Thursday, 9 October 2008

Uniquely SEA #1

Let me dispense with an important announcement before I get started with todays business. We begin our recrudesce to New Zealand next Thursday and will arrive on Friday. Please be aware I have written and circulated a press release for all major news networks as my triumphant return to New Zealand may be the only thing which can take economic depression and the sycophantic pandering of accumulated governments off the front pages of the world's print media.

This gives us exactly one more week in South East Asia. Today I thought I would write a list of unique experiences which for me sum up our time here. Where possible I will link back to supporting evidence as we have a more than a few new comers to the banging bandwagon which is this blog. I expect this will be a continuing series as I expect to be enveloped by a huge sense of contrast when we arrive back in New Zealand.

Transport

The roads of South East Asia are far more exciting with a rich profusion of scooters, tuk tuks and street vendors. Footpaths are for parking cars and setting up shop. Never forget when meeting someone on the street always start the conversation asking where the person is from then say hello.

Food

If it grows, lives and can fit in your mouth you can probably eat it. If it doesn't it will be murdered and prepared so you can. Every table has salt, pepper and chilli flakes. High humidity renders salt and pepper shakers useless so head straight for the chilli.

Patriotism

Back home the New Zealand flag is trotted our very rarely. Sports events, state funerals and the occasional flag burning are the only times you might see them in the wild. In the deep SEA national flags are found on every corner, crevasse and places in between. I have not seen national flag toilet paper or underwear but I am sure that some enterprising soul is ready to roll them out so to speak.

Time and Space

I have discussed this at length before. But time and distances are so excruciatingly distorted that you should abandon time pieces and your accumulated sense of longimetry. For fear of disappointment add at least 24 standard hours and a thousand kilometers for any journey.

A Sizable Difference

Without fail most clothing sizes are out by a size. A western large would be an extra large here. Whilst this is quickly learned, doorways, roofs and other construction tenements can all attack an unwilling traveler. I have learned that wearing a helmet entering and exiting our current lodging a safe way to protect my head. Unfortunately wearing a helmet to bed is not very comfortable.

Tune in next week for more of the.....




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