What do you get when you put a bunch of tech enthusiasts on a windy island? In the case of MaiTai Cabarete, which took place this weekend in the Dominican Republic, it meant hardcore kitesurfing for 3 straight days. Not what you’d expect, right?
Landed in New York last Tuesday at 10pm. Unpacked a little, read over questions for a tech chat for Silicon Dragon the next day. Attended speakers’ luncheon and promptly entered food coma…cut out early to nap before the actual event. Snoozed twice before rushing to midtown to make it in time for my slot. Did 3 TV interviews and then went on stage. Wore hat to cover up bad bangs, threw on some makeup to look alive. Executed tech chat with no major glitches. Stayed afterward and met a gazillion promising contacts. Success.
Escaped the city for a couple hours over the weekend. A girlfriend and I did the Dragon’s Back Hike in Shek O Country Park. Having the scorching sun beat down on our backs was (kind of) worth it. We were greeted with clear blue skies, lush greenery and 360 views of a quieter side of Hong Kong as we power walked from Shek O Road to Big Wave Beach (also known as Tai Long Wan). We wrapped up our cardio-charged morning with boozy ice pops and shisha sticks before hopping on a mini bus back to civilization.
According to the DSM-5 aka the bible for all things mental illness/disorder/health related, caffeine intoxication is recognized as an official pathology now. I didn’t think it was possible, but after inadvertently consuming a QUADRUPLE-ESPRESSO’s worth of coffee a few days ago in Vietnam, I was able to personally verify this was indeed the case.
Coconut wine, nón lá and sampan rides. Three words I didn’t expect to entail so much fun. But our Ben Tre Day Tour yesterday was exactly that. So much fun!
Our first day in Ho Chi Minh City revolved around escaping the heavy downpour, mastering how to cross the traffic light-less streets in one piece, communicating with our hands/facial expressions and scoping out boutique stores.
Invariably when we travel, things do not always go as planned. Our first 24 hours in Saigon have evidenced just that. Starting off on the wrong foot even before arriving in Vietnam, we had visa issues with one of our teammates in Thailand. Thankfully all flights and immigration were sorted out before getting here. Upon arrival, we were briefly lost in motorbike nation (even at 10pm) but managed to communicate to our non-English speaking taxi driver to stop at what appeared to be a murderous alleyway: the entrance to our Airbnb. This is when we realized how much we had taken for granted the English proficiency of locals in Chiang Mai, which does NOT apply as prevalently in Saigon.