Monday, 18 June 2018

Problems in Poland, nights in Norway and saving some teens

People always say you make friends for life while travelling. 

A statement I have to say is a little questionable. You do, however, meet enough people scattered around this fucking globe that you're guaranteed a ride from the airport, free place to stay and opportunity to be treated like a Queen when you pay them a visit. 

Which is exactly why I made a pit stop in Poland followed by a long weekend in Norway with the boys I met in Bali before making it back to Manchester. 

Poland was exactly what I'd hoped it to be: really fucking cheap. 

We took an Uber everywhere, ate everything and barely broke a tenner in the process. We stayed in Warsaw which is everyone's second choice when they come to this country, but the flights were cheap as so Steffi, Alisha and I gave it a chance anyway.

The old town was cute, the city could have been any other city in the world with its million McDonalds and shopping centres, and the people weren't particularly friendly. I'm not saying all Polish people are rude, but the ones we met ticked that box. Especially the bloke that kicked us out of our accommodation because he'd messed up his bookings. Ya dick head. 

But with pints for £1 good time was still had by all.

Next stop in my quest to float around the world like I actually appreciate other cultures and cuisines was Norway to reunite the lads. And the only thing you need to know about this country is there's a lot of fucking trees.

"They grow faster than we can cut them down," Simen declared with much pride while stating the absolute bloody obvious as we drove over to his home in T√łnsberg with Thomas and Ashley. 

Everywhere was peaceful, the people were pleasant, the daylight never seemed to disappear and I no longer felt like a bit of pedophile as these teenagers I befriended last March in Indonesia were officially now in their twenties.

During my time in Bali I was clinically depressed, hating life and unsure how exactly I'd even ended up there. And then came Simen and Thomas, both 19, who were even worse off than me. Their love of binge drinking with an inability to sense an unsafe situation meant they'd been repeatedly robbed within literal days of landing and had no money, no mobile phones and no bank cards between them. 

Pissed, penniless and several weeks to survive on nothing until they boarded that flight home. The bank of mum and dad couldn't even save them as they had zero access to a single account with no technology to actually contact home. Yet they were still smiling.

"Thank god," I thought as we became acquainted one morning over a shit steak breakfast in the hotel we were all staying. "I'm no longer the most tragic person on this trip." 

I then swooped in with a bank card and offered to help - the charity of a lonely Brit bridging nations and making it rain local currency rupiahs. Half of me realising it's easier to buy friends than make them naturally while the other half fearing I'd never see them and my money again after weeks of withdrawals.

“Treat people with kindness,” my old mate Harry Styles likes to say so I hoped for the best anyway.

Thankfully they proved to be as genuine as I believed, and all this time later I landed in their homeland to a heroes welcome. "Are you the boy that saved them?" a grandparent asked in broken English. "Thank you so much," another family member gushed. 

I felt like Meghan Markle. Not in a Princess way, but more in the sense of being celebrated internationally for my minimal charity work and not much else.

It was a bit weird seeing how one small and kinda insignificant act on my side meant so much to a load of people I'd never even met speaking a language I don't understand - but I suppose it was kinda nice to realise.

Help people where you can, take a risk for the sake of someone else and just don't be a twat - that's the message of this post. People will always fuck you over in life, that's inevitable, but many may surprise you if you extend a hand.

Plus good deeds give you pure bragging points on social media and/or travel blogs like so.