The trip, it is a dream many people, we first. 4 months as we travel the roads of Asia by combining leisure and work. We offer to share our first lessons… May the force be with you!
The hardest lessons…
It's the rule of thumb on a trip, even more for those who travel alone I think. It should not be pressed. You know you want to travel 150 km from point A to point B in Laos. OK, so plan your day, you'll get for 6 h… If all goes well. If a tyre of the bus burst, you can easily add 1 or 2 hours (known as informed consent).
Transport are nerves straining on a trip. A plane or a bus late, a train that got two hours to dock without moving… My e-reader is the best gift we could make me before leaving (after the stick to soothe mosquito bites may be). Spend 7 hours waiting in a bus station is no longer a problem. A good book, a guide to the country and the time passes much more quickly. 🙂
Games and mobile applications are also a good way to pass the time, but this puts the battery of the phone is flat and there is not always satisfactory internet connection. It sometimes takes… and wait, for a web page to load. Sir could make a comparison of internet connections by country also.
A Chinese shouts and double you in the queue to buy his ticket before you? A German screams in the room next door while knowing that the wall separating you is a real cigarette paper? Okay, who cares. We breathe and relax.
It is on this point we have the more 'work' and we're still. It does nothing to get excited anyway, it won't move things forward. On the contrary, if you get mad at someone you have every chance to inflame the place. So let it go, you will win in life expectancy!
We have the song that goes for it. Very recently, we saw the film and I think it's quite true. You think what?
It's probably one of the main challenges faced, particularly in Southeast Asia. No complaints in China and Japan, the transport system is nickel. Ultimately, you can throw up if you see someone trying to deep throat big spit before evac to your feet in the bus. Here, you can recognize it's not great!
But after the Vietnamese bus, Laotian and now Malaysians, we can tell you that it's a challenge not to make his meal on the bus (and this isn't a Dutch who threw up on my backpack who say otherwise!). It's simple, you wonder of 1, they really permit?, 2, how can – it double while there is a bus across the street who made the calls of Lighthouse?, and 3, what is the rate of road deaths in these countries? Often, it blanked looking at the road ahead…
And talk about the crazy drivers, these drivers who probably want to beat speed records by linking the destination in 3 hours instead of the 6 announced by the agency that sells you the tickets. And let me tell you that the shock absorbers in the potholes at 110 miles an hour, it doesn't much. You find yourself quickly in the middle of the aisle of the bus, without understanding what happens to you (here again, Mr can attest).
The coolest teachings…
Sabaidee, Tam biet, xie xie, arigato etc… This is the basis to move forward in a country. Residents will be more than happy answer you if you try to speak their language. And then as our course in the country, eventually recognize some words, allowing us to ask where is the bus, beef noodle soup, etc.
Well, there is that in China where it didn't work not really and that the language barrier was the main difficulty. The alphabet is not the same, and even the numbers aren't always the Arabic numerals that we use. Therefore, impossible to do with a calculator in these cases… Only solution, write the names of the cities where we wanted to go in Chinese characters and download a good application of mobile translator! 😉
And Yes! Who would have thought it? We didn't use all this application in France, since we have our good old SMS unlimited and Facebook Messenger system (for most geeks). Where is the point of having a umpteenth mobile application to send messages? But in the country where you do not necessarily have Internet everywhere and that you meet people from the 4 corners of the planet, how do you do to keep the contact and you find during your adventure? Passenger friends Whatsapp!
It's great and mostly free. And that way, we can catch up in Hong Kong, in Italy, in Thailand, in France, to the Japan, etc. It turned out to be INTERNATIONAL! So now we do more "you got a Facebook?", but "Whatsapp?". Technology, that's life…
This last commandment is more of a nod to Mr Vietnamese grandmother, who during our last Skype, asked me if I knew now eat with chopsticks. But Grandma, it's been 4 months since I almost not saw knife (in part to cut pizza in Vientiane)! And now, in Malaysia, we sometimes eat with your fingers, because they use it not always fork.
So yes, we now get to eat with chopsticks, although sometimes there is a bit of the broth next to the bowl. We both have same our pair of chopsticks that are customized to the case where… So Grandma, if you read us on our return, we can get a meal Vietnam full, without fork "for Westerners" as you say! 😉
What experience we live! Admire a sunrise in the middle of the dunes and the sea to the Viet Nam, walk in the canopy in the middle of the tropical jungle in Malaysia, be welcomed as Kings by our Lao friends, through a rice paddy just squatted by Buffalo, "dancing" next to a turtle to sea on an island paradise, etc. What could be more exciting? We have the chance to experience an exceptional adventure. So yes we have the banana to any discovery. Our trip, it's a bit like the Kinder advent calendar. We're happy to open a new box every day to discover the surprise inside…
Master Yoda budding we haven't distill us his teachings. The trip is a perpetual enrichment and encounters, experiences that one lives currently make us see things maybe a little differently. It is far from the "who left his Mandarin to rot in the fridge to work?", and we strangely, we live pretty well. The year next to the balance sheet. 😉