Sergey Bondarenko | 24 | Kazakhstan
On one Saturday night, while working at my usual spot at CBTL in BGC- Philippines, there was this guy who was talking to the cashier that got my attention. He was carrying a backpack that says “I’m nomad.” Of course, my inner self wanted to talk to him because I find nomadism rather interesting. I was already thinking how to start the conversation when I went to the washroom. When I was done, he was no longer there. I was like “Ok, maybe he just asked the cashier about something and went away.”
I immediately packed my things and went away hoping to see him outside. There he was standing in front of the elevator. I went to him and got the most disturbing life story ever.
He’s from Kazakhstan. He’s been a real nomad for 4 years. His parents and siblings died when their house caught on fire. He’s been traveling around the world without money and alone. I don’t know if I believe him or not because what he just said has blown me away! I asked how he came here.
It turns out some stranger from South Korea paid for his ticket to get here. He also received a smartphone from a stranger. He’s been getting donations while traveling for 4 years!
He likes South Korea because of their fast wifi. He is really disappointed on the wifi service in the Philippines. This is what he was asking earlier at the cashier. He was asking for the wifi password.
He was in Cebu before he got here in Manila. He also doesn’t have a place to stay since Couchsurfing in Manila has not responded. He also doesn’t have food since he doesn’t have money. He slept outside Burger King the other night and was asking for left overs. I was offering my wheat bread to him but he refused to. I can’t imagine how he survives day by day! You must think that’s crazy!
He’s been to a lot of countries and he’s hoping to be in USA someday. Although he looked teary eyed, I see that he’s very determined to survive.
He also said to me that life has been hard for him and that the only one who understands him recently died. I was mentally like “ok at least he had a best friend.” But no. He was referring to Bennington, lead singer of Linkin Park. So again, I asked, “wtf you know him personally?!” He said “No, but his music can understand me.”
That my friend left me speechless.