After what is now more than 5 weeks on the road, I’m gonna just chuck out some random thoughts.
Between tummy aches, fevers, useless air conditioners, and people in the same room who sound like they’re chomping on a mouthful of Weetos when they snore, I can’t remember the last good night’s sleep I had. I’ve also skipped too many meals. But you just sort of learn to deal with it. I haven’t collapsed yet…
The cool thing about meeting other travellers? Things like race, nationality, orientation, class, religion… none of it matters. Everyone’s miles from home, a lot of people are traveling solo, and they could really just do with someone to talk to and share each other’s adventures with. When your family and friends are all continents away, you quickly learn to make your dorm roommates, the people you sit next to on the plane, or just anyone who speaks the same language as you into your new friends, even if just for a short time. We’ve met Swiss-Americans who helpfully spoke Japanese in Tokyo (you know who you are) Norwegians, South Koreans, Dutch, French-Canadians, South Africans, Germans, Brazilians, and of course plenty of Brits. Folks from Manchester, Stockport, Birmingham, Chester, London…
A stranger’s just a friend you haven’t met.
Except groups of Aussie lads abroad. What a cluster of massive, smug, entitled, impressively punchable little douchesacks. Trust me, if you encounter them, you’ll understand. You just want to slap the gormless little f**kers until they cry. I’m sure it’s not all of them, but the ones we’ve met, travelling to Japan & Thailand on their parent’s money (‘me dad owns a yacht mate!’) getting pissed off their faces, laughing their impossibly annoying laughs, and generally making c**ts of themselves to everyone… well, I strongly encourage them all to go play on the beach with some of Australia’s friendly jellyfish. (If being old & grouchy is wrong, then I don’t want to be right. Hmph. Get a haircut yeh hippies.)
I’d like to take a moment to appreciate 2 unsung heroes; my feet.
Pictured here on a typical day being devoured alive by pirahnas.
So far they’ve been sunburned, blistered, bitten all over, and just about exploded after accidentally kicking the shit out of a grid on a street in Phuket while wearing flip flops (and then meddled with by a questionable Thai doctor in a questionable Thai hospital.) And I keep re-f**king up my toes because I have giant clumsy clown feet that smash into everything. Yet, though they may never dance again, still my feet carry me loyally.
Bangkok belly (or Thai tummy or whatever) is real, people. Really grim. If you visit Southeast Asia and want to try the local food, put aside a night to spend in the bathroom powdering your nose. (And the walls. And the floor. And maybe the ceiling a little. And that poor bloke who was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. Never knew I had so much nose powder.)
We attended a Muay Thai fighting event in Chiang Mai. As with just about any sporting event, I had to control the urge to bash all the participants over the head with a chair, down some beers (or give them to someone who likes beer and can down things) and run off with the prize, which just shows the kind of nonsense I used to watch on TV (and still do.)
The longest fight was between two women (at least they said they were? You really couldn’t tell.)
Go on lad or lass. Hit him or her in the penis or other.
Although some fights are apparently fixed, they definitely put on quite the kerfuffle.
Japan is truly a place of magic and wonder. Just watch:
To the kookaburra who snatched the last bite of my chicken burger in Byron Bay…
There he is. Still mocking me. Smug little prick…
I don’t know who you are. I don’t know what you want. I can tell you I don’t have money. (I’m travelling Australia, none of us have any money.) What I do have is a very particular set of skills, most of which involve the writing of blogs and are completely useless. If you let my lunch go now, that’ll be the end of it. But if you don’t, I will look for you. I will find you. And I will turn YOU into a burger. (Or just ask politely but firmly for it back.)
Well, good. Glad we’re clear on that.
What I’ve seen of Australia so far is beautiful, and I don’t just mean the sheilas. (But sweet Jesus, the sheilas. I don’t normally believe in leagues, but all the women here are light years out of mine.) It would take literally months, if not years to see all the amazing things worth seeing in this country. It’s a reeeally big place. But the same can be said for all of South East Asia. You get why so many people who go travelling end up devoting years of their lives to it. Once you start you don’t want to stop. *sigh*
Also, I’ve had many sunburns in my time, but I’ve never actually turned purple (agonising, unbearable purple) until I visited Byron Bay. Patch up that hole in the ozone layer, Australia. Do a better job putting on sun cream, me.
So, we’re nearly halfway through this little adventure. Do I miss the comforts of home? Family, friends and nuisances I can’t seem to get rid of?
Maaaybe a bit.
But it’s currently 27 degrees outside, and I spent this morning kayaking with dolphins in crystal clear warm waters.
I think I’ll stick it out just for a bit longer.