Gladstone

Sunday supplement

In Blog by DanLeave a Comment

If you looked at the latest blog posts on our homepage, and saw that all 6 of the most recent posts were from me, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Suewan has disappeared, or at least lost her computer.

The truth is, in fact, that she’s off and started her own website, taking most of the more sensible posts from this site with her. She’s started a proper website offering advice and inspiration for families thinking of travelling long term (like us!).

That doesn’t mean she won’t still update her more personal thoughts and experiences here on our family blog though (I mean, she really should tell you about her experience snorkelling the Great Barrier Reef, right?).

But in the meantime, that leaves more space for me to muse philosophically witter on like an idiot about such themes as how I found God in Japan, the music which has shaped my life and why I didn’t like the new Star Wars film. Sorry about that.

“That’s ridiculous!”

It seems a new phrase has slipped into my lexicon, which I utter so often these days that Suewan and Roobs have pulled me up on it, which has made me somewhat self conscious. It must be the case that I’ve spent so long in SE Asia now that my self-righteous sense of health and safety, highway code, personal etiquette and downright common sense has been challenged so frequently that I can no longer keep it inside, British or not.

The latest example of this is in our house in Vietnam, where the landlady has informed us that the reason we don’t get regular hot water for the shower is because it is “weather dependent”. It turns out what she means by that is the generator for heating the water is solar powered. And what that means is that when you actually really need hot water, like now when it’s grey, overcast and about as cold as it gets in Vietnam—there isn’t any because the sun isn’t out! Now that IS ridiculous.

From Oz to HK to Hội An

We’re one month into the year and we’re in our third country already. We saw new year in with a fantastic thunderstorm in Gladstone, Queensland. Funny enough, we really enjoyed our time in Gladstone, looking after Mikey the little dog, taking him on walks and generally chilling out in a tiny town in the middle of nowhere. I say “chilling”, it was bloody hot.

We’ve spent a lot of time in big cities over the last couple of years, but I think we’re discovering that we prefer to be in the smaller places, away from the tourists, the traffic and all that comes with it. Our time in Gladstone was shaped by the community we made through volunteering twice a week at the soup kitchen.

We met some amazingly dedicated people there, and Roobs befriended an old chap who taught her art and magic tricks and all the stuff a grandad usually does with a grandchild. I think we’ll remember these moments even more than the amazing temples, skyscrapers and beaches we’ve seen during our travels.

Before coming to Vietnam we stopped off for a week in Hong Kong (the flights made more sense this way) plus we got to visit relatives, friends and sample all the “greatest hits” of the Chinese food we love.

So far, we’re enjoying Hội An. We’re a little bit away from the centre which means the local market is on our doorstep rather than the tourist trap of the old city. The food here is amazing. Bánh mì is probably our favourite – a baguette with pork, veg and spicy sauce. Egg coffee – not so much.

I’ve found a great co-working space here, out in the rice fields about 15 minute walk from our house. The best thing about it is they serve lunch every day and almost everyone stops work and eats together. This is great for building community and actually connecting with other travellers. I wish all co-working spaces would do this.

Nothing much more to add, only that Roobs and I saw a snake today right on the path near our house, which, along with the one I almost trod on while hiking in Hong Kong, and the two that lived in the walls in our house in Bali, makes 4 snakes in two years. So.

That’s your Sunday supplement for today. Bye then.

Share this Post

Leave a Comment