…entre nous soit dit…

between me you and the gatepost.

Fighting + Ha Long Bay + DINGUSSSSS!

I forgot to write about how the other day (Sunday night I’m pretty sure) Dom and I ended up having what started as a simple conversation in bed about what was wrong because something had been off that day, and ended up as a mass scale fight resulting in me getting out of bed and sleeping on the floor. The later scale of the fight was all happening just before and around 3am complete with yelling and everything. Dom losing his patience and temper and me just getting upset, giving up and eventually just telling him that he was always mean and I couldn’t put up with it anymore – because he was and is one of the very few people that I won’t fight with. I just give up to save effort because its honestly just SO exhausting and he’s so stubborn that it never gets anywhere. I also told him that him telling me what I’m doing/saying/acting doesn’t make me see he side or convince me in the slightest to do what he is asking (at the time he was trying to get me back into the bed rather than sleeping on the floor by abusing me and telling me I was being stupid… Ok well the move of sleeping on the floor wasn’t exactly smart but he didn’t make getting back into bed an option with his tone of voice and the things he was saying).

Anyways, we ended up sorting out that little spat. I stopped crying after a bit and he held me until I was calm. I love it when he holds me – and that will be the biggest thing I miss at night time. I can forgo the sex easily. Anyways, I think the result was that I was going to stay and that we wouldn’t be “just friends”, we would be more, but at the same time we wouldn’t be quite what we used to be – we’d never get that back.

Since then Dom has been more “touchy feely” and just doing the simple things like brushing my back or touching my shoulder when we’re sitting down. He doesn’t do those things normally, because he’s really not a touchy feely kind of guy, so I don’t know what changed that. I don’t know if it was the conversation that night or if we’re just getting along better. I honestly don’t know. Maybe it’s that Phoebe and his emails have been going downhill/stopped/hit a brick wall. I honestly don’t know but it makes me soooo happy and allows me to fool myself a lot easier about him still caring for me…. Even if one of the things covered the other night WAS the fact that he does not love me romantically anymore at all – ie he’s not in love with me – but that he loves me as in he cares for me. Sort of like how you can care for and love a best friend I guess. I dunno.

I dunno.

Anyways, yesterday we got up ridiculously early, after basically no sleep the night before because of shitty half sleep dreaming and then my stomach fucking up, as per usual, so I get jittery and can’t sit still. So, I got up and sat in the bathroom eating a cheese sandwich and drinking apple juice whilst listening to my iPod and writing the ‘Eclipse’ episode blog post. With roughly 2 hours of shitty half sleep and half an hour of dozing under my belt, we got up and finished last minute packing to head downstairs for the only free breakfast we’ve actually bothered with at our hotel and waiting for the bus to come collect us for Ha Long Bay. Of course, at just past 6am that morning it had started to fucking PISS down with rain – the day that we decided to travel to Ha Long Bay and beaches.

Sick one Vietnam.

So, when the bus rocked up 50 minutes late, we were escorted to it with many umbrellas dashing backwards and forwards with us, but essentially doing nothing. We crammed in (Dom crammed more so than myself considering I’m smaller and more bendable into weird positions on busses). Thus began our slow journey out of Hanoi where apparently they haven’t discovered the modern wonders of street drains (the streets were fucking flooded – no exaggeration cars were buried in water in some areas and mottos were absolutely useless). A number of hours and many pathetic attempts at little naps later, we arrived at the porting area for the big junker boats that heavily populate Ha Long Bay for tourism.

We sat there for almost an hour while Dingus (the overly cheery and stereotype Asian dorky type tour guide who we quickly nicknamed for his incompetence and pure nerve straining annoyingness) finally managed to secure us a boat – that’s right they don’t actually organise one until you get there despite you being booked into an actual tour group. SO we boarded onto a stupid tiny tin boat that would transport us to where it was anchored a couple of hundred metres away. The shitty little transport was of course broken (like everything else in Vietnam) and the tarp over the side we sat was ripped all the way along. Thanks to that, we continued to be sprinkled with the light rain adding to the ridiculous humidity, and then when we finally reached the boat and thought it was over, it sloshed all the roof water down through the rip and out of the whole row of people it landed on lucky ‘ol me. There’s nothing I don’t love more than some dirty roof water. It’s just sooooooo awesome -_-

But nevertheless, we were on board finally and sailing into the bay amongst the islands. Turns out we were dealt a bad hand for the rooms – both Matt and Kristie, and Dom and I got the shittiest smallest cabins I’m fairly sure. Well, I can safely say, they were definitely nothing like the one I had in February when I was here last time. And to top it off, at this time of the year – the hottest – to save on electricity bills they don’t turn on the aircon until night time, which is most definitely not something they specified before the tour, nor enforced last time in February. Oh and did I mention they turn it off at 5.30 in the morning? So, you get to wake up at 7am or earlier in a sweltering mess of disgusting heat and sweat. They could at least leave it running until 7.30 when we were told we had to be up by for breakfast. DO THE DECENT THING VIETNAM! And to think we paid US$98 for this trip (well US$100 if you count the $2 per person bribe to the bus driver to take us straight to the hotel rather than waiting 2+ hours for the others to get back from hiking).

So, now we’re holed up in our hotel rooms on this god forsaken island acting like the tired and rude westerner tourists that I so hate. But I’m that exhausted and sick of this that I have been reduced to this horrifying behaviour. We even paid an extra US$10 each in order to go to the supposedly “better” hotel. I’m perplexed as to what could possibly be better about this one though – the service is poor, the air con is crap, our room has such a strong musty smell that’s making me have hay fever, and my butt is currently trying to tell me that I’d probably be a lot more comfortable sitting and sleeping on the wooden floor rather than the bed – it’s that shit! I’ll be fucked if I know how I’m going to sleep on it tonight, so here’s to the third night in a row of no/shit sleep.

And I forewent going for the “itinery” specified trip to Monkey Island to sit inside with the blinds drawn and attempt to relax. I’m still yet to see such an itinery, and we were never told that even was one. I know it completely defeats the purpose of being in another country to do this, and paying good money to go on a tour, but I’m that exhausted and fed up that I care very little.

Today at lunch Dom asked Kristie and I if we would enjoy traveling here more if we weren’t with them and their constant pessimism/complaining. I pointed out that there was no way I would even be here if it wasn’t for them – I didn’t come here for the country, I came to see them. That’s it. Because I said to myself after my tour here in Feb that I would be more than happy if I never ever returned to Vietnam. I had made up my mind long ago that I hated this country and it’s people and I warned the boys that it was shit (but they had to experience it for themselves, and now that they have, they completely agree). I mean sure, traveling with these guys makes Vietnam seem that little bit worse, but I don’t care about that because I already hate the country. I travel with them because its them that I love hanging out with – simply sitting there eating a meal is hilarious with them and forcing them to watch shitty movies like Mama Mia becomes comedy central. That’s why I came (and why I’m still here despite everything that has happened.

Anyways, the M&Ms have just run out and Dom has already commented on how freaking long this is twice already. So I shall leave it here for today and maybe see what other shitty McShit movies are on offer at the moment on TV.

I never thought I’d say it, because I hate this country so much, but I can’t wait to get back to Hanoi.

(Although I’d prefer to be in Wanaka at the moment… *sigh* if only)

Xin Chao.

I’m outee for now.

July 14, 2010 Posted by | confusing!!, emotions, experiences, idiotic, love, Personal, Vietnam Trip with the Boys, Vietnam Trip with the Boys | Leave a comment

Quote of the week # 35

“Love grows where trust is laid, and love dies where trust is betrayed.”

– unknown –


“Happiness serves hardly any other purpose than to make unhappiness possible.”

– Marcel Proust –

July 9, 2010 Posted by | depression, disapointment, experiences, life, love, moods, observation | Leave a comment

So beautiful…

When I first got to our resort that we’re staying at, I was amazed at how gorgeous it was – and that was when it was dark and barely visible. I sent a message to Dom saying that if I ever though Mum was a snob when it came to acommodation, Dad out did her on this trip haha.

This morning though, it was GLORIOUS. There was frost outside and the lake had mist on it. The sun was just coming out on the mountains.

G. L. O. R. I. O. U. S.

The photos don’t even do it justice…

June 27, 2010 Posted by | experiences, family, happy :), just a quick note, Personal, SNOW!! | 2 Comments

I looooove snow :)

Day one snow boarding = mega mega mega HAPPY!!!!!!!


June 27, 2010 Posted by | experiences, fun, happy :), Personal, SNOW!! | Leave a comment

Weird Ass Dreams… no second meaning there.

Ok so I succumbed to having a nap tonight… it turned into a 3 hour long nap. … Goddamit…

Anyway, I had the most fucked up dreams while I was aslweep. Sooooooooo weird. Like…seriously weird. And ther was maaaaaaany of them I can’t remember how many there were r what order they were in, so I’ll just list some of them. Meh whatever right.

The first one that I remember is one where my sister came home and she was freaking mental. Like ballistic and fidgety, with cray eyes and fast movements. She was fighting with me (and for some reason my friend’s girlfriend Izzy (who I’ve only met once) was there as well with me) and argumentative. Eventually I figured out that she was on drugs and tried asking her repeatedly what she was on but she was getting dangerous crazy and I was scared she was going to hurt someone so I locked her in a room. The best I can describe her was reminding me of like a fierce and vicious hyena – absolutely bonkers and deadly.

The next snippet (although I’m not sure if it was in this order) was of the family getting into this HUGE hotel place that was like  a shopping centre set up down the bottom and then just HUGE above that with bridges and stair crossing the crazy big gap in the middle. From going through there we managed to get into this little apartment where we were hiding out (except even though it was an apartment, we could still see other families because there were communal areas or glass window or something… I can’t remember). We were on the run because the government had brought in this new plan where you had to have a certain type of like… visa thing I guess. Or an allowance to stay. Or something…. or else you’d been taken away and rounded up – and everyone knew that was a bad thing so there were thousands of people in hiding/on the run and thousands of agents (in the stereotype black suits with white ties haha imagination fail lol) who were searching people out and rounding up. I kept telling my Mum that even though we were in a hotel apartment thing, we were still going to be asked for our notes of allowance/visa things and it wouldn’t work. They just told me to hush and to keep pretending. But then we saw agents arrive at the family group not far from where we were all sitting eating dinner and ask them. I said I told you so (duh) and we swung into action.

The scene changed then (as they often do in dreams) so that we weren’t sitting in a high rise apartment that looked over the whole city and would have been impossible to escape from. Instead, we were on the banks below a bridge along railway tracks. Dad says that he thinks he can distract the police and uses his powers (yes he suddenly had powers to move objects with the flick of his hand, WTF) to knock a huge tree over and down the bank so it comes crashing down onto the path (and I’m pretty sure it derails a train… which was just coincidentally there at the same time). Thus begins the escape.

So I’m riding down the freeway on a motor bike at high speeds. Considering I’ve never driven a motorbike before, it’s pretty ridiculous but whatever. it was definitely the freeway that I use to drive home from college – a freeway I know well except with one difference: it was like I was in Asia instead. There were asian people driving around me and they were all driving close and erratic – something I wasn’t used to driving in myself. I changed lanes to get around the person in front of me and saw that there was a guy on a bike as well coming up in that lane fast but I still did it. That was fine. But I changed into the lane another one across so that way I would be out of his way/I could get away from him. Now I know my indicator wasn’t working and I hadn’t used it through all of this, but I didn’t see his indicator go on and I didn’t see him start to move off either. So what happened after that is either because of me, or because he changed lanes as well and I guess hit the back of my tire, so it set me off.

Either way, I lost control of the bike and the handle bars wobbled uncontrollably as the tire swung repetitively and fast out of control. It’s the same sensation I had when I was a kid going down a really steep hill and let my brakes off – I lost control of my bike, went over the handle bars and blacked out. I should have had stitches in my head but didn’t, woke up with huge cuts and grazes on both elbows, knees, and sides of my hips and head. I lost 3 teeth, had a minor concussion and soaked a jumper and t-shirt in blood from my head alone. Needless to say, as a kid, I was traumatised about bikes and hills haha. Anyway, the sensation of losing control of my bike was the same, except bigger and more powerful… and more heavy – coz there’s a huge difference in weight between a bicycle and a motorbike! So the handle bars went out from beneath me and I was thrown. I somehow landed (and rolled) sideways instead of flying forwards straight to hit my head/face/back first. Somehow I was also conscious of how I was rolling/tumbling and so I was able to keep my head and face from hitting the ground. My body just got battered around violently instead. I could feel the skin being grated from my arms and the pants I was wearing tearing to shreds to reveal my legs to the harsh bitumen. Somehow whilst all this was happening I didn’t get run over or hit by any other vehicles and no one had a pile up or stopped because of it… well when I finally stopped and managed to get up it turned out there was a huge accident, but whatever.

I was in pain and as far as I could tell I hadn’t broken anything and my head was fine, although I did have blood slowly dribbling down my face, so I guess there was a minor cut or something. This is the weird part though. I was sort of checking myself for injury whilst sobbing when I discovered my two main injuries: huge nastily deep gashes – one on each butt cheek. As if that wasn’t weird enough, they weren’t bleeding or anything because for some reason my butt wasn’t like a normal butt here…. it was… I dunno… like, this is going to sound gross, but it’s the best example of likeness I can think of, you know when you get a big slab of ham for cooking or whatever, and there’s always that layer or thick congealed pinky grey fat on the edge. It’s always solid enough so you can cut through it and it’s not jelly like or anything, it’s like… I dunno… I really don’t. It was just fucking WEIRD. And so both of them were really really deep, and you know when you get a tiny cut you can like pull the two sides of skin apart and back together and it looks freaky? Yeah well you could do that with these two gashes as well except there was no blood and they were super deep. Like I said, fucking weird. But feeling/seeing that made me start crying excessively in a “what the fuck” in a state of traumatic shock kind of way. There were cops and lights flashing so I walked towards them and because I was in a state of shock and wide eyed crying, I couldn’t say anything. Just cry with my arms out in a frozen stance, turn in a circle so the police man could see I was pretty battered up and injured. Then I showed him the two gashes. Yeah he was pretty shocked then too. It was something freaky and fucked up… soooooo not natural.

I woke up at this point and the only thing i could remember was the last part – the accident. And there’s nothing worse than waking up from a fucked up dream where you can still feel that same sensation. It’s just so surreal having ghost sensations like that…

Then it sort of skips to me being back at home standing in the bathroom still all mussed up, bloody and horrified about the gashes from the accident. My sister then comes into the connected bedroom at that point (she’s no longer crazy eyes neurotic) and saying something about how I can’t keep her locked up for ages. Then she realises I’m messed up and shaking and then it sort of cut out again…

And then the last part I can remember is a scene in a dorm or something where there’s a whole bunch of us girls that sleep there. We’re all getting ready for bed and there’s a big glass screen in the wall behind where our beds are and on the other side there’s my friends from school – the ones no longer speaking to me. Phoebe and Aimee are the only two I end up talking to/arguing with through the screen. I don’t actually remember what was said between us, I just remember it mainly being Aimee and her being all angry and feisty towards me while I just got really frustrated at it all. Well I mean, the reality of it is pretty similar if you think about it – if I talked to Aimee it probably would end up like that seeing as she has sworn before and again more recently that she will protect and fight for Phoebe to the grave because she loves her. So she will get nasty and shout… and then, knowing how Aimee is, she’ll probably get so worked up and shout so much that she’ll start crying… yeahhh… I’ve seen her do that with Ivan on Phoebe’s behalf before. So I’d say it’s a pretty likely outcome against me as well. Owell. That’s over anyway.

In there somewhere there was also something about a boat arriving and being near cliffs… possibly swimming out to save someone who was in the water and finding ghostly white dead bodies floating randomly in the water? Or maybe that was another dream? I can’t remember. I’m pretty sure there was something about boats though and escaping from the beach. I remember that because I remember a shot of the city like it was being shot from camera in a helicopter. It was like a fly around shot of the city circling the big ass (and nice) high rise hotel/apartment place we’d hidden in earlier. Then the shot finished by moving away from the building to a road that runs along the beach and a high speed chase going along there (a shot sort of like you would get from a police helicopter that flies over high speed chases with big spotlights).

That’s the thing about my dreams, they’re always strangely cinematographic. Don’t get me wrong, it makes it more enjoyable I suppose… but I dunno. Anyway, they’re all sort of slipping out of memory now. I can’t remember the rest of them. But those ones were weird enough as it is and this post is already fucking long enough. *sigh*

Goodnight peeps xx

June 14, 2010 Posted by | dreams, drugs, experiences, fuuuuucked up! | Leave a comment

Cambodia Details (Part Two)

 

 (Click map for larger copy and more detail)

(NOTE: all prices included are in terms of US dollars which are useable in Cambodia – or you can use the local currency equivalent)

.

.

TAKEO

This isn’t a tourist town – this is a small town that doesn’t see many foreigners at all. Lonely Planet boasts a couple of things to do and see nearby to the actual town itself (the province is also called Takeo Province), but I’m only listing it for one reason.

Getting there: The Phnom Penh Sorya Transport Station (see Phnom Penh Map) has a bus that runs 3 times a day to Takeo and you get off at the very last stop – Takeo Town Bus station (the markets are there too). it’s about two hours.

Places to stay/Things to do:

New Futures Orphanage: (click title for website) (click here for some of my photos and story) this is a very well off orphanage in comparison to most in Cambodia – this is because it’s one of around 3 that aren’t corrupt. It is run by an English man named Neville, and the orphanage relies on volunteer travellers coming through.

Before you travel to the town, contact the director by whatever form (general inquiries email is probably easiest, but he may take a day to reply with confirmation – click here for contact details) saying when you intend on visiting and to make sure there is accommodation available. If flying into phnom penh he may be able to arrange transport to the orphanage in a car. otherwise he will either give you directions from the Takeo bus stop, or get a tuk tuk to pick you up from there.

They have accomodation at their base or in a guest house around the corner that costs $7 a night for a room with two beds, fan, tv, bathroom. They also have girls there that cook for you (and they’re damn good meals) – $2.50 for dinner and $1.5o for breakfast. Lunch you can find somewhere in town (I used to get noodles for $0.50 at the little house stall in the orphanage’s alleyway – don’t go to the burger place unless you want food poisoning)

The orphanage is around the corner from the base where you stay. You can expect well looked after kids (around 52 of them) from varying backgrounds that are bright, happy, and extremely good at english (they have the best english out of all the kids in the town). The older ones can carry a conversation in english as normally as you would at home with few queries at words. The younger children have varying levels depending on how long they have been there. Expect the kids to be enthusiastic and to jump at you with love.

Volunteers come through mostly as a result of hearing about it from other tourists. Some stay for 1 day, others stay three weeks. I stayed 2 months. It’s completely up to you how long you stay and what you do there. You can play with the children (ie volleyball especially, soccer, marbles, chasey, leggo), teach english (or another language if they’re interested, paint a mural or improve the grounds somehow… any contribution is appreciated.

.

KEP

I didn’t get a chance to stop here, but the bus that goes to Kampot does drop passengers here as well and it looked very pretty from the bus. It’s you typical beach tourist town consisting of what looked like only two hotel things. The attraction to it is relaxing and sitting on the white beach. You can catch a boat across to Rabbit island which is supposed to be amazing deserted and relaxing beach where they rent out bungalows. After being inland for a while, this will seem like a dream seeing as there is actually a breeze here and that does wonders when stuck in humidity.

If you don’t want to stop and stay here for a night or so, then you can hire a motorbike from one of two places in Kampot for around $8 a day and ride to Kep for the day. It’ll take around an hour and a half I think and the roads are pretty well marked (although get a map just to be safe).

.

KAMPOT

This town is basically like a ghost town. It doesn’t get busy until night time and even then it is still like a ghost town. There’s not really anything to do here – even walking around the town is pointless. The only draws are the mountain and cruising on the river. Getting out of here can be interesting… we had a minibus.

Places to Stay:

  • Bokor Mountain Lodge – Riverside drive 
    033 932 314 bokorlodge@gmail.com or www.bokorlodge.com
    This place is quite pricey and wasn’t necessarily worth it. I think it was $40 a night for 2 beds with aircon, wifi and free breakfast (good). 
    Upside: It was in a good location on the riverfront. Restaraunt next door is really good. And there’s a whole strip of food places them along there.
    Downside: Expensive 
     
  • You’d be best checking out the local guidebooks you can pick up at cafes/hotels in Phnom Penh or Lonely Planet for other cheaper places. Most of the cheaper places are a tuk tuk/moto ride away from the riverside though which is where most of the food is.

Things to Do:

  • Bokor Mountain – this is a spectacular thing to do if your physically fit. The view up the top is nice, and the buildings up there is well worth the trek. But when I say that this isn’t for the light hearted, I mean it (Click the title link to see the story and photos). Be prepared for a whole day tour (there’s a couple of different groups that do it and you’ll see signs posted around town or you can just ask your hotel) which include around 8 hours of trekking climbing – no not walking, but hard yakka work. In reflection, it’s probably a good idea to split the walk and do the tour that sleeps a night up there, however you may end up stiff and sore the next day (like us) and so it may be smarter to do it all in one day before your legs realise they’re about to fall off.
     
  • Sunset Cruise – around $5 each – you can ask a tuk tuk driver along riverside where to find these guys. There’s a number of boats that will take a limited number of tourists out for a cruise a long the river for sunset. It’s nothing amazing, just pretty. 

May 7, 2010 Posted by | Cambodia/Vietnam Trip, experiences, just a quick note, lists, Notes, observation, Travel | 1 Comment

Quote of the Week #29

‘I find the map and draw a straight line
Over rivers, farms, and state lines
The distance from ‘A’ to where you’d be
It’s only finger-lengths that I see
I touch the place where I’d find your face
My finger in creases of distant dark places

I hang my coat up in the first bar
There is no peace that I’ve found so far
The laughter penetrates my silence
As drunken men find flaws in science

Their words mostly noises
Ghosts with just voices
Your words in my memory
Are like music to me

I’m miles from where you are,
I lay down on the cold ground
I, I pray that something picks me up
And sets me down in your warm arms’

– ‘Set Fire to the Third Bar’ by Snow Patrol –

 

It’s been a week and a half since Dom left, but it feels like it’s been so much longer. Like it’s been weeks and weeks. This picture is pretty much how I feel at the moment – like I’m miles away from everyone else and not still in the main picture. I guess that’s how I like it at the moment.

It allows me to put on my playlist of songs that are basically like emotionally cutting. Or to watch only the movies that I watched with him over and over again. Or to sit there for hours editing photos of the last days with him that I’ve been slowly receiving from various people since he left. They’re all just painful to do because they have so many memories attattched to all of them.

But is it bad to want that pain? Because it reminds me of what was and keeps the memories close. Like if I let go of the pain, will the memories slowly start to disappear as well? 

I wish I literally had a house up in the sky like that (and that it was possible to survive there). I sort of feel like I’m suffocating here, but that’s possibly because I’ve been staying in my room for such long periods of time at the moment. Half the time I haven’t even been going out during the day. Instead I stay up all night until 7am when it starts to get light and then sleep until 4pm when it starts to get dark. It’s not like I have much to do anyway – university and that’s it, and it’s not like I’m really even going to that – I don’t even go to all my compulsory classes! No work at the moment. No other obligations.

I want a house in the sky.

May 7, 2010 Posted by | emotions, experiences, just a quick note, love, moods, people, Personal, Quote of the Week | Leave a comment