A trip down memory lane, river, jungle trail and highway

21 Sep

The fabulous Linda of Have a Lovely Time and You’ve Got Your Hands Full has kindly given me a ‘Good Read’ award asked me to list ten memories.  I’ve decided to write about my memories of travelling pre-children, which have helped sustain me through the last seven years of seemingly endless dead-of-night feeds and long afternoons in freezing playgrounds.

  1. Staying on the smaller of Malaysia’s two Perhentian Islands.  The accommodation was a wooden hut with no windows, the loo was up a path into the jungle and home to a giant iguana and the food was unusually bad for Malaysia.  But we had a white sand, palm fringed, beach to ourselves, and who can ask for more?
  2. Getting up at dawn to explore Tokyo’s huge, bustling,  Tsukiji Fish Market.  Bizarre fish, fork lift trucks being directed by a white gloved, traffic policeman standing on a box, and hundreds of thousands of yen changing hands under swinging bare lightbulbs.  My breakfast was some of the world’s freshest sushi.  Steve just had a coffee.  Chicken.
  3. You cannot have a list of travellers tales without a loo story, so I will tell you about the worst loo I have ever visited.  It was a squat toilet on a Turkish ferry.  I have nothing against squat toilets, infact I think they are more hygienic than sit-on ones.  However someone had managed to shit ALL over the floor, and in defiance of gravity, up the walls all the way to the ceiling.  We were on the ferry more than five hours.  It was too long to cross my legs.
  4. Better Turkish memories include a blissful, peaceful day spent exploring the Greek ruins of Pergamon, with only a few goats for company.  We had the whole city, entirely to ourselves, warm sunny weather and a picnic of bread and peaches.
  5. Sitting outside a cafe in Fez at dusk, surrounded by men wearing jellabas, watching everyone hurrying home for the evening whilst drinking strong coffee, eating sugary Moroccan doughnuts and listening to ER in German on the TV in the background.
  6. Visiting Disneyland in LA the day that I found out my degree results.  I got a 2.1 and carried around a little bubble of happiness with me all day, which fitted perfectly with the celebratory feel of Disneyland.  It was the first holiday Steve and I had together.
  7. Taking the overnight train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai in Northern Thailand and ordering soup for supper.  It was so spicy that I emptied half of it out of the train window, topped it up with water, and still couldn’t eat it.  And I am no slouch on the chilli front.
  8. Walking up to the first floor from what we thought was the basement of a bus station in the Japanese Alps and stepping outside to discover that the snow reached up to the second floor of the building.  Having not done our research properly, we’d had Sound of Music type images in our heads of meadows full of flowers, and clothes to match.  We walked the one kilometre to our hostel in cotton trousers and trainers while everyone else around us was skiing.  I’d never eaten ferns for breakfast in a room with windows completely covered with snow before.
  9. Listening to a bird singing competition in a leafy side street in Singapore, with hundreds of birds in cages hanging from awnings, lamposts, and first floor windows, whilst eating spicy Laksa for breakfast.
  10. On our honeymoon, arriving on a beach landing strip in South Western Costa Rica and being greeted by a flock of red parrots flying overhead.  Our luggage and food supplies for the week were unloaded from the tiny plane onto a horse cart, which took them along the beach to our semi-permanent tented camp, while we walked behind.  It may have had cold showers, damp sheets and solar powered electricity for only two hours a night, but it also had hammocks, monkeys, noisy frogs, toucans and the constant soundtrack of the Pacific Ocean.

Thank you Linda, I’ve really enjoyed my trip down memory lane.


6 Responses to “A trip down memory lane, river, jungle trail and highway”

  1. Linda 21/09/2009 at 7:41 pm #

    What a list! And what wonderful travels you have had. Like you I have been itching to travel more with my children, if they get to taste a smidgen of the adventures and sights you have sampled as they grow up, they will be blessed.
    Now I’ll go back to my memories of Butlins and my mum’s caravan 🙂 Though I did manage Goa (and a size 10 bikini on my 30th birthday) – had two daughters less than nine months later though!
    And thank you of course for your kind words – not so sure about fabulous – I think we first “met” when you explained teabagging to me! Arf. Thanks again for your amazing list!

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 21/09/2009 at 8:18 pm #

      Hah, I think you’ll find it was you who was explaining teabagging to me. I’m very impressed with the size 10 bikini on your 30th birthday. I was 8 months pregnant on my 30th, and it’s been downhill ever since.

  2. Hot Cross Mum 22/09/2009 at 11:50 am #

    I just found your site and have absolute admiration for what you’re planning to do given that it takes most of my energy and will to live to get myself and two children down to the village shops and back! Have tweeted you re Alice Griffin who shares a similar background in travelling with kids.

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 22/09/2009 at 1:26 pm #

      It’s still daunting, the difference is the reward at the end is better! It also takes most of my will to live to take three children to the local shops, but somehow taking them half way across the world seems more appealing.

  3. A Modern Mother 22/09/2009 at 2:46 pm #

    Oh number 4 is horrible! No wonder you remember that!

  4. Costa Rica Towns 24/09/2009 at 3:40 pm #

    I would truly enjoy visiting an asian fish market,
    I´ve seen some shows on the tv about it, and it seems like you can find even find the unthinkable !

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