Looking at my photos of Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque made me realize that they don’t deserve to be in a post on a day in Abu Dhabi; they deserve to be in a dedicated one to properly showcase the mosque’s splendor and beauty. Big words, especially that I actually had no intention of going to the capital of the United Arab Emirates until it was brought up by the Korean and Chinese I met at the hostel. So, shall we?
It was a little more than a quarter to 1:00 AM when I descended to one of the platforms in 5th Avenue/53rd Street Station and started waiting for a train. I was capping off my fourth day of solo travel with a wide grin after the person I asked to take a photo of me at the Top of the Rock (tripods were prohibited!) *insert adverb of your choice* nailed it. The only problem? I wanted to cross the Brooklyn Bridge that late but needed to take a dump. And as you ought to know, New York is not a place for public toilets.
After paying a visit to Nagkalit-kalit Falls and Nacpan Beach, we were back at El Nido Sands Inn before three o’clock and had ample time to rest and prepare for our fourth day in Palawan which involved nothing else but a good swim at Long Beach in San Vicente. Around two and a half hours later, we got the ball rolling for our transit.
It was my penultimate day in town and after taking things to greater heights at Monteverde Extremo Park, joining a night walk, and getting a visit from white-faced monkeys at Que Tuanis, I could’ve just stayed at the hostel and lazed around. But then, the front desk attendant, who ended up calling me Josh during my stay (and I just let her because who knows if I was a Josh in another life), told me to visit the Ficus tree in Monteverde.
After securing a Telcel SIM card at MEX airport—which I thought cost 129 USD until I checked that “$” is also used for Mexican peso—and making sure it was gonna keep me going in the city, I booked an Uber to Biblioteca Vasconcelos for $91.96 and stepped out in ~23 minutes, muttering the palabra one has to know in the Spanish world: Gracias!
Before COVID-19 forced countries to close borders and only allowed the entry of citizens and residents, I just arrived in Colombia for a 12-day trip without a Yellow Fever vaccine. Don’t get me wrong, I had it planned way ahead and the confirmed cases were only few then. And in retrospect, I barely talked to anyone and constantly sanitized my hands from time to time. #defensive