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16. The meaning of Travel

The meaning of Travel




People travels around the world and lost themselves in different culture and food is not to escape, not to hide, not to acquire, not to record, but to change their world view in an environment beyond their own imagination. This experience slowly helps them change their worldview and what they really like and feel important in their heart.


I, along with some of my friends went to the Philippines to a vacation. I have a friend who went to the Philippines with me and after staying there for three days, he became very familiar with a local man who was working in a BBQ shop. Both of them were terrible at English, but they relied on their vocabulary of less than 400 words to communicate every day. And their conversations were both funny and weird to hear so I would follow him whenever he went to that local’s shop to chat.


I once heard him asking the native man: “Why is your skin so black?”


Of course, the native didn’t know. So he also asked back: “Why?”


My friend replied righteously, “Because you are being f*cked by the sun every day, hahahahaha…”and burst out laughing.


The native took a red-hot charcoal from the BBQ grill he was working at and threw it at my friend’s crotch.


I wanted both of them to send one of my friends who was good at English and help them learn common conversations in English.


This peculiar friend of mine wasn’t very tall, so we used to call him Shorty. His wife thought the name was too old and should be a bit more modern, so she added a suffix and made it very high end, calling him Shorty Five*, which sounds like a smartphone that only socialites would use.


[T/N: The word ‘Five’ in Chinese could also mean ‘Scary’. I have no idea why he is called like that. Maybe he looked scary? If any of my readers know the meaning, feel free to comment.]


When we were on the flight going to the Philippines, there was a little fat foreigner boy sitting next to him who kept crying. The little fat boy’s blonde mother couldn’t coax him, so my friend put his arm around him and started singing a lullaby.




The blonde mother was so shocked hearing his horrible lullaby that she dropped the milk bottle in her hand.


After arriving at the airport, Shorty Five took advantage of the staff stamping his visa for him and hurriedly asked the Philippino girl behind the desk , “Do you know where we can dongcidaci*?”



[T/N: As it was said before, He (Shorty five) isn’t good at English. He speaks English while mixing Chinese with it. So please bear with the…. mixed up English.]


Everyone thought that something was wrong with his head, so they slowly backed out from him and left him alone.


The Philipino girl blinked in confusion, and he asked again, “You don’t know dongcidaci? Ugh, Do you know…know where delicious chicken wings are found? Do you know Chicken? The bird that can’t fly but still is called bird……” We laughed, standing at the back of the row.


The Philipino girl still blinked, speechless.


Feeling bored, he pulled out ten peso coins, dropped them on the counter and said.




For God’s sake! Behave yourself! You’ll either be arrested or shot by the police*.



[T/N: Please search on Google ‘peso coin’ and you will know the reason for the author saying that.]



On the boat, he quietly asked his best friend, who was good at English, how to buy anything in the Philippines.


The friend thought about it and said, “You must learn one sentence in English: Keep the change.”


Shorty Five treasured this sentence like his last penny on the purse and went into a deep sleep.


When we got off the boat, he saw a hat that caught his eyes and wanted to buy it. The hat was being sold for fifty-five pesos, but he bargained and lowered the price to forty-five pesos. After the bargaining, he took out two twenty peso bills and a five peso coin, totaling forty-five pesos, and handed them to the owner’s wife while saying seriously, “I love you, so, Keep the change.”


I love you, so, keep the change…. Keep the change your sister! What does this even supposed to mean!? If you love her you should give her 100 pesos, okay?


In the evening at the White Beach bar, he started hitting on girls.


And his target was also a foreign girl.


Yang Mei Ju (the foreign girl) asked him, “Where are you from?” He smiled mischievously and said while pointing to the ocean, “Go, go there and turn left.”


The foreign girl obviously didn’t understand him. While she was blinking in confusion, he rolled his eyes at her and suddenly shouted, “Go to hell! To hell!”, and then started dancing and singing around. Enjoying the evening as much as he could.


I grabbed him and shouted, “What’s wrong with you?”


I wanted to slap him but restrained myself.


Shorty Five and the black native man who worked in a BBQ shop were well acquainted.


We wandered along the pier and came across the BBQ shop but were met with the topless, muscular owner, instead of the local man we previously saw.


Shorty Five was thrilled seeing the owner’s well defined muscles and asked me, “How do you say ‘strong’ in English?”


I said, “I think it’s ‘Strong’*.”


[T/N: ‘Strong’ in English.]


He ran over to the boss with gusto and said, “You are so s…s…s…”, Shorty Five couldn’t remember the ‘Strong’ word in English I said and kept stammering on the letter ‘s’. We all didn’t know why but suddenly felt a little nervous and fearful. And it seemed we were right about fearing his stuttering, because finally when he remembered, he shouted happily, “Stupid!”


Everyone flopped down. We are so doomed.


The muscular owner looked at him dumbfoundedly while he raised his thin arms and said proudly, “Me too!”


The owner pounced on him. That day, we returned to the hotel while huffing like an asthma patient for him.


We went to wander in sea the next day.


We were all discussing weather to play the game ‘Flying fish’ for a thousand pesos each or run on the beach with beach-bikes for two thousand pesos, or go to sailing in the sea which was worth five hundred pesos.


Since the ideas were a bit difficult to describe in English, because people living there weren’t so good in English, Shorty Five volunteered to communicate with the locals.


He took our money, ran over to rent a boat, and was back in a flash.


He said proudly that it was done in one sentence.


We were shocked and asked, “How did you bargained the price in one sentence?”


He said, “Keep the change.”


Keep the change! Motherf*cker!



The third day was Friday, a big stage was set up on the beach. We heard from the locals that a big Philipino star was coming here for concert.


It sounded like fun, so we went to join with the rest of the people.


When the Philipino star raised his hand, the crowd of people roared; when the Philipino star lowered his hand, the crowd went silent.


The Philipino star looked down at the stage and saw Shorty Five jumping and screaming for him, despite being a foreigner and not knowing the star. The Philippino star got curious, so he pointed at Shorty Five and shouted, “Are you my fan?”


Shorty Five shouted wildly: “You are so s…s…s…”


We were horrified but it was too late to cover his mouth.


Shorty Five screamed again: “You are so Stupid!”


We went away hurriedly and silenty, pretending we didn’t know who the retard was and sneaking away from the crowds who were silent.


Behind us, we heard Shorty Five shouting even more excitedly, “I am happy!”


When we left the Philippines, Shorty Five suddenly suggested that since we all want to travel around the world, we must learn how to speak a little bit of English.


I thought, “Damn you! your little bit is too little.”


The Shorty Five said, “Even if I can’t speak English properly, I will still fight for all the opportunities to travel. Because I don’t want to be as sad as before while rotting in the country.”


Shorty Five said, “travelling can help a person recover from all the sadness and pain of the world.”


I nodded my head. Although, he was stupid and very bad at English, his words were still right.


Shorty Five suddenly said very seriously, “I figured out the meaning of traveling. It’s not to escape, not to hide, not to acquire, not to record, but to change one’s world view in an environment beyond one’s imagination. This experience slowly helps one’s to change his worldview and what he really likes and feel important in his heart.”


“Even after a few days later I have to go back, back to the ever-noisy, ever-upset and never-ending work life, I’m happy that I have seen a new place of the world and have a different view than before.”


“Even if nothing has changed, at least, I can treat the life like a book, and mine has a few more colorful pages than others.”


“This is the meaning of travelling.”










T/N: This chapter was….Hella hard! It took me almost half of the day to translate it. If you see any mistakes, feel free to comment and point them out.












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