What does he do?
He is a student majoring in Political Science and Islamic studies.
Where did we meet him?
We met him in Yangon , Burma . Actually we first contacted him on a website called www.couchsurfing.com which is a social network where like minded people offer their couch or bed or mattress to travelers. We heard about it from 2 Dutch guys we had met who traveled the whole of Europe hitch-hiking and couch surfing. Pretty cheap way to travel. We thought we will try it as hotels in Myanmar were really expensive for foreigners and it would be a great way to meet someone with some local knowledge. He replied straight away saying that we could come stay if we did not mind sleeping on his spare mattress. That night we went there and he wasn't home (most likely getting pissed and dodging the working ladies), luckily we persevered and went back 2 days later on a Saturday morning. I knock on the door at 8am and I'm greeted by a guy with a really crazy hairdo and obviously suffering from a hangover. He still invited us in for tea(the stove was still working then) and so began a long lasting friendship.
He has lived most of his life in Switzerland although he is Liechtensteinian as that's where his mother is from but it seems like the two countries share many things in common and he is treated like any other Swiss citizen. He grew up in a town outside of Zurich but lives in the middle of the city now that he is in university. When we met him in Yangon he was taking a 6 month break from his studies, he got an internship in a travel agency in Yangon and worked there for a few months before falling out with his boss and quitting. In any case he was glad for some company in his flat and told us we can stay as long as we liked. We were happy as it gave us a place for Kat to get better from her elephantitis and we didn't have to pay USD30 a night anymore. We had lots of fun eating cheap Shan noodles & playing Cho Tai Ti, he got quite good at it after a slow start…..
We found out that he was going to be volunteering at a school outside of Yangon that was partly destroyed due to the devastating cyclone that had just hit the country. We ended up all volunteering at the school over a two week period, helping to rebuild some classrooms and donating a tank that the kids could use for drinking water. We would get up every morning and have our regular breakfast at Lucky Seven Tea House which had weird things on the menu like Bread & Chicken Egg or Pork Rib Bun!! Then we would catch a sardine packed bus for an hour and half ride to Thanlyin where the school was.
We ended up staying 3 weeks at his place, and when we left we invited him to come stay with us in Malaysia since he was now flying through KL on his way to the Gold Coast in Australia . In between we ended up meeting each other in Bangkok while staying with my cousin Ganesh, we hatched up a plan to go diving and before you know it Ganesh had us all on a live aboard dive boat for 4 days. After that we crossed into Malaysia , picking up Michelle in Had Yai on the way. It turned out that Manuel got a bad insect bite on his foot(probably crawled out from his hair) and had to postpone his fight to the Gold Coast. He spent more then a week with us getting better, then left for 3 weeks around Malaysia . Last we heard he had a blast in Tioman and met some Malaysian girl that he followed all the way to Singapore ! Interesting…