Anger Is Growing Towards 'Begpackers' Who Want You To Fund Their Dream Trip

"South-East Asia is not a personal playground."

If you thought drunk Aussies making a fool of themselves was all you needed to worry about when you go on vacation, think again. ‘Begpackers’ are the new embarrassing stereotype in town and South-East Asian officials are damn sick of it.

According to Urban Dictionary, begpackers are “tourists who travel backpacker-style without sufficient funds but ask for donations, freebies, and handouts from locals.”

Credit: Twitter

Begpacking “is often done in countries where the average income is far lower than what they could earn working a minimum wage job at home,” and a new report from the ABC states that the disdain towards it is growing. 

“We hate them,” Malaysian counterterrorism analyst Munira Mustaffa told the ABC. “South-East Asia is not a personal playground for Westerners to come seek ‘spirituality’ and treat us as props for your self-discovery.”

Peace, man? Credit: Giphy

Sometimes, begpackers use signs asking passersby to “help me fund my dream trip,” while others sell sketches and postcards, or busk for money.

Credit: Twitter

“We have seen many cases of problematic tourists, lately they are either Australian, British or Russian,” Indonesian immigration official Setyo Budiwardoyo told Detiknews in June. “We tend to report these cases to the relevant embassies so that they can oversee their citizens who are on holiday.” 

According to the ABC, Thailand is attempting to combat the issue by more strictly enforcing its rule that foreigners are required to have at least THB10,000 ($480) at immigration checkpoints. 

However, there are mixed opinions on begpackers. Joshua D Bernstein, a tourism researcher from Thammasat University in Bangkok told the ABC the criticism was just “callout culture.” 

Credit: Twitter

In a 2017 feature for The Independent, Helen Coffey said she refuses to judge Westerners busking in South East Asian countries. “There’s an uncomfortable assumption that every white person in Asia has independent means and a rich family back home to call upon should they run out of money,” she wrote.

Others have pointed out the double standards, considering it costs Indonesian citizens $140 just to apply for a visa to holiday in Australia, while begpackers are getting a ‘free ride.’ 

Credit: Giphy

“Do they realise how much we have to spend just to get visas in their countries? And here they are parading themselves as needy in a context where poverty really means living in sub-human conditions,” Filipina community worker Nash Tysmans told the ABC.

So, is throwing the term ‘begpackers’ around judging travellers without context, or is it offensive to expect free handouts when travelling in these countries without sufficient savings? Either way, it’s ruffling feathers all over social media and stirring up plenty of debate. 

Married At First Sight Shows There’s More To Learn About Consent

"Take your bra off! Let it hang!"

Amanda and Tash have had a really hard time connecting with each other. We could’ve put it down to Amanda’s fiery personality or Tash’s dating history, but the first commitment ceremony was full of red flags.

If you’re a big fan of Married At First Sight, check out this episode of It’s Been A Big Day For…

In the commitment ceremony, there was one particular interaction that had us shocked and it’s when Amanda said: “If it were up to me, we probably would have slept together by now.”

Now, we all know that consent requires everyone involved in the situation to give an enthusiastic ‘yes’, and Tash hasn’t given any indication that she wants to be that intimate with Amanda. In fact, it was the opposite. 

Tash actually described in detail how her feelings evolved from initial attraction to lack thereof, saying: “I was acting a certain way at the wedding and now my body language changed and she’s really intuitive and I knew she could pick it up. I wish I felt burning, strong, firey chemistry, I wish I did, but I’m not going to bullshit it.”

And Amanda knew this, but it didn’t stop Tash from blaming herself for the whole saga. She said: “I hurt her, but I was honest. I feel like I ruined the honeymoon, really, and it was pretty hard to recover from it and it drove a big wedge between us.”

Also, it didn’t help that Amanda cornered her wife, in front of 21 other people, outlining her lack of intimacy in their relationship, saying: “Quality time for me is watching a movie together… We didn’t watch a single movie together…  I’m talking away from the public… I’m talking in the room, with no one around, like your walls down, our PJ’s are on and we’re just our complete selves, our bras are literally off, and we’re enjoying each other’s company… Take your bra off! Let it hang! Do you know what I mean?” 

So, essentially we have a situation with an abundance of issues. Tash feels like she’s in the wrong because she isn’t feeling the same feelings as her partner and Amanda feels the need to vocalise what she would have done if she was “calling the shots.” Newsflash, it’s not “calling the shots” if one member of the relationship is not up for the intimacy. 

So unless Tash changes her mind, falls in love with Amanda and begin in something more than a friendship, the bras stay on.

If you haven’t done your MAFS homework, make sure you catch up on previous lessons. So far, we’ve learnt about gaslighting, why adults still need supervision, to never force chemistry, to not make a fool of yourself when there are cameras aroundhow to meet people in a socially acceptable way and also how crappy friends can ruin a relationship.

Always be in the loop with our snackable podcast breaking the biggest story of the day. Subscribe to It’s Been A Big Day For… on your favourite podcast app.

Joey From ‘10 Things I Hate About You’ Is A Cult Leader IRL And I Can’t Cope

I guess the tube sock ad didn't work out.

Remember Joey Donner from everyone’s favourite 90s flick 10 Things I Hate About You? He was the OG f*ckboy and every parent’s worst nightmare – but in real life, he’s apparently a cult leader who got done for illegally selling kombucha.

According to Marie Claire, Andrew Keegan – who played Joey in the film –  is the co-founder of “California spiritual community” Full Circle, where he “passionately seeks to inspire and empower the community to co-create a better world.”

Apparently, in his role Keegan is often referred to as a “guru” and “promotes organic experiences within the temple, including hand-holding, group meditation, spooning, crystals, candles and ‘soul medicine.’” Full Circle even has a pet parrot called Krishna, reflecting the religion’s Hindu influence.

Speaking of throwbacks, listen to the GOAT team breakdown Jessica Simpson’s new tell-all book on It’s Been A Big Day For… below:

In a 2014 article, Vice characterised Full Circle as a “new religion,” however publications including Jezebel have labelled it a cult. In a 2015 interview with Keegan, Lauren Bans of New York Magazine wrote, “the actual theology of the group is tough to in down, but it seems to loosely follow Hinduism – or at least Russell Brand’s Sanskrit-tattoo version of it.”

If all this hadn’t blown your mind enough, in 2015, Keegan was reportedly raided by California’s Department of Alcohol Beverage Control for “illegally selling Kombucha that wasn’t labelled alcoholic.”

“Kombucha is something we’d never imagine to be an illegal substance, and it’s frustrating the system has that perspective,” Keegan said. “We’re certainly taking full responsibility. We try to put our best foot forward.”

According to Vice, Keegan’s “spiritual transformation” came from a traumatic experience in 2011 when he and two friends were attacked by gang members in Venice Beach. “The significance of this occurrence is that it happened at the same time the tsunami hit Japan,” he said, relating the incident to a series of events and “weird coincidences.”

Sounds like Keegan’s current life is a far cry from his days as semi-professional tube sock model Joey Donner, but whatever floats your boat, right?

Always be in the loop with our snackable podcast breaking the biggest story of the day. Subscribe to It’s Been A Big Day For… on your favourite podcast app.

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