The Strangers I Meet

It’s always a good idea to meet new people. Some of them become lifelong friends and some end right then and there where it began but what I treasure most about all of them are the moments we created (good or bad), the lessons I learned from them or because of them, and the stories I get to keep that some I now intend to share.

I love seeing new faces and hearing different stories about their dreams, life realizations, funny experiences, travels, adventures and even misadventures. More than that, it’s about creating a connection with them and sharing a part of myself to them as they share theirs. Through random conversations, my thoughts about the world and about people from all walks of life just broaden and I realize how little I know of the world and how much more I want to learn about and understand the world.

Some of the people I meet make all the sense in the world. They are the ones I look up to, the ones I speak highly of, and the ones I feel honored to have met. Some, on the other hand, have actions, styles, and conversations that I don’t think I will ever understand but on the bright side, they left me with hilarious stories to tell. This stranger list is not about the former, but the latter–the ones who cracked me up, who annoyed the hell out of me, and who (oddly enough) impressed me.

1. The Hero


Seoul, South Korea – I could see him staring from the other side of the bar and it didn’t take long before he and his friend came up to me and my cousins, introduced themselves, and sat beside us. He didn’t buy me a drink but he drank from ours (I won’t judge) and he told me about his job. He said he’s in the US military. I felt like tripping that night so in my most pretend-ditzy way, I said, “Oh my goodness! You’ve shot people!” he replied with his most arrogant smirk, “Only the bad guys.” He continued, “We stayed in Afghanistan for 6 months and I got shot in the shoulder!” I butted in, “Oh noooo, that’s horrible! Come on, Let me see!” He showed me his tattoo-covered shoulder blade and I checked it out—NADA. No scar at all. I said, “Oh my god, I can feel it! There it is!” I knew he was lying and I think he knew that so he said, “Oh, and the doctors did a great job healing it so it’s not obvious.” Well, he was proud of his little story so I gave him that moment.

All the while, his friend was whispering to my cousin, “We have never been to Afghanistan and he never got shot.”

2. The Biebs


Manila, Philippines – It could have been scotch goggles or we really just wanted a fangirl moment. I was with my two best friends in a club when I saw this tall, thin, and blonde boy who had Justin Bieber’s hair. That’s right–Justin Bieber in the club! We approached him and said “Justin Bieber! We need to take a photo with you and you have to give us an autograph!” He played along, borrowed a pen from the waiter, and signed our arms–though an autographed tissue would’ve been preferable. His friends started calling him Biebs too and he came out of the club, a Justin Bieber. #belieb

We just brought out the superstar in that boy. He’ll never be the same again.

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3. The G-Thug

Photo from
Photo from

Bangkok, Thailand – My cousin and I were walking along Khao San Road and a group of Brazilian Football players approached us and introduced themselves and with them was this Thai man dressed up as a 90s rapper complete with a bandana wrapped around his head and a gangsta accent. He liked me and he was persistent! I can’t recall how many times I brushed him off because he was beyond annoying with his “moves” but he just kept on coming back like a boomerang. He tried to hold my hand, I shut my wrist tight and told him to stop. He tried to put his arm around me, I pushed him away. He tried to shower me with flatteries, I told him off. With one last push, he swerved right back to me and whispered closely to my ear ” MAMASITAAAH!” I cringed. I called it a night.

You ain’t gettin’ any sugar from this mamasita, homeboy.

4. The Tour Guide

photo from
photo from

Bangkok, Thailand – I was in the club’s lounge area talking to my cousin when he approached us. He sat beside me and his first words were, “You have the eyes, the lips, and the booty of a black woman!” (Uhm…) He kept talking and he asked us what our Bangkok itinerary was and we just said fabric shopping. He offered to bring us around as our personal tour guide because he knows exactly where to buy the best fabrics. We declined. He insisted. We really declined. He asked for my number so he can contact me in case we change our minds. I lied and said, “My line doesn’t work here.” He said “Okay, let me give you my number then. Why don’t you go over there to the bar and borrow a pen, come back here, then I’ll give you my number?” I replied, “Are you seriously asking me to stand up and ask for a pen just so I can get your number? I did not even ask for it.” He said, “well, I’m giving you MY number.” I told him to leave because he was making me very uncomfortable. His final words were “Okay. I’ll go back inside but when I come back out and I see you again, I’m definitely giving you my number.” Yes, I made sure those were his last words to me.

5. The Vegetarian 


Boracay Island, Philippines – I was dancing with my cousins when he approached me and initiated a conversation. We started with where we’re both from, what we do for a living, why we’re in the island, etcetera etcetera until for some reason I can’t recall, he suddenly said that he does not eat anything that was once alive. Just for argument’s sake, I said, “The plants you eat were once alive.” He snapped. He raised his voice angrily and explained to me how plants are not vertebrates, they don’t have a spinal cord, and he filled me in with more fun facts about plants! I tried to defend my point but I was no match for the the vegetarian guru. I accepted defeat.

6. The Seeker

photo from shutterstock
photo from shutterstock

Manila, Philippines – I was waiting for my best friend outside the men’s restroom when he approached me and introduced himself. I asked where he was from and he said, “I’m from Neww Jeeerzzzzey, Babyyy!” Aah. It quickly escalated to awkward levels as he started flirting but thank god my best friend finally exited the restroom and took me away. An hour later, I was in another club and I could see him fast approaching. I was about to hide when he suddenly caught me and said, “Where were you babyyy? Where have you been all my life? I was lookin’ fo’ you 24/7 for 3 dayzzz!” I couldn’t help but laugh as I said “It hasn’t even been an hour!” He replied, “but it felt like 24/7 for 3 dayzzz, babyy! That’s how much I’ve been looking for you!”

I excused myself and hid for the rest of the night– that’s another 24/7 for 15 dayzzz.

7. The Indian Chuck Bass


Hong Kong – Around 4AM, I was with my two best friends walking around Lan Kwai Fong as bars were closing one by one. We bumped into a friend of our client (for a wedding video) and he offered to bring us around because he knew a few more bars open at that hour. He also asked for some closed bars in LKF to open just for us so we can take shots and they would actually open for him! He then told us that everyone goes to Wan Chai after Lan Kwai Fong. Knowing nothing about the place, we said, then let’s go Wan Chai! He ended up bringing us to a sketchy bar and as we entered, he started bragging to my friend that he had slept with her, her, her, her, her, and her as he pointed to random girls. It was a bar full of prostitutes and old men. Of course it didn’t take long for us to find the exit and leave him there. Yech!

Wan Chai is Hong Kong’s red light district, apparently.

8. The Ice Cream Man

Los Angeles, CA, USA – His name was Jesse–How did I know that? He had a name tag on and I didn’t really meet him. He was the ice cream man on Disneyland’s Space Mountain. He looked like Wentworth Miller, the Latino version. I wanted to meet him–well, not really… I just wanted to innocently flirt with the ice cream man– but I wasn’t craving for ice cream and neither were my friends. I had no excuse. Thank goodness for that long and slow line going to the ride because boy, did I enjoy my view! I would’ve lined up again to see him but I thought that would be a waste of time so I did this instead:

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9. The Doppelgänger

Singapore – I guess it’s safe to say that Singapore is the land of doppelgängers.  I’ve met 3 already–the one who looked like this guy I liked at that time (second best!), the drunken Robert Downey Jr. lookalike, and my favorite, the Lafayette (My favorite character in True Blood) doppelgänger. I was in a club at Clarke Quay with my cousin when this tall, fab, fierce & gay black guy walked past me. He commanded everyone’s attention and he definitely got mine! He stepped onto the dance floor’s platform and started dancing–I’d like to believe he was possessed by Lafayette! He had the same buff build, he dressed, talked, and moved like him though he did not actually look like him but who could tell anyway under the laser-lit darkness? I don’t really get star-struck but I sure was with him–and ironically, to someone who’s not even a star! I adored him. I went up to him, called his attention, and I just had to say (like a fangirl), “you are amazing! What’s your name?” he replied, “Thanks, darling! My name’s Joy.”

I still call him Lafayette.



10. The Royal BFF

Manila, Philippines – My friend used to host one of the nights in a local club and I’d usually attend her nights. Once upon a time, a middle Eastern prince visited the club complete with around 5 body guards, some ladies, and his best friend.  While the prince laid on the couch, his best friend started looking for damsels and saw us. He wanted to dance with us so I told him, “Here in the Philippines, we dance, you follow. Got it?” He said OK. My friend and I went all Shaun T and started doing hip-hop abs on the dance floor (we were the only ones left there anyway) and he was actually quick to follow the dance steps! That’s right, burn those champagne calories!

He told me that he wanted a photo using my camera and he commanded me to email it to him the next day which I never did. So, Mr. Royal BFF, Here is the long overdue photo of you awkwardly holding on to my champagne glass. Sorry for the blurred head and you’re welcome.