The big outdoors is a wonderful place to get inspired & do some physical exercise. This little guy was spotted while we were on safari in Sri Lanka … he makes it look so easy!
Stowaway … we do get attached to the gorgeous pets we housesit. Butterscotch was no exception … everyday he amused us with his crazy antics.
If I could turn back time – Watching Pip & Gaye cliff jump like ‘would be’ teenagers … seeing them summon their courage was enough to make you pee your pants!
Portuguese GPS – Driving out of Sixt car hire & we realise the GPS is in Portuguese … Doh. Before we know it we end up in an industrial estate car park instead of the expressway. Needless to say we drove through the same round about 5 times before we managed the correct exit! Note to self … don’t get a manual the 1st time you drive on the right hand side of the road … too many things to recalibrate in your brain, especially the gear changes, looking over a different shoulder, missing the rear vision mirror in critical moments & looking the correct way to see oncoming traffic as you merge. We both aged a few years those 1st 2 days … all good now. It’s second nature!
Impromptu Charades – Gaye was sitting in a little local café in Alfama, a very old & traditional district of Lisbon, trying to order some breakfast. Three elders were joking & teasing a fourth man who was helping her. None of them spoke English but they all claimed to know what Gaye wanted! It turned into a full game of charades that lasted 10 minutes. The end result … exotic … a ham & cheesed toasted roll! The entertainment value was a delightful way to start the day for everyone. It’s always amazing how people can communicate with each other without understanding a single spoken word.
Celebrity Status – During our time in Asia we were often asked for selfies with families or group of uni students … fascinating!
Playful banter with the Hmong women of Sapa – The Hmong touts are extremely persistent & follow you everywhere. Some tourists complain they ruin the experience for them. We chose to have playful banter with them each time we stepped out. They have a wonderful sense of humour & a great understanding of sarcasm or innuendos. Here’s how it would play out …
Hmong: What’s your name?
Hmong: Where are you from?
Gaye: Sydney Australia
Hmong: Ah … Kangaroo … Koala … How old are you?
Hmong: You look too young
Gaye: People always say that
Hmong: You buy from me
Gaye: Not today
Hmong: Maybe later
Gaye: Not today
Hmong: You say Maybe
Gaye: No Maybe
Hmong: I follow you
Gaye: Ok but I no buy
Hmong: I marry your brother … then I always follow you
Yum Cha with the locals – We were at the infamous Lin Heung Kai restaurant for Yum Cha (Dim Sum). You’re assured of an authentic experience here as the place is filled with local Hong Kong families. The place is buzzy & alive … you know you’re in Hong Kong when you dine like this! Our waiter had a great sense of humour & understanding of what we would & wouldn’t like. Waving off the more exotic items (offal, chickens feed) & directing a fabulous array of steamed dumplings, duck, vegies, noodles & egg tarts! We felt like locals!
Gaye’s haircut – Take 1 (Myanmar)
Gaye walks into a local hairdresser in Inle Lake (they speak no English)
Gaye gestures she wants a haircut
Blank look …
Gaye gestures again
Look of horror & madly waving hands the lady backs out of her shop
Apparently Gaye’s frizzy long hair was far too frightening for this Burmese lady who had lovely thin straight black hair
Gaye’s haircut – Take 2 ( Abu Dhabi)
Gaye walks into local salon (yes a real salon with proper chairs & basins)
They speak very little English
Gaye signals the length she wants off
Hairdresser nods knowingly
Gaye drifts off for a snooze & awakens to a bob!
Look of horror on Gaye’s face … she’s mortified at the shortness even though everyone else thinks it’s fab!
Clearly the lady mistook Gaye’s gesturing as the new length she wanted
Ahh … lost in translation
Gaye’s haircut – Take 3
Gaye now likes her new short hair & next cut will be the same … go figure!
52 year old skin – The skin on my elbows & neck was a source of amusement to the children of the Lisu village.
Poking, prodding, pulling & squeezing … it was like the 1st time a child plays with playdo. I was lucky to leave with my skin intack!
From shy to OTT – one little girl was extremely shy & suspicious of us … it was the 1st time she had seen westerners. It wasn’t too long before all reservations were left behind & we became attached at the hip!
Laugh or cry? The Burmese aren’t the best bus travellers, they get bus sick very easily it seems. On our 12 hour Hsipaw to Inle Lake leg there were 2 young mums with their kids in the seats in front. They were vomiting the whole way! To make matters worse they refilled their bellies at every stop (there were 4!). To make matters doubly worse, they didn’t remove their spew bags at each stop … so they rolled around under everyone’s feet. Was not a nice trip!
Fast forward 40+ years … here’s what Gaye will look like on her mobility scooter
Cooling off Time – The roads through the Mynamar mountains are narrow, long & slow. They are a series of switchbacks or hairpin bends (as we call them in Australia). There’s an unwritten rule that the upward traffic gives way to the downward traffic as its very hard work on the brakes. So much so there are regular stops on the side of mountains with a bunch of hoses where trucks & buses pull over & cool down their brakes & wheels. First time round it’s a little unnerving & then you come to expect it!
Gotta love how children can turn anything into a playful situation. In the heat of the day there is no need for a pool when you have a muddy rice paddy for some fun.
3 second rule – does it apply to luggage in the bus hold when it falls into a puddle?
Stow-away or D class travel? Sitting at a truck inspection stop … Imagine our surprise when the bus next to us opens its luggage compartment & there’s a passenger laying on all the bags. We were expecting the inspector to raise a ruckus … instead he handed the guy a bottle of water, closed the hatch & moved onto the next bus … WT?
Jenny was extremely excited at the prospect of visiting the Scotch markets in Yangon. Whisky along with beer is sold cheaply (A$2 a bottle!!) on the side of the road & in every little shop. Imagine her disappointment when after trolling through every meter of the Bogyoke Aung San central market in 42c heat we discovered it was the Scott’s market … not Scotch!
Tightrope anyone … gets easier with more Mojito’s you consume!
What is it with Europeans & personal space? Relaxing on our own personal cabana & these 2 ladies plop themselves down right in front of us & obscure our view of the sunset. I know this is a generalisation but this seems to be a common occurrence since arriving in Europe. Not just sunsets but pavements, shopping centres, trains, trams …everywhere they just step right in front of you without even an excuse me or anything … totally oblivious to the others around them? You’ve gotta laugh!
“You used to send me roses” … PRISONER … anyone seen these 2 suspects recently!
Ooh La La Bird – Imagine our surprise & delight when we found out this bird (Hill Myna) spoke French. There are also ones that speak Japanese!