The great thing about travelling in a group tour is the people, but there’s always one isn’t there?
Actually in my case there were two, an Australian man and his on-again-off-again German girlfriend.
Basically this couple had decided to give their relationship one last chance. The chance being a month-long journey with thirteen total strangers through Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia. Now there’s a good idea!
By themselves they’re bearable, together they’re like putting oil and water in a frypan. Shit gets messy.
To sum her up, nothing was ever right. Her food was apparently always the last to arrive, her margarita didn’t taste like the ones from home, her wine glass was never full enough, and according to her, our tour guide at Angkor Wat in Cambodia was so terrible it ruined her entire trip.
As for him, he was a typical cocky, overstated Australian, who had the worst case of man flu I’ve ever seen and who, most disturbingly, once asked me mid-meal, “is your sweat starting to smell Asian?”
I take that back, his most disturbing flaw was his love of his Australian flag budgie smugglers. On one fateful day I got stuck walking behind him on the 20 minute trek to cave tubing in Laos. He’s an ex-lifeguard but his body suggests it was some time and a number of beers ago. I decide to poke a bit of fun so I tell him about the New Zealand icecream ad ‘togs, togs, undies.’
For the Canadian guy on our tour I don’t think things were ever the same after he accidentally burst into their room, thinking it was his, only to find her nakedly starfished on the bed.
But for me it was all over the day she left something (she refused to disclose what) at a hotel in Laos. She made this discovery a good 40 minutes into a already long travel day. We turned around. No sorry. No nothing. Later in Vietnam she left a small packet of sunscreen on a longboat, totally lost the plot over it, and made the driver go back. It hate to think about what she left in Laos!
To spice things up a bit, it was blindingly obvious that he had a crush on another woman on the tour. So obvious in fact, when we got new arrivals in Vietnam one mistakenly asked if they were a couple.
Considering the tone of this blog entry it will probably come as no surprise to you that when it came to saying our goodbyes after 30 long days together, I actively avioded them. I almost got away with it too. But she sought me out from across the room.
“Goodbye Rachael, good luck with your travels.”
Trying to be polite I casually replied with the typical kiwi throw away line, “see you later,” to which she replied, “I don’t think so.”
Perhaps the feeling was mutual.