Asia is Terrible

6 May

You know, I used to consider myself quite the world traveler.  My first international experience was studying abroad in India when I was 20 years old.  Though it would be a lie to say I enjoyed every minute of my time there, I do remember it quite fondly and consider it one of the more formative experiences of my life to date.  I look back on my bold 20 year-old self deftly navigating bus and train stations, fiercely bartering, braving unspeakable hordes of humans, trying any and all cuisine and I have to wonder what happened to me.  You see, I just got back from another trip around Southeast Asia, and the picture was quite a bit different this time.  I found myself often wandering the streets of Indonesia or Vietnam and thinking to myself, “Let’s all just admit it: Asia is terrible.”

I mean, really, come on.

I mean, really, come on.

I know this probably isn’t the popular opinion, especially on an internet crowded with travel blogs of people’s mind opening experiences abroad.  And I know my younger self would’ve been horrified by this conclusion, but maybe I’m getting old, and maybe I’m jaded or grumpy, but I just did not enjoy a lot of the realities that come with traveling in Asia this time around. It’s not fun to have people following you trying to get you to do things you don’t want to do from the second you step out of your hotel(or even, often from inside the hotel).  My travel buddy and I loved to dream up mean things we could say to taxi or rickshaw drivers trying to hustle up our business.(“You need a taxi?”  “No thanks, sir, we have working legs.” “Where are you going?”  “None of your damn business, shithead.”)  But alas, some of those exchanges would have just been lost in translation.  To face the constant onslaught of people trying to get your money, talk about your tattoo, or tell you what they think of America, I made a playlist to drown out all their noise.  So, I present to you my brief, but effective means of steeling myself for going outdoors in Southeast Asia:

  1. Backseat Freestlye, Kendrick Lamar.  “Respect my mind, or die from lead shower.”
  2. Hands on the Wheel, Schoolboy Q(feat. A$ap Rocky).”If I fucked her once, I can fuck her twice, If I fuck her twice, I might change her life.”  Everybody needs a little confidence.
  3. Girl on Fire, Alicia Keys.  I walked around trying to pretend I was literally on fire, so people wouldn’t want to fuck with me.
  4. Do You…, Miguel.  This one was just to calm me down, take the edge off a little bit.
  5. Werkin’ Girls, Angel Haze.  “You can cut the fake shit, I’m not a motherfuckin’ actor… You bitches bout to be Casper.” She’s one of the meanest out.
  6. Cut You, Cloud Nothings.  “Can he be as mean as me, Can he cut you in your sleep?”  Right?
  7. Works Every Time, El-P.  “It’s like a fresh start on a new world, and I already wanna go home.”
  8. There He Go, Schoolboy Q.  “I’m shinin’ hard, they be like: ‘There he go! No bodyguard, they be like: ‘There he go!” For this one, you may have to change “he” to “she” in your head, dependent on gender.
  9. League of Extraordinary Nobodies, El-P.  “I’ve been noticing that nothing glorious can happen anymore, we’ve run the gamut of our filth.”  Okay, this one’s pretty negative.
Angel Haze: I guarantee no one would fuck with her in Asia

Angel Haze: I guarantee no one would fuck with her in Asia

So, there you go.  Feel free to use it anytime you wanna look too hard to be bothered.  I hope it helps.  Or you know, you could listen to positive happy music, or no music at all, and actually open yourself up to all the many sights, sounds, and people that the world has in store for you.  Nah, right?

Wanna listen for yourself?  Here you go: Asia is Terrible

Caitie Hannan


2 Responses to “Asia is Terrible”

  1. ccharlesconfidential May 6, 2013 at 3:29 am #

    This helps a lot. I’m routinely too scared to leave my apartment, but now with your playlist, I’ll have some good tunes to listen to while cowering in under my covers.


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