Posts Tagged ‘vang vieng’

He’s got a sweaty back

Emily at The Waiting has told me to write something again. So I must. I must do what she says. She says I should write about ‘the time we almost melted.’ So here goes.
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My first memory of extreme sweatiness is always the day two friends and I walked to the market in Laos. We were in Vientiene, the capital and travelling to Vang Vieng in a minibus in the afternoon so we decided that in the morning we would walk to the market. This journey turned out to be the most ridiculously hot journey I’ve ever taken in my life.

We walked and we walked and we walked. And we sweated. Boy, did we sweat! My over-the-shoulder bag strap was pressing my t-shirt tight onto my skin so that there was a bag strap shape in sweat when I took the bag off. That day was the first time I’ve ever felt sweat gather in the crease between my bum and my leg then break free and run down to my knee. I’ve never felt so disgusting in my life.

When we got to the market, I bought a new t-shirt because the amount of dry patches were so few it was embarrassing.

Later that same trip, the three of us were in a little cafe in Lopburi near the monkey temples and this man came in and sat down. Now, the three of us can get pretty childish if left to our own devices and this poor man had the same problem I had in the Laos story above – when he took his backpack off, the shape of the backpack was printed on his t-shirt in sweat.

Well! It was too much, we couldn’t contain ourselves. You know that Justin Timberlake song, Sexyback? It just so happens that singing Sweatyback instead fits perfectly and is much much funnier. So we sang it. Then we giggled uncontrollably. Then he stood up and left without having ordered anything.

I think he heard our song.

Last but not least, my most recent melting episode was on Monday, my first day in Ham House. I was wearing a top that wasn’t very breathable. It was yellow (I should have gone with safe black or white, given the high chance that I might be sweating) so I was quite clearly overheating for everyone to see.

I just had to ignore it and keep on like nothing wierd was happening and I didn’t feel like my organs were being cooked on a barbecue.

Just a normal first day on the job. Sweat and awkwardness. That’s me.

I can see now, why they wanted me on board.

Books that remind me of stuff

One Hundred Years Of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Reminds me of being in Laos, in a town called Vang Vieng, one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been. I hired a bike for the day and rode out into the fields by myself and found this abandoned bamboo hut up on stilts. I climbed into it and sat down and read the last few chapters of One Hundred Years Of Solitude while listening to a cricket on the roof and the sounds of nature. It was lovely.

Lord Of The Rings
The first one. I don’t remember what it’s called. I started reading it right before I flew back to Namibia. I’d lived there for a year on my gap year and was going back 10 months later to work for some friends. I was reading it on the flight and did quite a few changes so I read that book in Scotland, England, Holland, South Africa and Namibia. I loved that it had taken such a journey with me.

Paulo Coelho, I’ve forgotten what it was called
I read this in an airport somewhere. I think on the way to Morocco. My friend and I did a lot of travelling together over the space of two years and on this flight we had a stopover in Spain, I think. I had bought this book in the airport in London. In the airport in Spain, my friend slept and I was knackered but trying to stay awake and I just tore through this book. I had finished reading it in a few hours.

Kafka On The Shore by Haruki Murakami
I read this while travelling through the Philippines with the same friend. We stayed in this little B&B on an island called Bohol. We’d found it because a lady on the boat there had started chatting to us when we were singing Whitney to pass the time. She told us to stay there and it was such a good find. No-one else was staying there so we pretended it was our own house! We stayed up late playing card games and reading. I loved this book! I finished it and left it there for the next guests.

Hamlet
I had been reading Shakespeare in school and not really liking or disliking it. I just didn’t understand it mostly. Something clicked at some point and I wanted to read more of it. I went to the English cupboard at school and borrowed a copy of Hamlet and loved it. I just got it. I remember feeling really excited because I knew there was a whole stack of Shakespeare out there for me to discover.

Leon: Ingredients and Recipes
I was a few months post-op last year and had finally got over my fear of eating (I was terrified in case eating caused the same problem and I had to go back to hospital and by this point I was pretty scared of hospital). I was eating more and was strong enough to stand up for the time it took to cook dinner. I found this book and loved the first section, about ingredients. If any of you are into food, this book is amazingly fascinating. I went on holiday to Portugal and was still quite delicate, so instead of jumping in and out of the water and running about, I sat reading this book in the sun. It was lovely.

Famous Five
Reminds me of my childhood in general and how much I wanted to be George.

The Janice Project
This was the first romance novel I read that formulated my idea of what my potential life partner should be like!

Ahab’s Wife by Sena Jeta Naslund
I read this book in Namibia while I was training for a trek across the Great Wall of China. I used to go on the stair machine for an hour every morning to prepare. My body was fine with it but my mind was bored. A friend lent me this book to keep me entertained and it worked. A few years later I kept thinking about it but couldn’t remember the name. I was in an out of the way town in Texas, waiting for a bus, when I saw a little book shop in the distance. I thought I’d kill some time there and found a few books I wanted. I went to the till to pay and right there, next to the till was this same book! Same cover. I recognised it immediately and got it. It was just as good, if not better, the second time around. I’ve been daydreaming about visiting Nantucket since I read it.

The Ginger Tree by Oswald Wynd
I might have got his name wrong. Found this in Laos, in Luang Prabang. Opposite our hotel there was a little cafe/bookshop. It was the first I’d seen in Asia so I was pretty excited. We sat drinking exotic teas and absorbing the book joy. I found this tucked away on a shelf and loved the cover. It’s a woman’s diary of moving to Japan just after the war. I can’t emphasise how good this book is. If I could only read a few more books ever again, this would be one I’d choose. Read it.