height?lol 

Some travel memories can still make me laugh to this day when I think of them. So when I struggle to keep my spirits up (during PMS baby!), those silly travel experiences radiate good cheer and made me feel buoyed up!

Tons of pics of a wrong destination? that's right!

As a Latter-day Saint traveler, my bucket list includes a visit to Historic Kirtland, a small settlement in northern Ohio established by Joseph Smith as a headquarter of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints from 1831 to 1838 and where the first temple was built. We drove with the help of our car's GPS which displayed the route on monitor and gave auditory directions. When we reached the Smith Road, the GPS announced "Turn Right and your destination is on the right ". Wow! everything was right, I thought, so I was filled with excitement that I was only a mile away from a Church historic site I had been longing to see! I started taking photos, clicking the shutter at every angle. But there was no visitors' center or temple on Smith Road! After turning around one more time, we knew our GPS wasn't giving us the right direction. We pulled over, called the Kirtland Visitors' Center and a few minutes later, we were on our way to the right destination. We couldn't help laughing and were in good humor realizing the many photos I have taken during the detour around the beautiful, quiet farm lands on Smith Road! 

Haggling Blunder!

axi is your best bet to see more of Batam, Indonesia,  an industrial hub and the largest of the 3,000 islands of Riau Archipelago. So when
I arrived at the Batam Centre International Ferry Terminal, I put to good use my gut feel in choosing a good taxi and  a nice driver. And since there is no standard rate for taxis in Batam, I banked on my haggling skills in striking a pretty good deal! The driver asked for SGD 60 for the two-day tour, but I  quickly bargained to pay 500 Thousand Rupiah thinking it would save me a couple of bucks. To my chagrin, I learned that 500 Thousand Rupiah is SGD 70 haha. 

Sign Language Bliss

To get a discount in Shanghai, Don't let words get in the way!

After seeing Tom Cruise's movie, Mission Impossible 3 in 2006, Shanghai topped my list of places I wanted to visit because of its unique and rich heritage worthy of exploration. With my adventurous spirit and a promise by my then special guy (good grief he didn't make it there!), it came at the spur of the moment to drop by Shanghai before going to Hongkong last May 1 to 7, 2006. I had a map and that was it! 

All alone, I found myself in luck at Piao Ying hotel near the Bund (Shanghai's famous European skylines which means "embankment") with a good view of the Oriental Pearl Tower. Since I only have $300 or RMB 2,229 (Renminbi Yuan, the local currency), I wanted just a place for the night and save as much money until then beau arrives. The published rate for a standard room in Piao Ying was RMB 608 so I checked some options. One of the rooms I was shown looks like a junior suite and was so much better than the others. I asked if that room was also pegged at RMB 608. Since none could understand me I used hand gestures (my palm down, pointing to the wall and ask if the rate on the wall is the rate for the room  I liked). I heard the hotel staff said " Ok, ok, RMB 330!". He thought I was asking for a discount when I moved my hand like that! Later I learned that in Shanghai you can ask for discount even in hotels!

This is my entry to the Pinoy Travel Bloggers’ Blog Carnival for April 2013 with the theme "Funniest, Silliest, Dumbest Travel Moments" hosted by our LakBay Diva.

Check out the previous blog carnival topics in Estan Cabigas' Pinoy Travel Bloggers Blog Carnival.


  1. Galing! Love these funny moments! :D Bet ko ung second instance na you paid the taxi driver 10$ higher :D

    1. thanks dear for checking the post that fast! now i learn to be more trusting with taxi rates while on travel than my math skills eh. (now i know why i took up law haha)

  2. I also used sign language a lot in Shanghai. That was a nice experience you had. You saved a lot without meaning to hehe

    1. yea i was surprised that none could understand me in that hotel when China claim to be the world's largest English - speaking country! But that's a lucky strike huh!

  3. Yes Ding I scored a huge discount but that's not the end of the story. I remember the sequel - I checked out of the hotel room the next morning when I found another hotel nearby with much cheaper published rate. Since it is a lower - starred hotel than Piao Ying, none could communicate in English so I did the hand sign. I got it again in half!!!

    1. wootwoot! I was going to ask if you decided to get the room and lo and behold, may part 2 pa!

      that's awesome!

      I have a moment na money din in Beijing. Our guide told us to haggle theprices down and when i thought i made a good enough haggle for the souvenir umbrella, when we got back to the bus, the guide told me that it was still too much and that i shouldve haggled for half the price.

    2. that's nice Eileen dear. now i know that's the best tip we could give anyone traveling to China is to haggle for half - the - price discount!

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