The top 10 things we won’t miss about South East Asia

We had a blast in South East Asia. However there are definitely some benefits to being in a Western country. In this post we look at why travelling in South East Asia wasn’t all sunshine and sandcastles. Here are the top 10 things we won’t be missing…

1  Mosquitoes

Long sleeves, trousers, mosquito nets and bucketfuls of repellant. The little buggers will still find a way to get you. There have been far too many sleepless nights where we’ve been kept awake scratching. We are very glad to be leaving them behind. So long suckers!

2  Scary driving

It’s surprising how quickly you become accustomed to the haphazard road rules in SEA. You learn to cross the road by walking into oncoming traffic, and to not watch out of the front window of the bus as it hurtles down the wrong side of the road into the path of a lorry. I even managed to brush off being knocked off my bicycle by a scooter in Hoi An as no big deal. It feels good not to be taking our lives into our hands each time we board a vehicle.

 

3  Dirty public loos

We have stayed in all manner of budget accommodation but we didn’t compromise on cleanliness when it came to the bathroom. Unfortunately we didn’t have any control over outside facilities much less the timing of the younger Johnsons’ need to use them.

4  The children being centre of attention

They stuck out like sore thumbs and caused a stir. At times they were mobbed by interested parties. They had their cheeks pinched, their heads patted and were randomly picked up. They were most definitely over it.

5  Menus with half the dishes not available

I may have mentioned the drag that dining out had become in an earlier post. One of the most annoying parts of this were missing menu items. You’d spend ages trawling through the menu, looking at the photos (from Google image and bearing no relation to the food that would appear) only to be told you couldn’t have it. Grrrrr.

6  Having to haggle for everything

It may be fun to drive for a hard bargain over souvenirs but when you have to be alert to being ripped off over every little thing it gets tired.

 

7  The lack of pavements

The boys love to roam and I love to let them so its no fun for anyone when you have to hold hands as you walk down the street in the flow (and exhaust fumes) of traffic. On the rare occasion that you find yourself walking on a pavement, do not let your guard down; scooters trump pedestrians on sidewalks.

8  Rock solid beds and pillows

I love a firm mattress, really I do, but for some of the beds we slept on we may as well have been on the floor. This would have been easier to endure had the pillows been soft and fluffy. Alas, they may as well have been bricks for all the comfort they offered our weary heads at the end of a long day.

9  The weather

No more sweating just from sitting still. No more clothes drenched in sweat the minute you step outside. Goodbye humidity!

 

10  Chopsticks

Our chopstick wielding skills are much improved and we are happy to use them to slurp up our noodles. However we will not miss the chopsticks abundantly supplied on restaurant tables. The boys will just have to find something else to knock on the floor or use as a light sabre.

Advertisements

The thrill is gone

Discovering new food was once my favourite thing about travel. I used to love arriving in a new country and becoming acquainted with local dishes. Eating out all the time and avoiding the hassle of cooking and clearing up may seem like living the dream. Not any more. My children have sucked the joy out of it.

Picture the scene:

It is breakfast/lunch/dinner time. The boys go from being fine to “I have to eat right now or I’m going to eat my own eyeballs” so we find a restaurant and settle down at a table.

We get drawing books and pencils out of the bag for the kids whilst we look at menu.

Tomas is unhappy with the seating arrangements. We swap seats.

I draw a horse.

I try to illicit a response from children about what they want to eat.

I ask them to stop using the chopsticks as light sabres.

I ask them not to get to play with the toothpicks.

Nick tries to illicit a response from children about what they want to eat.

We decide what to order in between requests to draw dinosaurs, chinchillas or whatever else pops into their imagination.

I ask them to stop using the chopsticks as light sabres.

Nick moves the serviettes before they pull them all out of the box.

I ask them to stop using the chopsticks as light sabres.

Collect up all the spilt tooth picks (why oh why do they put so many on the table?!) Waiter arrives.

George tries to order fish and chips.

We cancel the order for fish and chips. We order food. We change our order because our choice is unavailable (why oh why is it on the menu then?!)

We try to hold adult conversation (hahahahahahahahahaha).

I mediate an argument over pencils.

I draw another penguin.

Drinks arrive.

We talk about Star Wars.

We mop up spilt drink.

Nick asks the boys to stop using the chopsticks as light sabres.

The boys transform into rabid squirrels during the wait for the food to arrive.

  

 

Food arrives. It is not what we ordered. We send food back.

Food arrives again. We ask for plates (why oh why don’t they bring the plates before the food?!)

This usually goes one of two ways – the children dig in and stay quiet for 5 minutes whilst they devour said food. Or, more likely, they decide they don’t like the look of it and proceed to let their feelings be known. Loudly.

After I’ve eaten approximately 1 mouthful one of them will announce they need the loo.

After two mouthfuls the small one will climb onto my lap and ask for more drawings or to tell me a story or to eat my dinner or, or or… you get the picture.

Three times a day. Every day. Oh, how we’re looking forward to having our kitchen back!