Saturday, June 17, 2006

Went to imperial palace and flew a kite that was stolen by some boys. Traded it for their pet lizard to free. Watching world cup.

The most amazing moments always come when you least expect them. My kite for their lizard. I have to say, I'm a pretty darn good kite flyer, I manipulate wind. Then a group of unruly 8 year olds appeared and physically removed the kite from my hands.

Oh well. What to do. Different land, different culture, different mode of existance. Who am I to moralize? But the lizard, poor thing. Tied together with string and kicked around like a soccer ball. It's tail broken and sides heaving. I delicately removed the string and Thi loped it gently onto the grassy wall of the citidel. Another magic moment.

And before that, we cycled 3 km out of the way in the blazing sun. I was grumpy. "I don't give a shit about what we see here." And Thi was patient. I love how we turn the bad times into ammo for laughter.

on train to hanoi. Really comfy beds. Met cool local who works in NGO sleeping in same cabin. Want to work with him in vietnam.

So we talked about rice and the futures market for farmers, tariffs and democracy. I love it when God drops little things like that onto my lap. A slight teaser as if to say "guess what you're doing in the future!" The trip ended with a little invitation to apply for their internship. Maybe yes maybe no.

The ride was beautiful. watching the countryside roll by while talking to Thi seems to be a main motif on our trip. And in the middle of the night I wake to find Thi gently covering me with his extra blanket for fear of me being cold. And only becuase he was cold. He was on the top bunk.

Don't really like Hanoi. Heard HCMC is worse. But can shop here. Thi leaving tmr. V Sad. Best 3 weeks of my life. Learnt alot.

And after this not much happens. that day was the day Thi got most mad at me I think. The heat and my flaccid attitude didn't go well with Thi's eagerness to cheer me up. We also had a long talk sorting out the issues we faced on this trip and found that truth and love needed to be backed by strength and honor. All that and the internal reassurance of friendship allows for hurdles to be bounded.

I feel invincible. And the only one with the keys to my destruction is myself.

And today I meet shu and glad and fong. Hang out all day and talked about the church. Tomorrow we go to halong bay and sit on a boat.

Thi, my dream of being in a boat is finally realised! You should be here too.

Friday, June 16, 2006

in Lao. Amazing waterfall. Sleep in tiny hut. Village cool. Got piglets and chickens. Going to swim in river.

So we cross the thai boarder into Paxse and find ourselves in a funky local bus up to Tadlo falls. The people rock, they offered us Rambutans and chew leaves to cover their wounds. The bus was falling apart and was used as a cargo shipment thing as much as a passenger bus. The driver stops randomly to pick corn and pine apples and chill.

We get off at Tadlo and the first thing that hits us is the lack of mongering mongers. No one assulting us with promises of cheap hotels, or with endless offers of tuktuks,motos,taxis,and-what-have-you-not. In fact, there was NOTHING. Well almost. There were piglets running around and I had to borrow a toilet of someone. A little hut with a hole in the ground and a pool of water. As primative as it sounds, it's bloody clean. Much cleaner then all the complicated crap we have in the third world. In fact, I could go on about how much I love the no-flush-pour-water toilets in thailand,lao and cambodia that I really should stop.

So we got off the dusty road and took a couple of pictures of the cute piggies, then we walked for a good 1.5 km (no tuktuk remmeber?) and finally found the waterfall.

It was beautiful.

And I conquered my fear of heights.

Thi and I got buzzed on Beer Lao, which is seriously THE BEST FRIGGIN BEER IN THE WORLD, and talked about our little ideas on life. We realise that we are wildly differently. I think, he does. I look at truth and love, he looks at strengthand honor.

The Moon, the beer, the conversation. how beautiful.

Swim Waterfall shiok. Surrounded by pigs, goats, cows and monkeys. Going to town then vietnam tmr. Beer lao is great. Want to live here.

No seriously. We wait at the busstop and witness a woman drag around her pet monkey. I also eat some funny dumpling of 'phet' meat and leaves,

On the way to Savankhet, the bus makes several stops for food. Racket chicken was the result. A whole chicken wedged between two sticks and roasted. Looks like a racket, eats like a chicken. Awesome.

Mother. Worst thing. I paid 1000 Bhat to use a toilet instead of 1000 kip. From 10 cents to 33 dollars. I hate myself.

All trips have their down moments. This was one of them. But Thi was very gracious about it and I figure that the toilet lady needed it more then I did. And anyway, it's a good addition to the list of rediculous expenses. We calculated, my pee is worth more then oil per ml. Aye.

in Vietnam Hue. Awesome. Met english backpacker Ash. Coolest guy ever, invited him to stay when he drops by SG for a couple of days. Also tracy from Canada. Can?

So here commences the Hannah Hostel. Open all day to everyone as long as mummy and daddy are ok with it.

Hue is amazing though. We biked and bickered. I was hot and thi got us lost. But we have a lot of grace toward each other and we're really understanding. So Thi was an ass and I was a grump. All's good. It was also the first time I tried to cycle without my hands, and I do this while cycling in vietnam. In cambodia, cycling was like a dance, you negotiate space with the other dancers on the road. In figgin, vietnam, it's like a war. You fight for your goddam space.

We played pool and talked alot.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Got lost at the temples. Thi bribed policman $2 to call me. Feeling better. Bought new clothes and cap. Lost Daddy's. Will meet shu tmr. Go Phnom Penh to laos.

Thi and I rarely do the normal touristy stuff. Stupid boy could've just smsed me and saved the 2 bucks. But then again, I can't really complain, I've had my share of stupid expenditures.

Going thailand-laos tmr. Fought w Thi, CB say skip laos. Sick of temples. Still sick. Thi still take good care of me. Met Shu-Glad today.

The one of only 3 times when Thi and I had a bumpy time. I shook in anger at the suggestion that I take the $57 Lao Visa as a sunk cost and skip the country all together. I saw it as a perimeter to work within, he saw things differently.

In Thai, went through lonely north crossing. Hitched-hiked on pick-up. Now in nice hotel. Miss cambodia.

Another last minute decision, another adventure. Instead of going to O'Smach we made the decision to go to Anlong Veng instead, throwing all our plans into the wind. We found ourselves stranded in the hills seperating Cambodia and thailand with no means of transportation down to Udon. I wasn't the least bit worried. Thi was going nuts. In his defence, he takes it upon himself to protect me and that responsibility is doubly compounded by the fact that he speaks fluent Thai and therefore has the ability to negotiate and bargain.

But it was my idea to hitch-hike on the back of a pickup truck. The first one we approached belonged to a fishmonger. Who sat there scaling the day's catch with a metal spoon. She said that we could catch a ride down with her when her husband comes back from the mountain. WTF.

Thi insists that he wasn't going nuts. But I know when he does becuase he gets sarcarstic and mean. Although I did suggest that we sit on top of a cargo lorry, which warrented his frustration. So anyway, we soon found ourselves on the back of a pickup with the wind in our hair and the thai landscape stretching out before us. The green trees and the blue river. How can there not be love and truth in this world?

Amazing. Amazing. Amazing.

The difference between a gift and a curse is Truth and Love.
I'm so sorry.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Still, Through my mother's eyes:

best night ever. Best khmer food, family and fun. Went to Girl's chinese school. Now back on road. Hope to be in Siem Reap by tonight. Text you tmr night. Miss you!

So it goes without saying that the evening with Borey's family went awesome. to awake in the morning at 5.30 am to the life of a typical cambodian village, complete with the singing and outhouse bathingg, is the experience of a lifetime. It also exemplified the beautiful of life and travelling, that the kindness of strangers and the goodness of human spirit is worth risking for. And on that note, I've been inviting all other random backpackers I've met out here to stay with me in Singapore. I hope my parents were ok with that.

In Siem Reap saw ankor wat. Both sick today cos over exerted yesterday. Thi taking VERY good care of me. Will stay till 6. $10 a day budget not possible. But love it!

I never told my mother this, but the reason why we fell sick was fear. We reached Sisophon at 5 pm the evening we left Borey's house and were immediately swarmed by insistant "taxi" service men who followed us everywhere and waited outside the washroom. They insisted we take their "taxi" to Siem Reap and when we refused, threated to cause trouble.

YOU CAUSE TROUBLE! And so we entered the 'Taxi' (an unlicensed car ) and started down route 6 to Siem Reap. We were so sure we were being kidnapped and spent the 3 hours in the car in complete terror. I was frantically studying the map and checking of possible towns to get help and making sure that our driver didn't veer off the hightway (which is really a dirt road). Thi had my swiss army knife ready and was hiding money in his underwear. My hand was gripping my cell phone with an emergency SMS to mother that read: "Call police, In strange car: Blue Toyota camry with Ankor Wat picture on back windows" ready to send at any moment. The night was pitchblack and the rains had started. Lightning scratched the sky every so often, and the road was dotted with epic detours that made my heart lurch at every turn.

I tasted fear for the first time in my life that night. It's cold and dry and sits on your lips like poison. It didn't let me go till 2 hours after we were safely in the hotel room (nothing happened at all) and I had spent a good half of that time shaking on the bed. No more travelling at night.

So the next day, Thi and I fell sick, and I still cough a little now.
The adventure was all in our minds, but still and Thi says, better to err on the side of caution.

Got to go, it's 11 and i'm In vietnam. Will continue later. Suffice to say, taht I am in love with this region.