How to Pickpocket

As we walked the beaches of Bali, we were swamped with requests of “surf lessons mister?” or “buy a drink?”. As annoying as this got, it became a little more acceptable after we experienced how others get by.

We were walking between tourist malls when we saw two young boys peddling something on the side of the street. When we got closer, we saw the two boys swarm the young European couple in front of us with some small trinkets in their hands and making lots of noise.

If our innocence for the young kids had previously blocked our perception of what was actually happening, it became clear when we saw the younger boy crowd up behind the couple and try to stick his hand in lady’s purse! Oh yes, these were professional pickpockets at the age of 8 and 10. It was a sad situation but taught a valuable lesson to me; mainly, how to pickpocket!

Here’s how to pickpocket:

How Much Did We Spend in Malaysia?

How Much Did We Spend in Malaysia?

Overall score (Dan) = A
Overall score (Jocelyn) = B

Total days = 15 nights, 16 days
Total cost = $1,580
Cost per day = $98.75/day
Flight costs = $122 for two flights from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur


We finally got under $100/day for total spending!! As you’ll read in a little bit, this still included more flying than what we wanted, but we were also helped out with free and cheaper hotels thanks to hotel points.

Our first city to visit was Kuala Lumpur (KL), Malaysia which is best known for the tallest twin towers in the world – the Petronas Towers. The city is very large and advanced, but unlike Singapore, it still contains plenty of green space and culture.

The best part of KL was our city guide – my good friend and coworker who’s from there. He spent two full days taking us on tours and showing us things we never would’ve seen on our own; he was even nice enough to take us to dinner with his family where we sampled local cuisine and perused the local talking points! It’s so awesome to get to truly know a place by delving into the issues from politics to immigration.

Clearing Rain Forests Makes Economic Sense

As we rode in our mini bus through the humid heat of Borneo, I tried to collect my thoughts amongst the wind blowing through our open windows to cool us down. Instead of the luscious rain forests we saw in the earlier part of the trip, we were now stuck in acres of palm tree plantations that lined the pot-hole filled street on both sides.

The palm plantations were formerly rain forests containing rare animals and plants that evolved for millions of years on the secluded island of Borneo to become unique to the world. The luscious forests were filled with Orangutans, the unique big-nosed Proboscis monkeys and an unknowable number of herbal healing secrets that are forever lost.

Now the land is full of palm plantations. It’s easy to take the first-world approach and say the locals have desecrated the land and removed some of the most precious forests from the world. Their selfish deeds have contributed to global warming by clearing the land with the force of fire whose smoke pollutes the rest of the world.

But you know, it actually makes economic sense for the locals to slash and burn the rain forests so they can provide for themselves. They’ve created an economy where before there was only worthless green space. They’ve created wealth that provides for their family, workers, and community. So why shouldn’t they be allowed to clear the rain forests?