Camping under the Great Wall, confronting giant Giant Buddha, finding the world’s best-kept secret to warmth (wear a sleeping bag under your sweater), surviving on bamboo noodle soup, sneaking up on sneaky monkeys, flying wish lanterns into New Year Thai sky, visiting the famous land of the Golden Triangle while avoiding what it has to offer, identifying best shelters from tsunami, portraying people of India and discovering smiles in Dharavi slums, dancing with Lao soldiers, chitchatting with elephants (riding only on Sri Lankan trains, Thai tuk-tuks and Lao barges!), exploring White Temple aka Pikachu-Hello Kitty-Spiderman Headquarters, casually walking the streets of Mumbai, indulging in modern day utopia in Auroville… and yes, meeting actual bored pandas, only to become millionaires in Vietnam just today.
That’s what my sister Antonina and her boyfriend Bartek have been doing for the last few months and intend to continue until they find a more interesting pastime (which I personally think might be a bit hard to do, correct me if I’m wrong). Just scroll down directly to the videos and photos to get a glimpse of what their adventures actually look like!
Here I’ll just give a few more pieces of information so you know where to find Antonina and Bartek later on, maybe just to ask them where they got those super tasty bamboo noodles.
They manage an entertaining Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/jestemtuu/ and a YouTube channel with vlogs called ‘Jestem tu’ (‘Here I am’) https://www.youtube.com/user/jestemwstanie with a huge lot of interesting local bites and pieces unfindable anywhere else that Bartek started already a while ago also for sharing his previous supersized U.S. adventures. There are also Instagram accounts if you’re in for more static visual treats @antochomi & @zwiefny, as well as a fresh website for the more oldschool pandas among us that also like to read some more articles, e.g. on where to get a tailor-made suit (Thai night markets are the place to go) https://www.jestemtu.net/
The majority of all the very content content is bilingual English-Polish. Where it is only in Polish (website and a few vlogs) and you feel like maybe learning this language at some other time after all, just blackmail Antonina and Bartek a bit that you won’t watch them bathing elephants if they don’t make a translation (even though I know that bathing elephants might be a hard thing to miss).
Or just drop them a line on Facebook about anything you feel like (ok, maybe not necessarily about that hot cheese fondue you feel like, although they’re also huge fans) – they’ll answer whenever they find access to the online world.
In any case, enough with talking, time for some action!
Bartek films everything and together with Antonina they also photograph and write. (As you can see below, they are extremely fashion-conscious and attractive young people.)
If by now you’re just craving to see the pandas already, no more waiting, just take a look here… (For the most impatient – 0:25 panda introduction, 1:25 – panda eating eucalyptus, aw (Don’t forget to take a screenshot and turn on the subtitles too, unless you can tell Polish jokes in Polish, which is quite badass by the way.)
After this… A visit at an elephant rescue sanctuary, anyone? Jump directly to 6:08 if you don’t mind missing e.g. the ruins of an ancient city Sukhothai and a very non-feminist, politically incorrect Thai temple. (This video, unlike many others, is only in Polish, but blackmailing about translation can be highly effective also in the comments section. And kind Polish pandas can contribute to creating English subs directly on YouTube!)
Then you can join a train ride (in English) through Sri Lanka…
…or take a car and go on a six-minute safari at Udawalawe National Park!
But there are also other wonders. Some that you could easily see from up in the Thai sky…
…and others that you can only see from very up close in people’s smiles where you would least expect them.
Antonina also made a series of portraits of Indian people that you can find in full on the ‘Jestem tu’ Facebook page
At the same time, there are regularly posted other photos that rock. Like this one, of Antonina and Bartek sitting on Pidurangala Rock while looking at Sigiryia Rock
But you can also come across some pictures of random old buildings at the Facebook page as well
If you want more, you can find some extra photos at our cute vloggers’ Instagram accounts @antochomi @zwiefny. Imagine that after a month of a journey inland you finally reach the Indian Ocean (can you already feel the gentle breeze?). Now relax and simply enjoy some breathtaking views like this one
Or maybe better like this one
Alternatively, you can just lazily sit on your couch doing nothing. But then, lazily sitting on your couch doing nothing while imagining you lazily sit on a waterfall doing nothing sounds just a wee bit better, don’t you agree?
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