Thoughts on Things
16 things that happened in 2016
For the first time in several years, I haven’t been living out of a backpack. It seems so strange to me, having been in the same place for a whole year. I don’t like it. I do like having a closet for once, though.
Final thoughts: Cambodia
Cambodia is a country I could see myself live in someday. Not permanently, of course. Prior to coming here, I read the book Survival in the Killing Fields, which got me really interested in the country’s unbelievably sad history. It is creepy in a way, seeing all these people on the street, knowing a lot of them have survived this awful event – or been a part of the Khmer Rouge. Despite this, they are among the most friendly people I have ever met. They are good at English, and the kids are adorable. No, really, I am adopting a Cambodian kid someday.
I would love to do social work here one day – especially in Siem Reap – but the party scene is so tempting too! Who knows, all that is certain is that I’ll be back someday!
Final thoughts: Laos
I have spent so little time in Laos and barely seen anything, so I don’t have much to say about the place.
One thing is for sure: It’s a very beautiful country, green hills everywhere you look. Such an attractive place.
I mean, WOULD YOU LOOK AT THAT?
Kids are everyhere. They are running alone in the streets, or with their parents at work. Honestly, I saw more kids than I saw adults. And they were all adorable.
Service was non-existent, but even worse than ever before. We once sat in a restaurant for over an hour without even ordering. If you try and call for a waiter, they are out pretending to be Waldo, or they completely ignore you. Shame, because this country had potential to be an awesome place to visit, but it’s hard booking tickets, getting a room or ordering food.
All in all, I know that I could have seen or done more, but Laos wasn’t really for me.
Final thoughts: Thailand
In India, I was addicted to my Lonely Planet book. Here, we just went with the flow. I haven’t looked through my 40 pages of notes about what to do and see in the places we planned to go to. Instead, we did some island hopping, then went to the mainland to be productive. And boy was it a great way to do it.
A few things were different. This time, we barely learned the language or the history of this country. We didn’t do many cultural things or much sightseeing. We partied a lot, and actually met people. We got addicted to 7-11 toasties and Chang beers, chicken with cashewnut and pad thai. I slept in dorms that others would describe as nasty, but I had some of the best times in those. The nature here is beautiful, although we didn’t see a lot of it, and it rained a lot in the month and a half we stayed there.
When I first arrived in Thailand, I was surprised to see so many women – I barely saw any men the first few days. They all spoke almost perfect english, until we started island hopping. I really felt safe at all times, even walking home by myself at three in the morning in Bangkok, partying alone at full moon party, and doing a lone toasty-run during a pubcrawl in Koh Tao. I rarely locked up my belongings, and didn’t sleep with my fanny pack stuffed with passport and money. I felt safe and comfortable.
Service is horrible, as in India, and the waiter usually forgets at least one thing – but in most places they serve everything at once instead of as soon as its been made, which was the case in India. We didn’t tip once, which we always did in India. We learned that you must always take a cab with taximeter if you have the option – a tuk tuk is more than double the price!
Generally, Thailand is expensive – especially on the islands. It must be the fee to ship it from the mainland that does it, and the more north we traveled, the cheaper it got.
The islands are paradise. Not neccessarily visually, but the atmosphere and the people really make the place what it is.
On the mainland, the partying seems more aggressive (I’m thinking of Bangla Road and Khao San Road), but I generally really liked that atmosphere and the options to do things during the day, like going to the movies and nice stores for purchasing electronics, for example.
Oh, and everything is whitening. Creams, sunscreens, deodorants… Wtf!?
I fell in love with Thailand (and elephants) and I would go back in a heartbeat. I am, because my flight home is from Bangkok.