Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Journal from August 16th

(Happy Birthday Bear-Man)



I fly out of Bangkok tomorrow morning to go to Europe!! I am both very excited about Europe but also highly disappointed about leaving Asia. I've had a remarkable time here, even with all the hospital visits!! I think its been so fantastic for two reasons - one being that I came with no expectations. Literally, none. I had no idea at all what to expect so I couldn't visualize things going one way or anything. The second would be the people I've met along the way. I hope that some of them will be friends for life. Traveling is such a unique experience - the whole process matters, not just the 'tourist-y' things to do. Its the train delays or the boat rides that last two days, the person you had one conversation with, then see them passing by in a new town and act as if you're long lost friends! It's honestly another culture and world while traveling, which is ionic since we've all come to see these 'other' cultures, yet in the process we've formed our own.



I think that's why travelers form such great bonds with one another, because we're all kind of similar - us long term travelers. You have to be a little crazy (leaving the routine and comforts of home), a little free spirited, a little daring and very laid back to do this. We all share that in common. You can easily spot the two week vacationer from the five-month traveler.



Getting back to Asia though...

Southeast Asia has this amazing balance of absolute craziness to being extremely care free. My mind immediately goes to how they drive -- it's nuts, to say the least! I'm talking about no obeying red lights, barely and rarely staying within their respected lane, no speed limit (at least that I'm aware of), and with how absurd they ALL are at driving, they somehow make it work. It's like this beautiful little intricate dance they do silently, and only the locals that have grown up watching it know how to truly make it work. (I shouldn't say silently there because they really use their horns, all. the. time. And I think the 'dance' works by whoevers' horn is the loudest gets the right of way - but I'm not a local so I don't know how this work of art is performed). So, they weave in between each other, through a very crowded intersection, on their mopeds while carrying various items on the bike. I've seen families of 5 on a moped, a 50 inch plasma screen with either edge dangling off the sides, a cage full of at least 15 chickens and so much more! The best part is that this happens in every country I visited!! I'd say, hands down, Vietnam was the most scary, followed by Thailand then Cambodia and Laos. (Laos gets last place because 1) I was on a boat for half of it and 2) I was never in super populated areas.)





**I have a video of myself and a couple of friends crossing the road in Hanoi, Vietnam. I haven't been able to figure out how to upload it to this website, so if any bloggers out there know how to - please leave me a note! Its a perfect shot of how crazy it is over there so I can't wait to upload it for all to see and actually grasp what I'm trying to explain! **

After spending two and a half months in S.E. Asia, I'm lucky enough to say I was only in ONE car accident, as seen below. I was in the white van, in the back left seat, and we got re-ended by that semi pictured on the right. It was quite a shock, but luckily no one was hurt!


2 comments:

quarteryear said...

Hi Molly -

The best way to upload videos is YouTube. Just go & start an account then make sure you have enough time to wait for it to upload. After that, copy the 'embed' link and paste it to your journal entry.

Where are you now?

Mike

Molly said...

Oh thanks Mike! Sorry I just checked the blog to see this... but I'm back at home now and slowly uploading my videos!!