what's your mode of transport?
mine is the sun.
when it rises dripping from
the sea when it falls like honey on
the trees when it swallows up
clouds my soul moves with it.
mine is you.
i like fridays, rainy days, proud cats, black & white photographs, children's books, short stories and movies that most people would never see. Music serves me justice on sad days (Adele, The Kooks, Mumford & Sons are gems) and genuine smiles are a must-have.
11:42:00 PMbop to the top
Thursday, July 10, 2008
so i'm back! darker even though i slapped on tons of sunscreen. in cambodia, the local people we met thought i was either cambodian or thai. later in vietnam though, progressively became an indian according to that one guy at the Independence Palace in Ho Chi Minh. seriously these people have never met a malay person before despite their close proximity to malaysia. very odd.
travelling with people whom i was only introduced to at the airport was in the beginning, to be honest, kinda weird cos the other three girls were already good friends and i felt like the tag-along-person who came just cos it seemed conveniently safer. mello, the only person i knew, made it slightly worse cos the other two girls had to sit with me during the first flight to Siem Reap. uncomfortable. awkward. and i would be lying if i said i got along with ALL the girls. but eventually, things eased as we got from cambodia to vietnam so the trip wasn't all that hard.
backpacking really isn't complete without ugly behaviour from the (mostly western) backpackers around us. like when we were on the bus from Seam Reap to Phnom Penh, there was this grp of ang mohs who insisted that we all watch Troy. i mean, it's mighty fine if everyone spoke english on the bus but 90% were Cambodians there and so the right thing to do since we're just mere VISITORS was to be gracious and let the Cambodians watch their Cambodian TV, right? but nooo. the ang mohs wouldn't quit pestering the bus attendant. eventually the rest of us had to endure 1.5 hours of Brad Pitt strutting around in his underwear. for the other 1.5 hours (we singaporeans spoke super fast slurred singlish so that the ang mohs wouldn't be able to catch us getting annoyed at them), the attendant held her own and played a cambodian drama serial much to the protests of the ang moh group, which i secretly relished cos i loved seeing the lot of them suffer.
and it gets incredibly irritating when you come across westerners who assume that once you look even remotely asian, you're incapable of speaking good english. sometimes it was to our advantage cos since we looked so much like the locals, we didn't get hounded by people trying to sell us touristy t-shirts and other useless souvenirs as much. but most times though, we just felt incredibly insulted. for instance, on the boat to Halong Bay, there was this ang moh who saw us taking photographs of the bay and he turned to his friend and said in a super loud sneering obnoxious tone of voice "oh i love taking pictures of tourists taking pictures". when he later found out that we could speak english (and very well i might add), he kinda turned pale. an achievement considering he was lobster red from the attempted suntanning on the boat's deck. and if yet another person comes up and say that Singapore's part of China, i'm so gonna murder them. i've had enough of that during the trip thanks.
oh then there's that 32 hours turned into a 40-hour train ride from ho chi minh city to hanoi. i almost died cos we couldn't bathe since the toilet was just literally a hole. so when i had to pee, it was out of necessity cos smelling what the guy before me was doing is not my idea of a nice toilet experience. and i had to sit next to an overly-friendly vietnamese woman who kept trying to talk to me in vietnamese. and then there's me trying to decipher what she was saying with my phrasebook. which i failed. terribly. and yes i was scared at first cos i was afraid that she was going to rob me so i was incredibly paranoid (and very awake) during that first night. PLUS it was 2nd/3rd class seats so it meant i could recline towards a certain point and then that's it. no cabin bed, nothing. the reclining chair was like my home for the 40 hours. my butt & back felt sucky for a long time afterwards.
angkor wat was good to my legs. cu chi tunnels was fun even though the taxi driver kinda cheated us of our money. climbing the super high altitude caves in halong bay made me almost get high-altitude sickness but the HUGE caves were really awesome. the killing fields and the s-21 prisons were heart-wrenching. felt tears running a couple of times there. incredibly moving stories and photographs, especially the ones at the war remembrance museum in ho chi minh. the water puppet theatre in hanoi was really interesting- its where the puppet masters manipulate their puppets while waist-deep in water. and doing nothing at all while sitting in kem (ice-cream) & coffee shops felt like going to Starbucks, but local-style with coconut ice-creams, creme flan & herbal tea.
oh oh and then, there was that eerie haunted hotel room in hanoi which freaked all of us out with its large mirrors and ceilings that weirdly enough had holes in them even when we were practically at the top floor. only spent one night there in that room which felt like one night too long.
-takes deep breath. my summary of 12 days. not bad huh. (:
some say pictures say a thousand words. but they don't. not really. but here's a few anyway for people with no facebook.
and i think my brain got zonked out in hanoi cos i was sick with a fever for three days afterwards. and i actually, horrors of all horrors, am liking a Miley Cyrus song (whom i absolutely hate cos she can't act for nuts in her hannah montana show on disney channel. sorry to miley fans out there).
it's just a phase. it'll pass. i hope. i'm still an easy-listening, guitar-strumming, indie-ish music type.
oh GOD please let the hannah montana thing be just a phase. please. PLEASE.