“Aren’t you UPSET??” he asked. Here’s what I replied…
Today’s topic: What’s YOUR Travel Attitude for the Unexpected? (plus: Messy House Guests!!)
What’s more important when you travel, speed, price or direct route? What do you do when things don’t go as planned? Are you a messy house guest? All this and more in this reality check from the Vegan Jamaican in China!
After not traveling since pre-pandemic 2018, I’m slowly getting back into the nomadpreneur headspace. Basically, I’m just walking around the streets, observing life, noticing patterns and allowing my wanderlust to re-ignite. Not too much interacting except for the required wait staff, cashiers, Grab™ (Uber clone) drivers, and the occasional random stranger who’ll ask, “So, what country you from?” (A Filipina lady in SM supermarket in Manila said I looked like I’m from the Middle East and she wanted to practice her Arabic!)
In any case, I’ll do my best to get into the performer headspace for my upcoming colonic in Hong Kong on Monday, and my Thailand trip next week. Traveler alert: The Thai visa application process is now completely online. There is no longer a need to visit the Thai consulate in person:
From 26 September 2021, 11.00 PM (UTC), it is no longer required for e-Visa applicant to submit his/her passport and original supporting documents in person at the Royal Thai Embassy/Consulate. After the e-Visa application has been approved, a confirmation e-mail will be sent to applicants. It is kindly requested to print a copy of the confirmation e-mail to present to airline and Thai Immigration officials to carry out checks when travelling to Thailand.
Meanwhile, here are some shots and video clips of my day in Macau:
Macau in the morning (about 5:30am):
On my way to Sum Yuen Vegetarian Restaurant
This is actually my SECOND time here since arriving ONE day ago! It was the first place I visited right after landing at 7pm yesterday!
After serving my order and having me pay (so they could close out the day shift), the girls went home (or wherever they go for their three-hour break), and I dined alone–like really alone, as in no one, not even staff in the restaurant! The front desk manager left after charging my card. The last waitress to leave gave me the plastic take-out bowls I requested and then she too left.
After my meal, I walked around Nova Mall for about an hour (purchased some Terra chips at Taste™, hopped on a free shuttle provided by my host’s apartment complex, and took a drive through Macau! I’ll document that in a video!
You’ve thrilled to my “Drive through Saipan” series. You’ve marveled at my “Scooter stylee through Laos.” Well, now you can enjoy my upcoming new “Walk About…” series! Starting with this Walk About Macau test video!
Overcoming my shyness, my self-consciousness, my naturally introverted personality, and the selfie-stick-stigma, I bravely step out into the streets of Macau to practice using a selfie stick, walking and talking at the same time! (I’ve had practice walking and chewing bubble gum, so this shouldn’t be much more difficult!)
REMEMBER: I created this for my personal use to practice my technique, to get comfortable in public, and to assess the quality of the finished product. So, I’ve simply inserted the raw footage without any fancy editing. I’m not really discussing anything profound, so you probably won’t learn much, but feel free to comment or make constructive suggestions. I’ll start:
When I travel to a new destination, my idea of a time well spent is simply to settle into the local life and do things that locals do, shop where locals shop, and even visit the dentists locals visit! Meet Dr. Sofia Ferreira Dias Tavares Da Costa Alcántara, THE dentist at Centro Medico in Taipa! She did a thorough ultrasound teeth cleaning for me!
Interestingly, I discovered Dr. Sofia is also an aspiring author, so I shared a few tips from my writer’s workshops for her to use in her passion pursuit!
Then, it was off to another vegetarian spot in Macau: The Blissful Carrot!
You can’t go wrong with a restaurant that features Ghandi, Mother Theresa and Bob Marley on the wall!
The menu features rice dishes, salads, tacos, all-day breakfasts, They also sell home-made Kombucha, locally-made tempeh, and gluten-free pastries and desserts! Beatriz suggested the Bimibap
While there, we ran into Natasha, and Constança (Beatriz’s sister studying in London), and Khaled, originally from Somalia visiting Macau. We exchanged a few pleasantries and took a few photos!
Ran a few more errands–changed some US dollars into MOP (Macau currency), bought a selfie stick, took some photos for my Vietnam visa application, then headed back to home base to enjoy the Blissful Carrot cuisine: main dish: Bimibap Bowl (Indonesian Gado-gado style sauteed kale & mixed vegetables with peanut-chili sauce, tamari grilled tempeh topped with sesame seeds and crispy dried shallots), Breakfast tacos, plus homemade kombucha, vegan banana bread, raw coconut/peanut butter cups and tempeh!
I visited the Blissful Carrot a few days later and got a chance to run into Aaron, the original owner (he’s still involved, but his wife actually runs the business now).
As a single traveler, it’s always a thrill when I get lucky! During my six-month adventure in China a few years ago, it happened to me in Beijing. It happened to me in Singapore, too! I even got lucky in Laos at the end of a long passageway off the main road in Luang Namtha, near to Zuela Guesthouse. And, it was years ago, when I was living in New York that I experienced it for the very first time! In each of these destinations, I got a taste of something that satisfied my desires, put a pep in my step, and made me feel strong and powerful for the rest of my stay there!
Want some more hot, spicy details? Well, in Beijing it happened here with her. In Singapore, this is where it happened. The Laos experience happened on day 1. Yes, my friends, I’m speaking about something that’s perfectly natural, something just about everyone wants and needs, something that makes the world go ’round, something that builds emotional bonds between people, and something that if more people did it freely and without the societal stigma, would make the world a healthier, saner place! Yes, I’m speaking, of course, about EATING AT THAT PERFECT VEGETARIAN RESTAURANT!!!!
And now, Macau joins the list of places in which I’ve gotten lucky and found that perfect spot! It’s called Sum Yuen Buddhist Vegetarian Restaurant, and I kid you not, this is by far, the BEST I’ve ever had! It’s larger than any other in which I’ve dined. The menu has more selections (30+ page, full color, exquisitely bound menu), and the presentation of it all is fabulous!
“Pou Tai Temple was founded in the 19th century by Buddhist monks and is the largest temple on Taipa Island. On the ground level of this Buddhist temple is… Sum Yuen which officially opened during the last quarter of 2014.”–Macau Lifestyle
With only about eight days left here in Macau, I’d never be able to try everything I’d wish to even if I dined here every day! Here are some pages from the amazing 30-page + menu (Everything here is completely animal-free; no sentient beings were harmed in their creation!):
With that said, we (my “not shown” dining companions and I) tried the following items:
#008 – Avocado & Mango Rolls (Sushi)
#028 – Vegetarian Prawns Salad
#049 – Hong Kong Style Honey Glazed Barbecued Pork and Crispy Vegetarian Goose (deep fried bean curd skin)
#053 – Chiba tofu and spinach rolls
#058 – Assorted Mushroom Teppanyaki
#092 – Braised Vegetables with Fermented Beancurd
#134 – Pan Fried Vegetarian Dumplings
#146 – Steamed Chinese Sponge Cake
While I was there, I decided to practice taking photos and filming with my new selfie-stick! Yes, I’ve reluctantly, but also a bit excitedly joined “those folks” who do the stick schtick while traveling. In my defense, however, I’m doing it for YOU–in anticipation of doing a series of special Walt’s Walk & Talk through China and Beyond Youtube videos, so stay tuned and please forgive my new obsession!
A secret military space station has gone dark and it falls on a specially-trained, multi-national team–two Jamaicans, an Italian and an American– to investigate why. No signs of life remain…well, not human life anyway. Their mission is to secure the space station, eliminate enemy robots and drones and rescue any survivors. The space station is a multi-billion dollar experimental project designed and constructed by military contractor Zero Latency, Inc.
The team had a choice of Mission code name “Engineerium” (Exploring a unique world), Mission code name “Zombie Survival” or Mission code name “Singularity” (securing the space station). They chose Singularity!
Of course, I couldn’t record the experience while immersed in the mission, so here’s the next best thing–the Zero Latency promotional video:
After the mission:
Needless to say, the mission was a success, and we celebrated afterwards!
Those are our individual scores of enemy drones and robots we eliminated on display behind us! Daniel is doing his best to block them from view!
It’s definitely easy being vegan here in Macau. There are enough stores and a few restaurants that cater to the lifestyle. For instance…
WAITAMINIT!!! How did that slide get in there???? Wrong shot! Ahem…as I was saying, there are about two dozen vegan-friendly restaurants that appear in a Macau, China search at www.Happycow.net, and On Thai Loi is at the top of the list! So, I took a walk there as it’s not that far from where I’m staying.
On the first visit, there was another diner present who was nice enough to translate my English requests into Cantonese (thanks, Candy!).
On my second visit, the owner’s son, João, (how to pronounce), was there to make things go smoothly. From what he told me, the restaurant has been in operation for five years, and is the only Thai-focused one in Macau.
Narcissism alert: Um, guess what I DIDN’T take photos of? Yep, THE FOOD! Well, if actually seeing the food in a restaurant review is your weird thing, you can check out my review of On Thai Loi on the happycow.net site, where you’ll find great photos of their dishes posted by other travelers!
The other vegan survival resource here in Macau is the chain of Park & Shop stores around the city. The largest, I believe, is one in Taipa, which is almost like a Whole Foods stateside–lots of fresh produce, healthy snack options (US brands I’m familiar with), bulk food items (nuts, dried fruit), mock meats, and more!
And, of course, as mentioned in a previous post, there’s no shortage of produce stands on every street to get fruits and vegetables to prepare my own meals! Here’s a quick “one main meal of the day” (Walt’s Thai Fry) I whipped up yesterday using Thai noodles, scallions, onions, tofu, bean curd, black fungus, broccoli and pepper flakes, stir fried with virgin coconut oil in an iron wok:
The Raw Power Salad accompanying the meal contains mung bean sprouts, avocado, scalion, cilantro, lettuce, kimchee, diced onions, chopped garlic, apple cider vinegar, olive oil, a few drops of lemon juice, all sprinkled with Chlorella powder–all raw, nothing cooked.
I’ll be wrapping up my stay in Macau soon and haven’t decided between Vietnam or Thailand yet. Where should I go next? Any suggestions? Email me or leave a comment!
Are you anticipating hearing I chickened out? Think I’m about to use the old “uncooperative weather” excuse? Do you think that a person would have to be slightly off-kilter to jump off a structurally sound building? Do you expect, therefore, that I’m rescheduling it to some undetermined future date for some unfathomable random reason? Or, do you simply believe that Jamaicans may run, and Jamaicans may bobsled, but they don’t fly? Well….
…..YOU’D BE WRONG!!!! ON ALL COUNTS! For today, July 27, 2018, the weather forecast for Macau, China will read “partly sunny, partly cloudy, 28 degrees Celsius, chance of afternoon showers, and a very high likelihood of falling Jamaicans!” IT”S ON!!
WARNING: This blog post is replete with all the obligatory one-liners, song and movie references, puns and superhero references you no doubt expect in a blog post about bungee jumping.
(You say bungy, I say bungee…”tomato,” “tom-ah-to…”)
Yep, it was waaaay cool! I’m actually thinking about doing it again! I’m sure it will be more fun now that I know what to expect!
I always imagined that the actual sensation of falling would be the uncomfortable, overwhelming part, but for me, it was that single second right before I stepped off the ramp that was the most unnerving. Then, once I was actually airborne it was pretty easy to get into the moment and be fully conscious and aware of what I was doing (i.e. arms extended in front like Superman, etc., the scream, etc.)
After my jump, Sam from Nepal and Alex let me hang around at the base of the tower to watch the next jump.
Review: Great, professional, fun crew! Nice atmosphere! Excellently-produced video! Highly recommended! In fact…
Lesson for today: a bungee jump is not something you do just once, so yes, I’ll have to do it again! The next two jumps are discounted, and the FOURTH jump is FREE! I was also told that on subsequent jumps, my feet won’t be tethered together and I can actually walk and dive off. This could get addictive! Hmmm. I know what you’re thinking….Seems there are quite a few songs with the theme of “crazy!”
“Crazy” (Gnarls Barkley; 2006)
“Crazy” (Seal; 1991)
and, my personal favorite, “Crazy” (Patsy Cline; 1961)
Next on the bucket list: Sky Diving, Sensory Deprivation Tank, Zero-gravity/Weightlessness experience!
Addendum: A few days after my jump, the folks at AJHackett emailed me my official Bungee Jump Certificate:
A few days ago, some friends here in Macau took me out to dinner at Fernando’s. Nice atmosphere, great layout, near to the beach. I typically go to restaurants with my non-veggie friends for the conversation and camaraderie, and I often won’t eat anything if the establishment is not vegan-friendly or if they cook their veggie meals in the same kitchen (pots) as the meat dishes.
This time, however, I decided to act like an adjusted member of the planet Earth and behave in a manner so as to blend in with the other humans. So, I scanned the menu and ordered the vegetable soup. Simple enough. Safe. The photo showed a bowl of soup with vegetables in it. No one on the wait staff need ever know an alien was dining amongst their regular customers.
The soup arrived, and I waited for my friends’ dishes to arrive before I started. At one point during the wait, a waitress passed by and (reverting to my old ways) I decided to ask what exactly was in the vegetable soup before I started.
Me: Hi, could you tell me what the ingredients are in this soup?
Her: I’m sorry, I have no idea!
Me (in shock, and snidely); Well, YOU may have no idea what’s in this, but I need to know what I’m eating. Could you find out, please?
She headed into the kitchen and soon, the manager came to our table.
Me: Hi! Could you tell me what the ingredients are in the soup?
Manager: Potatoes, vegetables and water.
Me: Potatoes, vegetables and water. (I forget which vegetable it was)
Manager: Yes, potatoes, vegetables and water.
Me: Cool! Cool! Cool! No butter?
Me: No dairy, no milk?
Me: Cool! Thanks so much!
Manager (as he turns to walk away): Oh, and a piece of sausage.
At that moment, the manager, probably from the wide-eyed look of disbelief he may have seen on my face, surmised he was speaking with a vegetarian, and returned to the table.
Me: Oh, I thought it was a vegetable soup.
He was gracious enough to take the soup and the pig in my soup away and offered to make me a new bowl of “vegetable” soup himself. He brought a fresh bowl back in about 10 minutes, and I thanked him profusely.
Of course, I didn’t drink the new bowl of soup either. What are you kidding me!??? Who knows what else he may have innocently overlooked in the list of “by the way” ingredients! (“Oh, yes, and of course, we always add a cupful of MSG and monkey brain to all our dishes!” as he walks away.)
However, I didn’t want his hard work to go to waste, or to insult him by leaving an uneaten bowl of soup on the table, so one of my dinner companions was nice enough to eat it for me! Bon appetit! Still, we all had a great time!
Now, this is entirely my fault. I’ve obviously been out of touch with human reality and living in my own lifestyle bubble for too long. So, here’s what I’ve learned: Out here in the real world, the word “soup” is more like a metaphor, really, and actually means “in a soup bowl with my meat.” Confused? I’ll translate a scenario for you:
Waitress: How can I help you today, sir? (Translation: How would you like your meat today, sir?)
Me (with a savvy wink): Vegetable soup, please. (Translation: Vegetables “in a soup bowl with my meat” please.)
See how that works? That’s why travel is so important. How else will you learn new things? This poor lady in the video below hasn’t quite caught on yet:
Share this post with your friends so they too can learn!
Celebrity Watch: While we were there at Fernando’s, my dinner companions noticed the host of Master Chef, Graham Elliot, dining with a group of his friends! Sorry, no photos!
Join the mailing list to be notified of new posts
[email-subscribers namefield=”YES” desc=”” group=”Public”]
You can judge the quality of a society by how they treat their vegans! (There’s some new age traveler’s wisdom for you!) If a society imposes a “vegan tax” in the form of higher prices for Terra chips and Lara bars, for instance, then such a society should be avoided at all cost! With that said, fruits, vegetables and some of my favorite healthy treats are a bit cheaper here in Macau–of course, this is all based on a USD to MOP exchange rate.
A bag of Terra chips sells for 24.9MOP which, at the latest exchange rate of 8.03MOP to $1USD, works out to $3.10 which is way less than the almost $6US I would pay on Saipan or stateside!
An orange costs 5MOP = $0.60US (almost $1 on Saipan)
Coconuts, however, are a bit pricey (17MOP = $2.11US; $1 on Saipan)
I’ll do a full shopping list in a future post.
So, with the advantage of this favorable exchange rate–combined with the fact I was informed I could get a second-hand phone for 1000MOP or less ($124US)– I decided to take the opportunity to upgrade my Blu Mini phone and join the rest of you people in the 21st century! Now, I don’t play video games; I don’t even make many phone calls, and for sure I won’t be among the obsessively phone-affixed who barrel at breakneck speed through crowded airports and metro stations head down, eyes glued to their screens without ever looking up! (It’s an amazing thing to see!) However, I do want to download and test out a particular GPS app that might prove helpful for a top-secret project I’m working on back on Saipan, and my current Blu phone simply doesn’t have the necessary sensor for the app to function.
So, I headed to the Portas do Cerco area in Macau to do some shopping.
Shopped around at a few stores and voila! Equipped with my “new to me” Samsung Galaxy 6S (1100MOP/$136), I now venture forth into my Jamaican in Macau adventure. All photos from this point forward will be taken with the new gadget!
Next stop, the Fortress of Guia (Guia Lighthouse)
The Guia Fortress (Portuguese: Fortaleza da Guia; Chinese: 東望洋炮台) is a 17th-century colonial military fort, chapel, and lighthouse complex in São Lázaro, Macau, China. The complex is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site Historic Centre of Macau. (Source: wikipedia)
The lighthouse was constructed between 1864 and 1865, the first western style lighthouse in east Asia or on the China coast. The lighthouse stands at Guia Hill, which stands at 91.4 metres (300 ft) tall, and has a light visible for some 20 miles in clear weather conditions. The complex was built upon the highest point on Macau, Guia Hill, and named after the same location. (Source: wikipedia)
The fort and chapel were constructed between 1622 and 1638. The fort was already partly built during the unsuccessful attempt by the Netherlands to capture colonial Portuguese Macau from Portugal, providing an advantageous firing position for defending against naval attacks. (Source: wikipedia)
Nomadpreneur passive-residual income update: One of the strategies to the “money & mobility” lifestyle is to create products and services that don’t require your physical presence. While I’m here in Macau, my www.freesummerconcerts.com website provides free concert information for New York city residents. Everything is automated. I input the events at the beginning of the summer, and a special software I created generates the weekly event listing, sends it out to the mailing list of over 10,000, and receives the $9.95 subscription fee. Learn more strategies in my book, How to Become a Nomadpreneur: A pocket guide of income strategies, travel jobs & survival tips for expats, vagabonds, techies and rat race escapees who want to see the world AND make money too! in the Guides & Resources section of www.nomadpreneur.com and available on Amazon.
Techie web design tip: Using the code at https://jssor.com/development/tip-make-responsive-slider.html, I’ve added a Jssor slideshow to the homepage of my www.waltgoodridge.com site to be more descriptive of what my brand encompasses. Check it out to get some ideas for YOUR online brand and check out jssor.com for the slider code.
Just a few shots of my days in Macau! It’s all gearing up for the big day! Yep, the BIG day! What’s the big day, you ask? Well, it involves jumping off a perfectly good building….Let the countdown begin….
I’m on Day 5 or so of an extended water fast–no solid food, just water every day all day. So, even though a faster’s energy level fluctuates and can be as high as ever during such a fast (yes, even with no solid food), the standard protocol is to take things easy, get a lot of rest and not to overexert oneself while the body’s natural healing code activates, heals, detoxifies and rejuvenates muscles, organs, bones, etc. (See “Stages of Fasting” at my https://www.fastandgrowyoung.com website)
So, when a friend here invited me to her 90-minute Cardio Boxing class at Warrior Fitness here in Macau, the plan was to sit and watch, snap a few photos and videos, take things easy, get a lot of rest and not overexert myself. I brought my training gear with me just in case I took part. I’d only boxed a few times before and I already have a decent amount of gear with me, but I decided I wanted to be prepared for this match properly, if I were to have one. So, I had a look at these boxing bag gloves reviews and others to ensure I had the best of the best.
So, when I was finally introduced to Agustin Delarmino, the instructor, and told him of my plans to just sit and snap a few shots, it seemed he had other plans of his own for me that day. He handed me a jumprope, turned up the music, got all the participants amped up and there I was!
According to the description on Warrior Fitness’ https://www.warriormacau.com website, “Cardio Boxing combines the skills and movements of boxing with a big dose of high intensity cardio. Designed to burn maximum calories, this class will keep you moving all the time. Less emphasis on technical boxing skills such as defence and sparring, this course is perfect for beginners and those wanting to try something new.”
Well, since the whole point of my “Jamaican” adventures is to try new things around the world, and since the entertainment value alone of seeing an already skinny, Jamaican vegan doing boxing while on an extended water fast should be worth a few visits to my blog, I was in!
We did jumprope, heavy bag, muscle endurance exercises and more! Videos below!
For several weeks prior, while on Saipan, I had already been learning boxing basics (“1, 1, 1, 2-3”) from Mike Rashid’s great Boxing for Beginners series of Youtube videos, but had only done shadow boxing in front of a mirror. This was a great opportunity to experience it and put my training into use with gloves and resistance from real objects in real world.
If you’re ever in Macau, definitely check it out! It was a great experience! Social-wise, there were folks from Macau, New Zealand, the Philippines, China and Vietnam, and all were very friendly and welcoming! Thanks to the front-desk receptionist, Karen, for taking and sending the videos!
More video from Warrior Fitness: https://www.jamaicaninchina.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/MVI_3619.MP4
Nomadpreneur passive income update: I just made 30 cents! Woo hoo! If you check out my https://www.discoversaipan.com site, you’ll see that I’ve created t-shirts, buttons and stickers, etc with images of Saipan. Similar to the print-on-demand concept I use for my books, I use Redbubble.com to “print-on-demand” the tshirts, etc. Someone just purchased a sticker of a Saipan image!
The sale details:
Retail Price: US$1.95
Manufacturing fee including our facilitation fee: US$1.65
*Total Margin: US$0.30
I’ve sold several tshirts in the months since I launched my page. The point is, you can be anywhere in the world–even boxing in Macau–while your passive income streams generate income for you!
Pursue Passion! Break Free! Cross boundaries! See the world!