elb's hovel of thoughts

Saturday, June 25, 2005

The RM1000 'no-show'

Warning: Long rant ahead.

Just days before we were due for our holiday, XX messages me and drops the bombshell. It went something like this:

'Sorry, this trip is too expensive for me. I have lost all interest and am pulling out.'

I was stunned for a few seconds. Just when preparations and the lot were falling into place, that was one of the last things the rest of us needed to hear.

Expensive? Yes okay, it probably was. But it was within the initial estimates that we had thrown at her, and she had agreed earlier that it would be fine if the cost was around that level.

'I did my calculations and estimate that we would spend up to easily £1000.'


I recalculated everything again. My total amount was half her projection. Within the expected budget. I explained it to her, detailing the cost for almost everything.

'Sorry, but I have already lost interest. I will give you the money for the airplane ticket and cancel the accommodations.'

I was extremely pissed by then. She had shocked us before: she wanted to lug her bags over 20+ kg with us on the trip on what was supposed to be a backpacking trip (just because she was catching the flight home to Malaysia several hours after landing at Heathrow). Goodness gracious me.

YOU DO NOT LUG HUGE ASS BAGS ON A BACKPACKING JOURNEY. You don't have a fucking tourist bus to leave your bag on; you'd be doing plenty of walking/ running and similar stuff. The most that I would accept for a backpacking journey is a cabin sized bag.

Her 'justifications' for why the cost should not be high:

1) 'Its too expensive'
Hello, trains are not cheap in Europe. A seven hour rail journey in the UK can easily reach triple digits (almost similar throughout the wealthier European nations). And we are visiting a total of 7 stops (overnight at 4). If you want it cheap, then you stay put at one place. But then its no longer travelling, is it? And its some of the most expensive countries in the world we are visiting as well. Get a clue.

2) 'I cannot afford it'
If you cannot afford it, then why did you agree to the budget in the first place? And you're going to spend three days shopping in London prior to the trip? Okay, I'll excuse the fact that you need to grab some gifts for your sister who is getting married, but its not like you're going to spend several hundred pounds! And as if you won't buy other stuff while you're at it (This is what I suspect is the REAL reason why she wants to pull out.)

3) 'We are only going to 2 1/2 countries (please lah, what the hell is 1/2 a country? And we were only supposed to go to 2, not 3 countries, so count yourself priviledged!!) and paying the same price you did when you went to 4 countries (I had used a previous trip to warn her of costs).'

Bloody hell, if the 4 countries are near to each other then duhhhhhh. Whereas the countries we are going to are HUGE. Its like complaining that going around China costs more than covering Central America (okay I have no real idea, but you get the idea)!!

4) 'Did YY tell you he had lost interest?'
Well yes he had, back when the estimates were higher. But now that he finds that the cost was within the initial projection, he was more than happy to go along. Unlike you.

5) 'The itenary is incomplete. I don't like hidden costs.'
Well nobody likes hidden costs. And yes it is incomplete. We're not on a bloody tour for goodness sake. Backpacking is about going around with a rough idea sketched into your mind, looking at the train schedules last minute, walking into dorms in the middle of night and asking for beds (otherwise tough, rough it out in the street). The fact that we had taken care of most of the transport (with a rough idea of the rest) and the accommodation is already sufficient.

And do you know what? I have to plan itenaries for TWO trips. I did it for us because you and YY were busy with exams and projects, while trying to coordinate with my parents (who are coming for my graduation) for the next holiday just a few days later.

6) 'You insist on staying in the centre of the city where it is more expensive.'

When you're staying in the middle of a place you're absolutely not familiar with and have too little time to stay (lets say 24 hours before moving on), time is money. Getting lost could mean missing the train and ruining the plan. Plus, the cost of taking a taxi [OMG LOOK HERE HIDDEN COST CAN YOU SEE THAT], the longer time wasted travelling (and getting lost, as mentioned earlier), and PLUS THE FACT THAT YOU WANTED TO BRING OVER 20KG OF LUGGAGE, and you still want to stay at a ho(s)tel 5 km away that is just a few pounds cheaper? Simply amazing.


I have no idea how on Earth XX had to behave like this. It is not like she had never travelled before; she went with some other university mates to Berlin earlier this year, and has visited a number of countries before. Sigh.

I got YY to talk with her, no luck yet. We are still working to push costs lower (fat hopes it will without cutting out must-see places). Also, with just days to go, the chances of getting a decent priced, well-located place to stay is virtually impossible. DAMMIT!

Note to everyone: The next time you bloody commit to something, DON'T FUCKING BACK OUT.

UPDATE: After some talking to, XX is back on the trip! Woohooo!


  • Sorry to hear about that. I'd be extremely pissed off as well if I were in your shoes.

    Where are you off to exactly?

    I did a 2-week backpacking in Germany, Denmark, Austria & Switzerland two years ago and it cost me £400-£450 for the whole trip. It was tiring but great fun. Last minute adjustment when we couldn't find a place to stay, walking to hostels in the middle of the night to find a room, or spending the night in a train from Germany to Austria to save time and money.

    It shouldn't really be too difficult as long as you are flexible and keep an open mind.

    Hope it turns out well in the end. :) Have a good holiday.  

    Posted by Kat

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Saturday, June 25, 2005 11:46:00 pm  

  • aha !http://terenceg.multiply.com/photos/album/2

    this is my camera :P but rosak already....stupid O'ring cannot work properly, masuk air 

    Posted by Terry

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sunday, June 26, 2005 5:00:00 am  

  • I am willing to die to join a trip like this , people just don't know how to make promise . :/ 

    Posted by YungJie

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sunday, June 26, 2005 6:53:00 am  

  • i'm with YungJie.
    it's bloody pissin to see ppl backin up at the last min.
    to hell with XX.

    Posted by juee

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sunday, June 26, 2005 12:51:00 pm  

  • i'm with YungJie.
    it's bloody pissin to see ppl backin up at the last min.
    to hell with XX.

    By Blogger Louv J., at Sunday, June 26, 2005 12:52:00 pm  

  • kat: We're going to Scandinavia: Denmark, Sweden and Norway. Somewhere different, but alas also some of the priciest places around. :(

    terence: some lovely pics you have there! wish I knew how to dive, let alone swim

    yung & juee: yea they should be shot. luckily we managed to save the situation 

    Posted by pat

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sunday, June 26, 2005 8:14:00 pm  

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