Tag Archives: fee

#LivingTheDream / “Risky Biscuits” . #Singapore .


Tuesday, 27 August. 9:09 p.m..

Dinner time. Again.

I’ve been in Singapore for 3.5 hours and it would be incredibly easy, if not for the fact that everything seems to require cash. money. dolla’ dolla’ bills, yo.

As a freelance journalist and gypsy, I probably rely [a little too heavily] upon worldwide acceptance of Visa cards in moments when bills that need to be paid eclipse invoices that have been paid. This is one of those moments.

Upon disembarking after my 11-hour flight from Auckland, I sent an email to the madre that stated, “I’m here! Got a new stamp in the ol’ passport, just waiting for my bag then heading to the city. Love you!” I collected said bag and discovered that I needed cash to buy a ride on the city shuttle. I needed SGD $9. With fear in my heart, I headed to the nearest ATM and my fears were realised when I saw that TD Bank had withdrawn its malevolent maintenance fee with laughably poor timing. Also, I hadn’t been paid in the previous 11 hours. In short, I was penniless. Literally. And I was stuck in the airport.

I happened to have some random international currency in my wallet and I pathetically exchanged five Aussie dollars and five U.S. dollars for a little more than 11 Singaporean bucks and slunk onto the shuttle. When I arrived at Pillows & Toast Heritage, I was reminded that I’d only booked the room with a deposit and–guess what! This hostel only accepts cash payments. Feck.

I was reduced to asking for a mini loan from my mum, which, I can tell you, does not feel good.

On the bright side, I can eat with chopsticks…

Someone recently told me that living this way is “risky biscuits.” I was like, “Yeah, heh.” And I merely thought, I’m gonna steal that turn of phrase. Today, as I contemplated purchasing strangers’ overpriced Frappuccinos in exchange for cold, hard cash, in order to escape the aeropuerto, I saw cookies in an utterly unappetising light. For the first time in the history of me.

Come on, lifestyle sponsor, where are you?

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Circumnavigating Part 7: Making Like Magellan

Day two at Hanalei. Mike is exceptionally patient and encouraging, so I’m not sure what I’m hoping Alouette will do for me in the water, but I do have hopes of a better outcome than yesterday. I suppose on some level, I’m thinking that Alouette is a woman and, maybe, more my speed. Mike is a gristley guy with a lifetime of surf experience, ranging from New York winters to pumping Hanalei and beyond. I’m also hoping that the waves will be a size that I consider more fun than, say, deadly, since everyone keeps saying the swell’s going down.

Alouette turns out to be just as dauntless as Mike and just a little less nurturing (in the lineup). The swell is still up.

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Circumnavigating Part 1: Paris and London Plus Board

The Inertia kindly published part one of Circumnavigating a few months ago. In case you didn’t see it, here it is. If you did (and enjoyed), look for part two tomorrow.

Against all logic and airline stipulations, my board and I traveled from New York to Paris, to Metz, back to Paris, to London, and to Sydney (via Bangkok) without paying a single baggage fee. Unless you count needing a bigger-than-standard taxi in Paris. And actually, the board got me some free first-class Chunnel seats.

Friends at home kept suggesting that I just ship the Penguin straight to Australia and forget about dragging it around with me, for the sake of expediency and cash flow. I insisted that taking it with me would be a “funny” thing to do—and would probably be cheaper. To those friends, I say… “Wait a second, I was right?” Okay, only half right, maybe.

The guy who checks me in at the Iceland Air counter gingerly presses a “Fragile” sticker onto the bag and says it is light enough to fly for free. The very image of hospitality. Nevermind that I will shiver through the entire flight, there will be no food served, and Icelandic sounds like a mash-up language.

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,