Lust

Happy 2015, year of Travel!

Hey guys, if you’re reading this you’ve found my blog. Cool as! For those who know me, you know about a month ago I bought a two way ticket to Malaysia and Philippines. If you don’t know me you know this now. The idea was a bit of a whynot moment and originally I was meant to leave in June. I thought 6 months would be a good amount of time to gather some funds around me. Next thing I know, i’m staring at my receipt for a ticket departing in January to Malaysia and April to Manila, Philippines . Out the window went the saving plans. Savings? Ain’t nobody got time for that. At this stage I’m a backpacker, I have no plan and a strict budget. The vague idea is to backpack through Malaysia and then onwards through India,Nepal and Manila. Make some friends, learn some languages and maybe work. I don’t know when I’ll come home. Maybe I’ll find a new home.

Coming Jan 1 2015 My life and I will quite literally be up in the air. Some days I wish I was leaving tomorrow and other days I am actually drowning in the overwhelmingly large ocean known as “what the f**k am I doing”. I’ve started this blog cause well I like to write and why not? I can kept track of my ideas and plans. I can make sure I remember the things that help me travel easier- and the things that don’t. I’ll also without a doubt be writing down my travel adventures as they unravel out in front of me, making you green with envy at the new places I find and the beautiful humans I meet. So can’t wait! Blogging also is an easy way for me to keep you in the loop with my movements. God knows I am bad enough at keeping in touch with my friends who live in the same city as me!

So, it’s the last month of 2014. I’ve allowed myself a month to fantasize about all my travelling possibilities, to stare at maps and stay up until 1 am reading travel blogs. One month away from D-DAY and shit has to get real. That means I need some form of a plan. At least for that first week in the unknown! There is no way in hell things to go well with me landing in Malaysia with no bed, no idea where I am and no language skills whatsoever.

This is my list for first quarter of 2015, the start of my travel prep, and this month I’ll be blogging about how good I am at getting all this shit done.

First quarter of 2015

January – Malaysia (Voluntary Work/Travel/New year)
February – Lucknow and Delhi (Wedding Shoot/Travel)
March – Nepal (Voluntary Work/Travel)
April, May – Philippines (Voluntary Work/Travel/Future plans)

Travel Preparation

Buy a backpack. Cos you can’t go backpacking without one.
Find a work – random voluntary work in the above mentioned countries through YGIP
Travel Insurance. Just writing those word makes me want to run away.
Draft up a Rough itinerary for the first two weeks in Malaysia.

If I can get through this by the end of the month I’m going to be so impressed I will be going to party.

My Travel Blog Wandering Mak

Advertisements

Day at Sonagachi

Sonagachi, the largest red-light district in Asia. The whole group came, along with our trip advisor and one of her friends who knew the way. Its about 15 minutes from my hotel, a 1 minute walk from the metro station . I didn’t expect to enjoy it necessarily, but I thought it would be interesting to see. It turns out…..its pretty awful. Really awful. Go figure.

There are somewhere around 10,000 prostitutes in the district, which has hundreds of multi-story brothels. We went through a few alleys around 8am, which is before business starts. There were old women and children around, so I assumed that things would clear out before business started. We saw a few buildings and alleys which were pretty clearly brothels, but it wasn’t obvious. They don’t have the money to make things look nice. Its just a run-down residential area…with a different function at night. By the time we went through our third alley, it was around 9am, and suddenly business had started. Women lined up down the street, each one looking at me at I passed. Our guide told us that if one of us guys was there by ourselves, every one of them would be badgering us, negotiating a price. He said, “I wouldn’t dare go down this alley alone.”

Here’s the thing about the red light district: in your head, you might have pictures of what its like. You might be able to imagine your prototypical prostitute. But when you’re there, looking at these women in the eyes, you realize how incredibly real and human each one of them is. I saw humanity in each of their faces. In many eyes I saw fear, in many others I saw a clear look of self-degradation. None looked happy, or excited. Thousands of women in Sonagachi are held there against their will; I couldn’t help wondering which women face that horror as I passed them. Many of the girls were….just that. Girls. To see a 14 or 15 year old girl standing out there on the street….is tough. Especially for the girls in our group. The women don’t have the money for lingerie or anything like that; the majority of the girls were just wearing jeans and the smallest t-shirt they own. Its a clear example of how poor the women are; indeed, poverty is the reason they are all here in the first place.

I saw a mother walking down the street in front of us with her son. The boy was about 8 or 9; the mother was wearing a skimpy glittery yellow dress and high heels, holding her son’s hand. That’s when I started to realize how real it all really is. How human these women are. And how sad it is that, for whatever reason, they’ve been driven into this. And the reality is, I still can’t understand it at all. There are so many alleys, so many women, and a personal story attached to each one. I just saw a handful of women, tried to avoid looking them in the eye, and never said a word to them. The full reality is beyond what I could possibly fathom. Maybe beyond what anyone could fathom.

I learned that the small group of girls from our group have been saved from trafficking. I don’t know whether this means that their parents were trafficked and the children were saved, or whether they themselves were trafficked for the sex-trade and got saved. Probably both. Either way, these girls must be under 12.They are beautiful girls. If I saw one of them on the street, I think I’d cry. I think they might too.

And the worst part about it is that this exists in every country in the world.