A Travellerspoint blog

The dying form

the journey like no other (hitching) oh yea !

semi-overcast 10 °C

buddy--- Thanks ! i ll be as safe as i can :) hope school is good !
Roger--- i think if u are here with me you will die, ang moh paradise !!! haha
Confirm not everyone here is Drop dead gorgeus ! haha
but no GF la :(
Leon --- Screw facebook ! :) and how are the applications ?
Ambrish, kian pin, wei yu, matt, leon--- you ll love it here man :)!
Warrick--- wa lao, u should seriously be here, we confirm high ! HGBD !

We left Iain house at around 10 am yesterday leaving for Cambridge in search of Dan the Man :)
How ? heh heh

We took the underground to balthamstow station, the station which we thought was closest to the M11 (highway that leaves London for Cambridge like their PIE), when we arrived we kept asking for direction to the M11. When we got a rough idea of the general direction, and with determination in our hearts and a heavy fulpack on our bags we set off for the M11. Haha !
Excitement quickly diminshed as we started to realise
1.how far it was ! (google balthamstow station to M11)
2.how hard it was going to find a good place to hitchhike (cars were too fast or cant walk there)
3.How dangerous and how little day light hours we had to get a ride !

We started walking and met a few people who kept wishing us good luck which made me burn with a fiery determination ! :))
As mentioned earlier, we were trying to reach the M11, the connecting road was called the A406, and somehow we walked past the start of that and were already in the middle of the A406, so we decided to continue walking to the M11, and wow it was one long walk.
The whole time i was thinking to myself
1. this is getting really crazy, is this one of the craziest things ive ever done ?
2. Every step forward will mean 2 steps backwards in order to go back so there were quite a few junctions where a decision was to be made to move forward and boy oh boy despite my fiery determination, it was a hard one to make.
(A little like navigating in the jungles of Brunei, with a heavy field pack, and almost no sense of direction, everytime a junction was reached, a choice on which direction to take and we had to take turn Reccing the area in front ! in order to help us with our decision.)
After a really long and crazy walk ( Climbing over fences, crossing roads and overhead bridges countless times all woth our field pack) we finally arrived at the start of the legendary M11.

Unlike the movies or video clips it wasnt a slow moving or lonely highway where you could take your time, the M11 was really busy road with many cars driving at least 50mph zooming past.
Thankfully there was a small road shoulder where we could walk confidently as there was quite a wide gap.
We were already very exhausted and somehow it didnt occur to us that we should start hitching, and we just walked forward nonstop until we reached a signed which said Cambridge 47 Miles and oh man it hit me again in the face, in OCS we only route marched 30+km in a day, and this was 47 Miles this might take awhile, we might even spend the night before reaching Cambridge !
But with all these being said, we continued walking, i could tell Jason was getting quite irritated and tired, but i was just going a little crazy in my mind thinking back on all the brunei days and was secretly smilingly to myself once in awhile and decided while walking why not stick my thumb out as well...

After walking for who knows how long, suddenly, really just suddenly a green Car just pulled over and Jason was like " Shawn !!!!"
and i was like " Eh he really Stopped !!! Crap !" *both of us running with our heavy fullpacks towards the car, when the door opened, i took a quick scan to screen the driver while he asked us where we were heading, we told him cambridge and asked if he was heading there. He said he wasnt but he could drop us near by so we got in !!! :):):):):):):):)

We soon found out he(Mark) was heading home from London after visiting his Grandson and he stayed in Norwich which was an hour north of cambridge so we told him, drop us any where convenient for you near Cambridge and he agreed.
We were both overwhelmed with a sense of relieve and disbelief. On the Journey there we found out much about him and apparently he was a hitchhiker himself when he was our age and explained that in the past, everyone did it :) He also shared with us stories about his work and told us about his chickens as he had 1 Acre of Land (about a football field)
Shawn: Wow, if you had that much land in Singapore, you would be a real wealthy man !
saf: Yea, maybe even president !
Shawn, Jason and Mark: Laugh like crap
Mark also told us he had done alot of traveling and had been hitching all his life and shared with us that he had 4 children and was twice divorced :(
After a long chat, but extremely fast journey, we suddenly realised he had turned into Cambridge and he started asking us which part of Cambridge we were going to and kept asking us to call Daniel for his address, and spent at least 15mins finding a driving us to where Daniel was (Arbury Community centre) We were just lost for words at his sudden gesture of kindness of going out of his way to drop us right at the doorstep !
When we got off, i gave Daniel a call and he said he was walking over. We dropped our bags and thanked Mark profusely knowing the debt can never be repaid but happy that my belief in the goodness of people was still alive :)

When Daniel was seen crossing the road walking towards us, i shouted in relief :
" DAN ! So good to see you man, epic journey we just had haha "
Daniel than proceeded to help me with my Fullpack and we went away to his school where we took a rest, and Daniel just took our hitching Sign and showed everyone we met on the way " Hey ! this are my friends from Singapore, They just hitchhiked from london "
And everyone was like " Really !?"
I proceeded to stand at the side and act seh pretending as if "oh it was nothing special" :) haha !
Ang moh Chicks ! :)

Unfortunately, Bad news guys, Jason left the camera battery in Iain's House so we have no pictures to share, but believe me it was one epic adventure ! You can see the sign we made though. haha !

Cheers !

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Posted by shawnified 16:03 Archived in England Tagged london :) cambridge lovely hitchhiking epic hitching shawn haha Comments (6)

From Elephant and castle to Chiswick park

Host (Iain Campbell)

semi-overcast 8 °C

After the great time we had at Richard's house it was time to move on and head to chiswick park where Iain was waiting for us, but first a stop at my favourite shop the 99p store !!!
It was epic, After 8 chocolates, big packets of Haribo Sweets and many many more all for 99p each ! However when i paid for them goods i didnt check the change and i lost 4 pounds :( so instead of saving money i spent even more ! Crap ! Also, i noticed many people shoplifting, (elephant and castle is a poor area) but there was this guy with a 4.6k pounds racer bike who did the same !

The bus ride to chiswick park was a long one, when we finally arrived, the houses that surronded us were epic big, similar to the landed area in Singapore, and we started getting excited as we walked towards his house. When the door opened all excitment and anticipation was immediately swaped into disbelief and surprise, haha ! the big epic house we imagined was split into 12 different rooms by the owner and rented out, and Iain was staying in one of them. The entire house was just a room and a kitchen ! haha :)(

We than proceeded with a long chat with Iain about life and he asked us countless questions about Singapore which i found hard to answer, " So tell me, what do Singaporeans eat" ..." What time do Singaporeans normally eat"..."what happens if you Pee on a tree in Sinapore"..."Are there dinosaurs in Singapore, a Singaporeans once brought Dinousaur soup in a can here"
Ok the last one was made up :) But Iain was a really interesting person, when he first sat down he emptied his pockets of about 6pounds of coins(which is what i usually do as well) than he proceeded to say " thats all the money i have till the end of the week" (my mind : oh no :( he should be staying with us instead). He explained how he did not believe in amassing money and everything he ever owed could be thrown away and he would still be perfectly fine(sad off course but perfectly fine)
Iain than made us an epic soup, it was really nice, one of the nicest i ever had :) He had an amazing movie collection, alot like Victor's but slightly more specialised. He let us listen to an album he was working on and i was totally blown away ! Really great music, im sure Jenn, Eddie and David would love to meet him.
The Second day we went to Arsenal Stadium as jason was dying to see his favourite team. 15 Pounds for a tour of the stadium, we ll have pictures posted so u can decide if it was worth the money, haha.
We stayed for two nights in his house and than had to leave for Daniel's place in Cambridge.
As there was no internet connection at his house, reality suddenly dawned upon us when he said " so how are you guys getting to cambridge"
..."we're going to try to hitchhike :)" "how are u doing it ?" * silly smiles appearing*... " oh man, you boys dont know what you are doing eh, interesting " * silly smiles appears on Iain's face also....IMG_0910.jpgIMG_0905.jpgIMG_0896.jpg180_IMG_0895.jpgIMG_0889.jpgIMG_0884.jpgIMG_0878.jpgIMG_0872.jpgIMG_0866.jpgIMG_0864.jpg

Posted by shawnified 02:02 Archived in England Tagged london england leon arsenal hitchhiking couchsurfing ambrish roshan seah kian pin loh Comments (1)

Day 2 and 3 (London )

semi-overcast 5 °C

The next two days were Epic, Richard was extremely nice and kindly took it upon himself to bring us ( Kenni, Jason and I) out the whole day. We had a nice jog through the park ( no sweat involved ) and took a bus to Greenwich (Greenwich is the home of Greenwich Mean Time and the Prime Meridian of the World, making it the official starting point for each new day and year. It is also home to London's only planetarium, the Harrison timekeepers and the UK's largest refracting telescope.) * from the website. We had a Terrific view of London ! After that we went to a market where everything looked good but had bad prices ( the flesh is willing but the wallet is weak). We than took an underpass which runs below the River Thames to have a view of the other side and ended up near Westminster Abbey * Separate entry, where we attended an evening Choral service. We also went to leicester square, trafalgar square, hyde park and a glance at Buckingham palace before heading home exhausted. Had real nice talks with Kenni and Richard, both of them were really nice people (Richard from england and Kenni from Denmark). Despite the differences in background, I found much similarities between myself and the both of them.
Richard was a man whose age you would never be able to guess, i only found out much later from jason that he was actually very old, age did not came across my mind when all he did was walked with us (at a fast pace) the whole day and even suggested for us to go for a jog !
Hah ! All in all he was a really nice and good man that i looked up to, a man that radiated christ and showed care and concern for his fellow man. Patient and caring, always looking out for you and as mentioned, someone whom you could really trust.
Kenni was a really nice person also, i was really very sad to see him go, he was a really sensitive and who also took care and made sure people dont get left out. He was also a real gentlemen, mature and trusting with integrity, i really hope i see the both of them again...

The following day, we went to Petticoat lane Sunday market, which was essentially a Pasar Malam but the clothes were from Topshop, H & M, Stone island, brands i couldnt care less for, haha . And lastly we went to St Paul's cathedral which was EPIC !!! After that Richard's Church (metropolitan tabernacle) and back home for Dinner ( Richard's Famous Tuna Pie !) Good food, Good friends, Good coversations, what more could a man ask for ! :)

We walked the whole sunday, no buses ! haha :)

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Posted by shawnified 03:35 Archived in England Tagged london westminster_abbey shawn_lee Comments (5)

In a word, Awesome !

but people call them Westminster Abbey and St Paul's cathedral

rain 9 °C

Richard, Kenni, Jason and i went for the evening Choral service in Westminster Abbey, sure photography was not allowed but i couldnt stop my camera from having a sneak peak at such an bone chilling place.

Warning, this entry only reflects my thoughts and experiences at the 2 churches and is no way doing justice to the majesty of them.

Westminster Abbey

As i sit awestruck during the service, my head couldnt help turining aroung * im usually very attentive during service :) I was going dizzy ! Everything was so detailed, from the roof which was uniquely shaped (some sections were painted and tiled * i believe by hand) to the floor which was covered in inscriptions. The entire church was splattered with Sculptures of different people ( the one im sitting beside dates 1752, Holy smokes ! ) The chandeliers were stunning, reflecting light in a slightly different way each time you look at it. The pillars were another thing altogether, each pillar was carved in such a way that it resembled many smaller pillars fused together to become a bigger one, with all these being said, no single thing was similar or duplicated, each pillar was different from the one beside it * amazing right !
Lastly what really took my breath away were the stained glass that covered the sides of the buildings, absolutely surreal.
A wave of emotions and peace sweap through me as i gaze admiringly at it. They were just beautiful and no Art piece i had ever encountered could ever hold a candle to it. Maybe this is what defines Art, It hits you, leaving you stunned and amazed in awe, and after allows you a moment of serenity and calmness as you enjoy it beauty.
Very Similar to God;s amazing Love and Grace, it hits you, and you think how can something like this ever exist, but when you finally enjoy it and experience it, you are left with a sense of fulfilment and contentment. Off course Westminster Abbey cannot compare with God's Love but thats just an illustration :)

St Paul's Cahedral

After seeing Westminster abbey, a friend josh said St Paul's was bigger and better, i was sceptical thinking, how can any thing be any better. Oh well... Jason and i walked to St Paul's from Elephant and castle the next day ( if u google it, its quite a walk :) )
When we arrived....duh duh duh, yes we were blown away again, especially Jason haha, who couldnt stop taking picture of it !
My description of it can never be appropriate to what you will experience when you see it for yourself, so if u are thinking " should i go see St Paul's cathedral ? "... " YES ! YES ! YES "
We again went for the evening Choral service, as the entrance fee to have a look around was 14 pounds ! money we never had :)
Its Epic la, my vocab is running out, glorious majestic....indescribable. Except this time instead of the Stained glass in Westminster, St Paul's had an absolutely amazing ceiling, which i believed was hand painted and woah, u could just stare at it for hours, this time though the choir and sermon was more audible and a preacher from australia was preaching. He was preaching about God leaving the 99 sheep to find the 1 lost sheep and it was a really good sermon, but what brought tears to my eyes were what he said in the closing " Do you believe that you, as a mere mortal... a Sinner can change heaven... yes, the bible tells us that heaven rejoices when a sinner repents...when u choose to repent...God rejoices ! Entire heaven rejoices ! " He than went to quote Luke 15:7 I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.

Blessings and bye bye :)
Wish u were here !

Posted by shawnified 01:30 Archived in England Tagged cathedral abbey st 15 jason oh lee westminster pauls luke ambrish sinner repent shawn Comments (2)

Day 1 ! London !

semi-overcast 5 °C

What a Crazy day ! I was still struggling to pack 3 hours before my flight. Haha, i guess we;ll find out what's missing as we go.
Didnt had time to talk to victor or have a proper dinner with ambrish and kian pin aka PTI Pin. but thank you both for sending me off at the airport :)

The stopover at Dubai was a long one, Jason and i walked the entire transit area and everything was just Super Expensive !
After another 7 hours, we finally arrived in London and took the tube to elephant and castle, the closest stop to Richard's house. While trying to walk to his house we got lost and approached 2 women for directions. They were extremely kind and helpful in pointing us the right way, but before we left they passed us 2 pamphlets in Chinese as we told them we could understand Chinese. Turns out they were 2 Jehovah Witnesses. Well an interesting start to the day, we got lost again soon after as the directions Google earth gave us were inaccurate ! But we found our way there eventually. The 1st thing Richard I felt when I saw was that he was a nice guy and someone i could get comfortable to. And it turns out he was all that and more. Richard than showed us to our room and "couch" which was really very comfortable. Richard than explained that there were 7 people( all Christians from the same church), Jason, me and another Couch surfer staying there. We soon found out all of them were really nice and friendly, offering us Tea and cake which we gladly accepted,as well chatted with us about life.

We than left the house at 5.30 pm ( we were given an extra key, so we could come and go as we pleased :) bought a Sim card, some food and went home for dinner. We soon got extremely tired around 9.30pm (UK time). So at around 11.30pm, we succumbed to the slumber, i woke up at 5am though :( as my headstrong and confused body clock refused to change its habits .

This concludes the end of the 1st day :)
Look at the pictures to understand more :)

Random thought: Asians are really very small
Goal for the trip : finish reading bible and CS Lewis collection ! :)
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Posted by shawnified 22:31 Archived in England Comments (1)

Preparation precedes performance

overcast 25 °C

whats the difference between a traveler and a tourist ?

A traveler changes routes, itineraries, schedules and wanders the planet
A tourist knows they are going home.

note to self:

Travelers fully experience places, rather than merely observing them. To do this they must first accept them

Ban this sentence: “I have to see X, Y and Z today because I might never visit this city again.” If you do rush around to all three sights you probably will never visit the city again, because you’ll have destroyed all the pleasure of traveling there.

To learn more about humans, one must attempt to be like another.
Treat everyone with respect, people from different cultures doesn't make them any less of a human being.

With this, i guess a traveler is really like a dude on holiday :)

Just take it easy man !

Posted by shawnified 08:11 Archived in Singapore Tagged preparation Comments (1)

KL and more

Roger, Jason and me

sunny 28 °C

Had a Blast in KL, i am starting to think how many times KL is available for me. It is inevitable that the epic food ( Meng kee char siew, roti pisang, char kway tiao, Ngau kee beef noodles) will one day be gone. And whats left in KL.

We went to KL bedz ( hostel) and had a great Chat with Trim (London backpacker) and Mara ( Argentinian traveler). We chatted from 730 pm till 12 am, and Trim was smoking all the way ! It was literally back to back cigarettes ! haha, yes my lungs were killing me ! but it was really great to hear so many interesting things from this travelers :) Thry both had traveled much of the world, working on the go to sustain their traveling. I hope to be able to meet them again in Europe.

Lastly we met a crazy woman, who wanted the bus to fetch her from Tuas to Jurong point, and explained the bus and its passengers should be ok with it since the bus was early. Haha ! The following conversation between Roger and her was funny though...
Roger : " Im also a Singaporean, just not a selfish one like you"
Crazy woman : " Why you like that ah, why u so sacarstic ?"
Roger: " Im not sacarstic, im saying in your face that u are selfish ! "
Crazy woman : " I curse you !!! You will get retribution !!!" *Shawn and Jason laughing their ass off :)

It seems also that traveling with people is something i have to get used to, being with someone 24 hours for a few days is already a compromise of your personal space, i will be with Jason for at least 80 days, Lord let all be well.

If you are wise, you will forget yourself into greatness.

Forget your rights, but remember your responsibilities.

Forget your inconveniences, but remember your blessings.

Forget your own accomplishments, but remember your debts to others.

Forget your privileges, but remember your obligations.

-William Arthur Ward

Posted by shawnified 17:19 Archived in Malaysia Tagged ! kl greatness Comments (0)

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