Kissed by a Jellyfish….in China.

Theres always been this crazy saying that says something like: we should never swim in the ocean if you cannot see your hands below the surface of the water…. you never know what might be lurking in those murky waters.

Well I fully agree now with this crazy saying, after the adventure I had.

You see, it started off with a simple vacation to one of the beaches here in China. From the pictures the beach looked amazing and O.M.G, the water looked so inviting….but there’s also a thing called the great PHOTOSHOP. Yep, the beach looked nothing like the photo’s…SURPRISE!!! But anyway, we still had to make the best out of it though, that being said it was a perfect day for the beach, the sun was out, it was a bit hazy but none the less, that is the norm in China, and the water was cool.

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There were people swimming, and jumping off those man-made floatable dock thingy’s and laughing, and riding jet ski’s and on floaty’s, they were doing the water-bound obstacle course, and in general having fun in the water, so not much convincing was needed for me to assume the water was safe to swim in. We were in a group of friends, so half of us were already in the water, while the other half were taking selfies of course and wondering the beach. Firstly, I dangled my feet off the docks just testing the water, okay fine, seemed cool which would totally be fit for this summer heat. Later after a few minutes and a brave encounter, I decided to take the leap, and boom, dived straight into that ocean which was all good. The ocean was a lot saltier than other oceans, and not too sure if it’s the color of the actual ocean itself or from the pollution but it was like a dark green/ black color.

Everyone else was swimming, so it must have been okay and safe to swim right? Oh boy if only that was true, a few minutes later I swam into a huge white Jellyfish that was hovering near the rope, now if I had been able to see my hand below the surface of the water I would have been able to spot the jellyfish sooner and would have avoided it completely. But that was not the case, I practically hugged it as I came up for air, not knowing I had swam into it, until I got up to the surface and realized I had squishy like gooey stuff on me. Not thinking much of it, I stood up and began to take the white stuff off…. and then it hit me….. Oh shit this stuff that looks like and feels like bookies (snot like) was actually a part of a jellyfish. Now the first reaction was to stay calm and move away from it, but me being a dramatic goofball turned around right back into it instead of moving away, I still blame the visibility for that one, and so the jellyfish took its opportunity again and stung me on my ass too. Only after the second sting did it show itself and its true colors…. it was huge and white……and by this point my mind was like….” holy shit, you’ve just been stung by a fucking Jellyfish ahhhh time to bring in symptoms and irritate your skin with redness and a burning like stinging sensation”.

The first thing was to remove every piece of it off of me, I tell you it was a mission. It stuck to me more than once and latched onto some places like a madman, by this point it had a weird stinging sensation. Now after removing all of it….I stayed for a few minutes after that in the salty water washing myself off for the millionth time only thinking that it had just grazed my arm. Soon I hurried back to the hotel to take a proper shower and then did I only realize the aftermath that it had left. On my arm and lower back it left like little red bumps, almost looking like a rash and well on my ass it looked like I had been beaten with a whip. It left deep like lashes that almost looked like I had been attacked by some wild animal with claws, and man oh man did it sting and burn like hell. So after getting checked out and thanking my lucky stars that it was not a poisonous jellyfish and that it wasn’t too serious I saw my other friends and the panic state they were in, only to realize that they too had been “kissed by that same Jellyfish”. And you know how they say that if you google your symptoms you land up going to be dying in the next four hours ect or something silly like that, so they were in panic mode deluxe. At this point I had to laugh at their reactions.

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And that is the story of how I was “kissed” by a huge-ass Jellyfish in China. Lesson learnt for sure.

XOXO

C.v.T

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While I’m still young…

Moments come and go in the blink of an eye, some memories last and others fade, people come and go in a flash, life begins and ends constantly…yet some people still choose to live there lives being unhappy. 

Now I get asked 1000 times or more what my plans are for life, and honestly I can’t tell you. I realized that plans don’t always go to plan, anything can happen and why spend all your life missing the little moments that make life: Life itself. 

I learnt to love myself the most, because in the end you the only person who truly has you and under all that confidence and bravery I portray is a demon fighting other wars. 

I discovered peace with the past is necessary, money can buy me happiness like a plane ticket but it can also buy the less fortunate food and clothes. Now, I won’t change for people who have tried to change me, being someone’s else’s doormat is not okay and give people what they want to see but be authentic about it, your hater will follow you like it’s there religion. 

So while I’m still young I’m choosing to live in the moment, I don’t have a 5 year plan, I’m trusting God with my journey and winging it and so far it’s been an amazing one. Labeling people is bullshit, let a person be who they want to be or love who they want to… we all bleed the same and smile the same, so for goodness sake loose the fucking labels. I’m choosing to let people go who want to leave my life, I’m still happy for them tho. I’m taking a lesson as a blessing and learning with mistakes, even if I make them 100 times. I choose to travel and see it all, to find inspiration in people’s daily lives and to simply smile at strangers. I choose to say NO and mean it, to live for the truth, gain knowledge in different parts of the world, listen to people’s stories and live a simple life. I choose to be broke when I have to be but also to hustle for the beautiful life helping the less fortunate along the way. I’m choosing to be happy, some people won’t agree with my choices or whatever they want to be, but that’s okay because I choose ME. Anything is possible if you put your mind to it, I’ve learnt to sacrifice a lot to get where I am today, but my mom deserves the world so I’m hustling to make her proud and myself proud. I’m choosing to love even the ones who are too scared to be loved, I was once in that place too, but I chose to let that person go, and I pray that they find someone whose strong enough to love them the way they deserved to be loved and fill in the missing pieces. I choose to follow my dreams and play by my rules and to challenge myself like never before, and I’m not the only one whose going through the ups and mostly downs of life, but I choose to lift my head and smile at the world. 

Lastly I choose to make a change for myself and by myself, I choose pray, hustle and slay above all. I choose ME. 

Xoxo 

CvT 

JET-LAGGED , China and Chopsticks…

Well as many of you know that jet-lag can be a real pain in the ass when it wants to be. Sometimes it hits you six love and other times it’s a walk in the park, no matter how many international trips you have traveled sometimes jet-lag just has no chill.

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About two months ago I traveled from Bangkok to South Africa back home and it was a pleasant flight might I add, little to no turbulence, the food was great and the staff very friendly and accommodating. Skip 5 hours back in time and I arrived in South Africa perfectly fine, hardly no jet-lag and carried on as normal. Now fast forward two months and I’m on a flight to China, a 13 hour flight to Hong Kong (in which I had the whole row of seats open next to me, so I slept pretty well) which is super beautiful, a day layover there in which I explored the city a bit and another late and delayed flight to China. Well I tell you that didn’t go so well. There was turbulence almost the entire way and jet-lagged snatched me right up in its destructive path.

It was a whole 4 days of tiredness, moodiness, loss of appetite, waves of nausea and I felt as if I was on an emotional rollercoaster. This has yet, been by far the worst jet lag that I have experienced so far. They say there is no cure, but to just get some rest and stay dehydrated, well that didn’t seem to work. I honestly questioned myself on how stupid I was to make this decision, but I don’t regret it.

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Well the famous China ladies and gents, is not at all a walk in the park. In my opinion I thought Thailand and South Africa had the crazy drivers but I might just be a tad bit wrong on that opinion. Forget that thing where a pedestrian has the right of way on a designated zebra crossing. Nope that does not exist here. Here in China it doesn’t matter if it’s your turn to cross the street or if you are at a pedestrian crossing, it will always be the cars, the funny scooter things and the bicycles right of way first and ALWAYS. Trust me I learnt the hard way trying to cross the street, I waited for the arrow to show me that it was my time to cross, little did I know that you have to look 360 degrees at all angles, because you see there’s a smaller lane in which I assume the yellow famous bicycles use and the scooters and then there’s the other 4 lanes in which the cars use in both directions and then there’s that smaller lane again. And boy oh boy if you don’t look all the ways for turning cars or whatever they are up to you will get hit. You can be half way across the street already and if a car is going to turn it will turn in front of you no matter what. In general they don’t speed too much except at an intersection and going around a corner, I noticed that they love doing the whole speed thing then. The funny thing is it looks totally like the drivers are all in sync with each other, a few honking here and there but not too much, if you are turning just ride straight onto head-on traffic, no worries you will be able to push your way into your desired lane. Don’t feel like waiting in line then just make a new one. It’s that simple apparently. All in all, I have survived most heart attacks from the roads, the food is great and the people are amazing, the foggy air is here and I have already fallen in love with this place, no matter how much bullshit and struggles it already put me through in my first week of being here.

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A haze lingers in the air constantly. 

The language has been a major issue regarding communication but I have met such amazing people who just constantly try to help me all the time. They have been such blessings. The biggest struggle with eating here have been those lovely chopsticks that are used everywhere. Yup, I suck completely at using chopsticks and of course I cannot just have a knife and fork anytime I want mainly because there are only chopsticks available. Well like Alli says,”it’s as hard as learning how to speak English and learning how to swim”.Right now I cannot agree more. It has been a huge struggle and of course all the chinese people think its adorable and cute, well I know I need to find a fork somewhere at some point with these chopsticks stories. The food is really delicious, I have tried some traditional Chinese food and it has been amazingly delicious. Those famous dumplings are so yummy. I am super excited to try more dishes, and you haven’t eaten real Chinese food until you’ve eaten it from real Chinese people I’d say.

Xoxo

C.v.T

These people
So amazing to meet these wonderful people. 

 

272 STAIRS to a majestic Limestone Cave and the statue of Lord Murugan – Exploring The Batu Caves.

IMG_3129Situated just outside Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia lies a mystery, a well sought after adventure, The Batu Caves.

First it’s getting there. Now there are so many options like taking a taxi or train or by car obviously, but they know how to screw foreigners over big time with the taxis, so the best advise I would give is: travel like a local, see like a local and eat like a local. Best adventures ever.

Taking the train is about 40 minutes ride and it drops you right off at the caves, it was efficient and a ticket costs us 2 MYR one way. The trains are forever changing the departure times, and are never on time to head to the caves, still cheaper than a cab though and super clean. You can take the train literally everywhere, to central downtown, to the tourist attractions and big shopping malls and many other places.

Entrance into the one cave area is free, the one where the Munugan Statue resides. There are plenty of places to explore around there, you can go up to the prayer room where a Buddha is present, but you have to leave your shoes at the bottom. It is an amazing experience, you can see how the Hindu Culture is portrayed, and how similar but different their beliefs are. Many people give merit and donations, to be blessed by the Monk or the Priests. Some an exquisite view to witness. The pictures below show the people giving out merits to the Monks.

After the temple you can walk around different stalls, I would describe it as kind of like a market vibe, but a little on the expensive side, this is on the way to the caves. Once you reach the caves you will see Lord Munugan standing gold and tall, he sure is a magnificent view and of course the famous stairs to the top.

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The Munugan Statue and the famous stairs leading up to the caves.

It is a popular tourist destination, so it is hard to get pictures without the crowds. The stairs are pretty steep, and a long way up. But all worth it at the top. If you aren’t wearing anything that covers your shoulder and knees, then before you enter you are given a wrap around as shown in the pictures above. They look very traditional and smart and you are allowed to wear your shoes. There is a prayer vicinity up at the top, in the cave so that is why we were given those wrap around.

Now if you are not fit, like me then getting to the top can totally be a mission, but all worth it for the splendid view on top.

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View from the top as you are about to enter the caves.

Once inside, it is indescribable at how gorgeous the creation of the caves are. They are such a beauty of nature that its mesmerizing. And to top it all off this part of the cave is free to enter. It is massive inside lined with limestone and natural formations. There is plenty of monkey’s to see and feed and a lot of roosters confused at the times. You can explore the caves all you want, and head deeper in where a Buddha is situated at the top. It is simply beautiful to see.

The formation of the caves are unique and amazing.

The monkey’s and the birds waiting for snacks.

The prayer room.

When you exist this cave, going down the stairs again to your right you will see another entrance leading you to another cave, there you can take guided tours deeper into the caves for a fee though. After you have finished exploring the caves and reach back down to the bottom of the stairs, you have to hand your skirt back in and you can continue exploring around. There are quite a few places to see.

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Exploring the caves was majestic and magical, it is definitely worth climbing those 272 stairs to the top and back down again.

xoxo

C.v.t