Another month has flown by. I enjoyed my trip back to Blighty while Nick and the boys got friendly with the animals of Borneo. Whether we’ll get more detail about their adventure remains to be seen because as the children have been taught to say “what happens on tour, stays on tour”. We were reunited in Singapore before boarding a flight to Sydney. Now that the South East Asian leg of our tour is over here are the 10 things we will miss the most!
Mostly delicious, mostly cheap and mostly healthy – what’s not to love? Trying out new dishes (tarantula donut, anyone?) and getting re-aquainted with old favourites (Tom Yum!) was a big highlight.
2 Bum showers
Once the boys had got over the novelty of spraying each other and the bathroom the ‘bum shower’ became a welcome part of our ablutions. It makes so much more sense to have a good rinse than to send masses of loo paper down the u-bend. Not to mention it being more hygienic. I’m even thinking about installing one when we get home!
3 The weather
As much as we may have moaned about being hot and sweaty at the time, it’s been surprisingly chilly in Sydney and we’re more than a little worried about arriving back to UK winter!
4 Traveller camaraderie
The upside of sticking out like a sore thumb meant it was easy to meet fellow travellers and strike up a conversation. A casual chat can lead to weeks of shared travel.
South East Asia has long been a draw for budget backpackers. You really do get a lot of bang for your buck. You can cover long distances on local buses for a couple quid and feed a family of 4 for a fiver. In some countries beer is cheaper than water. Need I say more?
6 Warm sea
We spent hours in the warm waters of South East Asia, swimming, snorkelling and generally having a giggle. Fast forward to a spring day in Sydney and the boys were not happy. Tomas lasted about 10 seconds, George slightly longer. I hope they begain their hardiness by the time summer rolls round in Brighton.
Vietnam is pretty well known for its coffee but when I was first offered one with condensed milk I turned my nose up. One day I got one by accident and it was the beginning of a beautiful friendship. Served over ice with condensed milk Vietnamese coffee is like liquid caramel. Things will never be the same again.
Mangos fresh off the tree. More pineapples and watermelons than you can shake a stick at. New delights such as mangosteen and rambutan. We were spoilt for choice. The tropical fruit back home cannot possibly compare and then there’s the bill.
9 The hospitality
With few exceptions we were welcomed in SE Asia with smiles and open arms. People went out of their way to help us by showing us the way or occupying the boys. We were given food and presents.
We have loved learning a bit of local language along the way. And hearing the kids say thank you in Vietnamese or Thai always raised a smile. We’ll be in English speaking countries for the rest of the trip and we’ll miss trying to figure out the lingo. Mind you, Tom does still ask how to say things in Australian and is picking up his cousins’ accent. Fair dinkum mate.