First of all, an apology. I haven't written anything recently. This is because WiFi is somewhat hard to come by, and often by the time I'm back in the hostel I just want to go to sleep or read my Kindle, not be productive.
I hope you haven't missed me too much. I've missed writing more than I thought I would. Without further ado, here is a rundown of some of the odder bits of my adventure so far...
Day 1. Dubai airport. We ate in Starbucks while a muezzin sang the call to prayer.
Day 2. Singapore. We shared our room with a group of Thai people. Only two spoke English. Sisters. Lovely girls. I say girls; they were 23 and 25.
Day 3. Singapore. I spent all night watching thunder shake the city and fell asleep in the small hours. We visited the Night Safari and watched nocturnal animals come alive.
Day 4. Singapore. I purchased a lucky charm in Chinatown, a dog (my zodiac symbol) and called her LB for Little Bitch. She is keeping my bag safe.
Day 5. Kuala Lumpur. We arrived by overnight train and stared at the buildings, a mix of colonial architecture with Chinese, Thai, Indian, Muslim and modern influences thrown in like spices in a soup. We climbed to the Batu Caves shrine and I fucked up my ankle.
Day 6. Kuala Lumpur. The Skybar at Traders Hotel offered booze, a swimming pool, and views of the Petronas Towers. I didn't get ID'd.
Day 7. Penang. Another sleeper train to Butterworth and a ferry to Georgetown. We met an American teaching English in Bangkok in the station, and spent hours talking. In Georgetown, every building has a story.
Day 8. Penang. It is a well-known fact Thai trains are always late. Were this not the case, we wouldn't have made our train to Thailand, as we tore down the platform 20 minutes after the train was due to leave, the guard changing his GO sign to a STOP one as we ran, rucksacks bouncing on our backs.
Day 9. Bangkok. A week of hot weather hit me and I nearly passed out from dehydration in Siam station.
Day 10. Bangkok. I felt like such a tourist, having one of the most Thai experiences imaginable: getting a massage in the grounds of Wat Pho, staring out the window at the raging monsoon. In typical luck, the one day we decided to see the Imperial Palace was the one day that the Emerald Buddha temple was closed for a ceremony. We ate lunch twice.
Day 11. Ayuthaya. We went to see the temples lit up at night and visited a night market where they sold rabbits and birds in cruelly small cages. I felt sick.
Day 12. Ayuthaya. The day was spent staring at the temples which earned Ayuthaya its World Heritage status. A teacher from the Bronx at the hostel took a liking to my friend and accompanied us back to the station. I didn't trust him. He mentioned that at 24 he had been married... To a 15-year-old.
Day 13. Chiang Mai. We spoke to a Buddhist monk and toured temples in the rain. Our hostel was Japanese-style, with tatami mattresses on the floor. A Dane and a German also staying there ended up accompanying us on a jaunt to the Night Bazaar.
Day 14. Chiang Mai. We saw Christian, the Dane, again. He's the only person I've met who is too lazy to go for a massage. We had seen to many Wats, we were at wat saturation point. Waturation?
Day 15. Bangkok. The day was spent seeing the city from river taxis. The night was spent drinking with two Dutch guys we met by accident and a taxi driver asked if the four of us were on honeymoon together. I kissed one of them, and we were out dancing till past two.
Day 16. Hong Kong. I wonder if my Dutch paramour talks about me as much as I keep mentioning him. The hostel would be lovely, save for the overweight Obama-hating fifty-something who seems allergic to wearing shirts.
Day 17. Hong Kong. We got away from the oppressive fumes by visiting Victoria Park, and then took a tram up to The Peak where we spent too much money on substandard coffee shop food just so we could sit in the window and watch the city glitter in the Light Show.
I don't know when I will write again, but I love you all. Stay safe. Have adventures. Be happy.