Falling out of love with a place is about as pleasant as falling out of love with a person.
You don’t quite know when it started but all of a sudden all of their flaws that you once found cute and endearing now just piss you off.
After two months in South East Asia it’s happening to me. I am no longer embracing the bizarre.
In fact things like this just make me want to call CYF. Seriously, what kind of parents bring their toddler to a go-go bar?
I could go on but there’s a few other pet peeves about South East Asia that I need to get off my chest.
Firstly the animals. They’re everywhere. They’re rubbing against your legs when you’re trying to eat, and like the gecko in Laos, they’re falling on your face when you’re trying to sleep. In case you’re wondering what that feels like, it’s like being slapped in the face by a piece of jelly with tiny suction cups.
Squat toilets. It was my number one fear that I’d have a case of the squirts when only a squat toilet was available. I’m pleased to report it didn’t eventuate!
The rubbish. Seriously South East Asia has got to get this under control. I remember cruising down the Mekong Delta in Vietnam and seeing a local waving to us with one hand while tipping a rubbish bin full of plastics into the river with the other.
The beggars, particularly the parents who force their disabled children, like the hula hooping boy with Down syndrome in Chiang Mai, to perform.
The crazy reoccurring malaria pill dream (apparently a common side effect) I’ve been having where I end up marrying a particular boy I went to primary school with. I can tell you now – not going to happen. Although I must admit this dream was so realistic I did indulge in a spot of Facebook stalking only to learn he’s possibly the only person my age not on Facebook.
Eau de parfum ‘Deet,’ although I accept it’s better than being bitten.
Feeling sweaty all the time, the extra firm beds, the dodgy electrics like power points under shower nozzles (my dad the sparky would have a fit), and the numerous cold showers, particularly the ones that feel like you’re standing under angry little shards of water.
The old creepy white guys, and suprisingly quite a few young good looking lads, who come here to get laid. Of the literally hundreds I saw, many of whom publicise the fact with t-shirts reading, “good guys go to heaven, bad guys go to Pattaya,” two stand out. The first was a fat old guy at a bar in Chiang Mai motorboating his thai girl for the night and the other was a guy in Koh Phangan who married his Thai woman an hour after meeting her on St Paddy’s Day.
But most of all I won’t miss the constant harassment to buy things which after awhile blurs into a never ending stream of: “miss, madam, buy from me, cheap cheap, special price for you, lucky first customer, taxi, tuk tuk, where you going, good price for you.”
In fairness though, there’s lots of things about South East Asia that I will miss.
I will miss the sunsets.
I will miss the local beers, especially Beer Lao.
I will miss being able to afford to eat anything that I want, particularly Pad Thai, coconut curries and papaya salad. This one I made myself.
I will miss my coconut shakes.
I will miss giggling at the menus.
But most of all I will miss the people. The people on my tour, my friends Jenny and Bianca who reluctantly had to go back to work in New Zealand, and all the friendly locals, especially this guy, even if he was high on betel nut.