Now that we’re halfway through our journey, I thought it might be time to pause and share a few random stats from the trip!
Biggest facepalm moment
Losing about 650 Thai baht (about $35 or so) one dark night, presumably to the back seat of a taxi. Even more galling: the driver didn’t have change for 1000 baht, which is why he took me to a 7/11 so I could buy something to break up the note in the first place. Cue gnashing of teeth afterwards when I dug into my pocket and realised I no longer had the change.
Biggest food gamble that paid off
Ordering bun moc from a street stall in Hanoi without actually knowing what it was, aside from the fact that it contained noodles. Honestly, I just liked the look of the word ‘moc’, and it seemed easier to pronounce than some of the other dishes.
Most affecting moment
The boy with the balloon head, horrifically bloated atop his undersized torso, cradled in the arms of an old woman in the corner of a temple at Angkor Wat.
Qatar Airways, Hanoi to Bangkok. Super short, but super luxurious.
The hellish train ride from Germany to Switzerland, on which there was no air con and the windows were sealed shut. Not just swelteringly uncomfortable, but downright dangerous in those temperatures.
Most memorable moment
Oh, there are so many, but probably the most unexpected and unusual was the Emerald Cave in Thailand. Bonus points for pushing me out of my comfort zone in order to get there.
Okay, it’s a bit of a copout as we only did 2 tours – but the winner would be Halong Bay. Beautiful scenery, fun activities – kayaking, attempting to make spring rolls together, karaoke – and a good group of people, not least of all our entertaining guide.
Most random sighting
Of all the things I expected to see on the streets of Edinburgh, the most pierced woman in the world would never have placed on the list. Weirdly, I’d seen her on TV not long before we left, but I had no idea where she lived.
Again, a bit of a copout, seeing as I’ve only read one book. Even worse, it was a kid’s book. But I’m not ashamed to say that Phantom Tollbooth is a wicked tale, and if you love language like I do, you’ll get a huge kick out of it. Especially enjoyable when picked up at a random coffee shop in Bangkok and accompanied by cake.
Biggest guilty pleasure
Mister Donut. Totally saved our lives in Hat Yai, and again at Bangkok airport.
Best plane entertainment
Scandal, without a doubt. I watched the pilot episode on a flight, then later got T hooked; we watched the whole first season and a third of the second throughout Rome and Athens. (Close second goes to The Newsroom; I can’t even remember which episode it was, but it doesn’t matter, because I am totally infatuated with Jim.)
Most overpriced meal
Caught out by the whole selling by weight thing, we spent basically $26 on stall food in Prague. There was a fair bit of roasted ham and a hearty potato dish, but most certainly not THAT much worth. Delicious, though.
Unforeseen, but oh-so-common annoyance
Electric tram/bus overhead lines. That shiz will ruin a good picture every time.
Biggest travel peeve
City tax. That is all.