I'm cursed. Don't think I'm stupid, no way, it's a curse of stupidity. When I was in the Philippines last year I felt to be right when I was swearing and calling it a retarded country because almost all of the money changers recognize only a single one foreign currency - the US dollar. I knew it and I still didn't change my wons to pesos when I saw the best deal. Why? I have no clue, it's the curse. So I ended in Santa Cruz (Zambales) with almost no peso and no way to change wons. Luckily I had enough for a bus ride to Dagupan and from there a van to Baguio where I arrived in the middle of the night. The staff of the Upstairs Bed&Bath were nice as last year and they let me sleep there with a deposit in Korean won. The next day I managed to get pesos from wons, bought few beers and lots of food, slept there another night and again used my own feet for locomotion. Down in the valley and back to the west coast and north to reach San Fernando, La Union (to be precise, it was San Juan, I'm really getting tired of all these fucking saints) and the other Circle hostel. A good thing, there I met Volo, a crazy French guy, we spent the first day drinking together, the second day too, the third a bit less and the fourth we left, each his own way. We exchanged good music, movies, ideas, travel tips, promises and goodbye hugs. I hope one day we'll meet again. I went back to Baguio, this time following another river back to the mountains. After two days I was there and had an unpleasant surprise - all the hostels, inns, guesthouses and hotels in Baguio were full. Well, maybe some expensive ones still had vacancies, but I didn't even want to know. By vans and windowless buses I tracked my way back to San Felipe and after a sleepless night I'm again at the first Circle. And to make me feel good there was a lot of "Uncle Dag, welcome back!" to greet me!
And, no matter how sad it made me, I decided to quit. I just can't play anymore with the Korean and Japanese immigration. They have power and in this world it means that they are always right. And it doesn't make me feel good when I hear stories way more absurd than mine - I met a girl who was denied a working visa in Japan. The reason? The requirement for the job was previous experience work in tourism (and fluent Japanese, clearly). She worked in tourism and she studied Japanese in Osaka. The answer was: the job position requires previous experience in tourism but the applicant for the visa has only previous experience in tourism and is so not eligible for the position. It's not even funny anymore. In December at the Incheon airport I was held for questioning why I'm leaving Korea and why I'm spending so much time there. I know that anywhere I'll go I'll eventually end with the same troubles, but for the time being let's see how Australia will look.