I’ve always dreamed of being famous. When I look at Kim Kardashian’s 97.5 million Instagram followers, I get a bizarre pang of jealousy feeling like it should have been me — My mom is exactly like Kris Jenner, and I’m still bitter that she didn’t but herself to work as my momager.
Because dreams really can come true, I got to live out my 15 minutes of fame (it was literally only 15 minutes) on a recent trip to an island in the middle of Ha Long Bay.
My #cruisesquad and I from the Paradise Peak were lounging on the deck of the day boat preparing for the first stop on our day of sightseeing — some rock formation with a high peak that overlooked the entire bay.
“Holy. Shit.” was the general sentiment as we pulled up to the island, which was swarmed with Chinese tourists. It was like nothing I’ve ever seen before — there had to have been 10,000 people, most of them wearing identical looking neon visors and Stella McCartney platform sneakers.
Walking through the security gates (yes, there is security on the zillion-year-old island) we were shoved hard by aggressive women wanting to get through before us. These ladies were throwing elbows, knees and fake Prada purses to make sure they could beat us through — which would have been really annoying if it wasn’t so hilarious.
When we finally got through, my amazing British friends who I met on the cruise and I decided to hike to the top to see the view. We knew it was going to be brutal, and take foreverrrr due to the crowds, but the shit show scene on the beach didn’t look much more appealing.
I feel like it’s important to note that the running joke among the three of us is that we look like a Benetton ad. One of the girls is Indian, and the other is model-tall and half black, and both of them are stunning. I’m whatever the hell I am (ok fine — Polish/Russian/Lithuanian/Irish/French Canadian/Native American, but I look like pretty much everything), so we really had most of our bases covered as far as diversity.
We started our trek up what would later be known to us as “THE LONGEST FLIGHT OF STAIRS EVER” among 2378238702734 people at the slowest pace you can possibly imagine (“By all means, move at a glacial pace,” I muttered under my breath more times I than I would like to publicly admit). The man in front of me was playing a tune on a blade of grass, and he was accompanied by the guy behind me singing a traditional Chinese song. It actually made the climb a bit more enjoyable, mainly because we couldn’t stop laughing at the absurdity of it.
When we finally reached the top, which was just as swarmed as everywhere else on the island, we couldn’t get close enough to the edge to take a decent photo… Until one group of women called me over and motioned that she wanted to take a picture of me.
Thinking she was being nice and wanted to help us out, I handed her my phone and maneuvered my way into the best photo-op position I could reach. She looked at me, confused, and handed my phone to a guy next to her… Then got in the picture.
All of a sudden, every single person at the peak crowded around my friends and I trying to get pictures with us. Some had selfie sticks, others were throwing their phones to strangers to have them capture the moments, and (as stereotypical as this sounds) almost all of them threw up peace signs to commemorate the moment as the shutters snapped.
I felt like Beyoncé,
… Safe to say I will be planning a side trip to China, stat.