Sunset stalking, 1 Life Laughing

Sunset Voyeurism

There’s something right about a sunset. The image of a sun descending behind a horizon immediately conjures romantic associations of exotic holidays, coconut cocktails and balmy evenings. A sunset reverberates with the possibilities of a life less ignored, a life lived. ‘In a minute there is time For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.’ A sun, sinking, accepts this. The sun admits that we can plan all we like, but life will happen anyway.

So why am I writing this aggravating, conceptual, poetry-quoting bullshit at you? Because I got a waft of lemon recently on a Saturday afternoon and I was immediately back in Vietnam, drinking lemon juice on the beach. (I know, another SE Asia name drop, what a surprise). But the memory was so vivid that my whole mood changed – old hormones washed back to shore and I was suddenly excited, relaxed, content. And I realised how physically different I am at home, where I’m constantly worried about the future, busy with (well, nothing, really…) and always rushing, constantly rushing, with very little justification. It’s like my life runs to a different, perhaps more dubstep-based theme tune than the reggae-founded sun-induced beat of backpackerism.

My friends say to me that my travels were ‘like a dream’, that they were just a temporary escape. I know. I’m not about to up-tail and run back out of the country. But I think there’s something vital to be captured from the whole spirit of the nomadic that I let go of far too easily. I think it comes down to acceptance. That time will keep on moving, that it should be treasured, not measured.

So today, I am sitting on the beach, and I am watching that goddamn sun go down. Because laundry can wait. Monday is still far away. And life is short and sweet.

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Egg coffee, 1 Life Laughing

Eggstremely good coffee

This is an experiment I carried out a while ago, borrowed from the far distant lands of Vietnam. I’m writing about it now because, no matter how many times I tell my friends it’s the best drink I’ve ever tasted, they still tell me that ‘egg coffee’ is an unnatural freak of the hot beverage world that they are not willing to try.

So bear with me folks, hold back the instictive response of ‘eugh, gross’. Because egg coffee is the finest invention the Vietnamese have come up with (shortly followed by Bahn Mis and conical hats).

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Wanted: Waterfalls in England

I did it, I really left the tropical beaches of Southern Thailand to return to tarmac, concrete and a grey sky to match (you can’t say that England isn’t colour-coordinated). I had to wear all my clothes home because it is so cold here (the worst part being that it’s not even that cold yet.) But actually, that’s not the worst part. The worst part is the knowledge that those were the best three months of my life, I found paradise, and I came home to a place that hasn’t changed, hasn’t moved an inch, even though I’ve ridden mopeds, climbed waterfalls and scaled mountains. Queue the world’s smallest violin.

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The Worst Part of Travelling is Travelling…

After missing the flight to Krabi, delaying beach paradise by 24 hours, I had no idea that the worst was yet to come.

The travel agents at Bangok told us it would be 11 hours, not 24 like we had expected, to drive straight to Koh Lanta from Bangkok. Perfect.
So my travel companion and I had our drinks in Bangkok, ate some Pad Thai, and although no Mexican man whisked me away to (even more) exotic lands, a Turkish hairdresser did at least try to. A whole day of 3 massages, 2 temples, 2 purchases and only one attempted scam, and we were ready to board the bus. In high spirits, with calmed muscles, exfoliated skin, pedicures. How could this ride ruin our mood, huh?

The worst part of travelling, is travelling, The Laughing Life

The Grand Palace, beautiful if you can see it through the crowds ( how I managed this picture I will never know.)

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Prepare for the worst, hope for the best

As I write this, I’m speeding down a motorway towards Bangkok, leaving the border control at the Cambodian land crossing further and further behind me. I’m stuck at the back of a minivan and every bump in the road (to clarify, every five meters) sends me hurling into the poor German man beside me. He’s currently leaning forward over his own knees, I think because he just can’t take my full on body slams any longer. If you’re reading this, sorry, German blond. You chose the wrong seat this time.

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