Sunday, 7 July 2013

I pack my backpack

Hello my dears,

While you are reading this, I am strolling through the busy capital of Vietnam: Ha Noi. On Friday my adventure has finally begun - Vietnam, Laos, Thailand & Cambodia.

My week consisted of the following: sleepless nights, my birthday and preparations for the big trip.

Let's start with the shortest chapter that is sleepless nights. My head was turning mainly due to thoughts about organisational stuff and the upcoming trip. Unfortunately diarrhoea hit me additionally, letting my circles around the eyes appear even darker. Might be that my psychological uncertainties led to the illness and tied a knot in my tummy. I only hope that I won't have the same symptoms in Asia although it is very likely.

103 posts on my facebook wall. 20 whats app messages. 18 facebook messages. One postcard. A few calls & SMS.
On Wednesday I turned 21. A big number and in normal circumstances a huge party worth. Since I am at my parents, I am far away from all my university pals and former school colleagues who left home for their studies. Only few people come back in summer and if, only for a couple of days. Luckily I could spend a lunch break with a good friend who - coincidence! - currently lives in Ha Noi. Therefore we chatted about my trip, about Vietnamese habits and how to say "No, thank you!". In the evening I went to have dinner with my parents at an excellent Italian restaurant.
And presents? Not really. When I was younger I always asked my parents what they want. And I hated their answer that they wish the family to be healthy and good people. At 21 I have grown up because it's what I said to my parents when they asked. During the last year I faced a few critical situations in our family that have changed not only me, but all of us. So no cake and no presents... except one t-shirt my Mom bought me. She couldn't resist.

Shirt with bow detail (1 2 3 - Un deux trois)
Last but not least my preparations for the trip kept me busy: applications for visa, checking for hostels, checking for the flights, buying mosquito-spray and earplugs and packing my backpack. What does an inexperienced traveller take to her first trip to Asia? Besides lots of shirts and shorts, I took the following:
  • Rain jacket: I arrive in South East Asia during the rain period. As long as I am not washed away I don't mind rain at all. 
  • Sports clothing: Perfect for humid areas as they are light and dry fast after having them washed. 
  • 2(!) pairs of shoes: trainers and flip flops is all I need. And who knows what I find on the typical markets?
  • Colourful foulard: especially in Laos temples require to cover shoulders. The African foulard sets me into mood for far away travelling.
  • Pillow: Yet I don't know 100% where we stay, so I proper pillow is always a reasonable idea. In the plane, too.
  • Medicine: Malaria and diarrhoea might occur in such regions; to be well protected is mandatory. 
  • All-over-the-world-adapter: Needless to say that I need to recharge my mobile phones. 
Sport cloths (Shirt (Odlo) - Pants (McKinley)) - rain jacket (No Name)
Foulard (from Tanzania) - Flip flops (Cobian) - Trainers (Nike)
Pillow - adapter - medicine

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