Shell

My dear body,

Thank you a gazillion times for holding up spectacularly through a massively hectic trip, and then a gruelling work load right after. For not getting sick while I was away (although I know at one point you were very close to it), and only collapsing now that everything is over. (ah choo!) Thank you legs for dragging me around for 10-14 hours a day checking all the sights; and arms for dragging the luggage through 6 cities, 5 flights, 3 train trips, and countless walks on cobble-stones. Thanks ears for hearing, eyes for seeing, tongue for tasting, and brain for making it all happen and not getting lost (too often). You guys make such a wondrous team that I am extremely lucky to possess. I promise to look after you better, feed you healthy(er) food, gain back the 3 kilos of you that I lost, and let you dance & exercise a whole lot more. After all, we’ve got that ski trip in just under 3 months, haven’t we? 😉

I love you so much, you tough little nut!

~htt~

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Shelter sorted

Now that airspace has been cleared over Euroland, I’ve managed to get all my accommodation & train tickets booked. It took much longer than I’d thought – reading reviews, checking maps, comparing cost, daydreaming about how it’ll be over there. (The last bit, I reckon, was the most time-consuming part.) Gosh, at this rate I’ll probably hype myself up so much that the actual trip will feel like an anti-climax, like chi Hoa said. But no matter, it was time well spent, I’ve already learnt a fair bit about the cities just from poring over Google maps and railway operators’ websites until I went cross-eyed. Because had I rushed through the whole selection process, I wouldn’t have nailed a quaint little hostel right on the river bank, smack bang in the middle of Prague! 6 days to wake up to a sight of gothic castles swathed in the morning light. Oh joy of joys! And that’s not it, 5 nights spent in a place 5 minutes to the Sacre Coeur & Moulin Rouge in Paris. Woohoo!

So does it matter that I’ll have to work my little butt off to pay back this massive credit card bill? Does it?

(Rhetorical question, of course.)

~itchy feet~

Seat selection

(Source: http://xkcd.com/726/)

Mình đã dụ khị ảnh như thế nào

Bà con bình tĩnh. Mình hổng tính kể chuyện tìn củm tâm lý xã hội, hai đứa quen nhau ra sao, trong hoàn cảnh nào, ai nắm tay ai trước, ai rủ ai đi ăn lần đầu tiên, hay gì gì đâu. Dị lắm. Cái này là dụ dỗ đi chơi. Cơ sự như vầy:

Anh kể lể: Bạn anh cả nhóm rủ nhau tháng 8 này đi New Zealand trượt tuyết cho sướng. Tuyết ở đây vừa ít vừa nhão vừa mau tan, lại vừa mắc tiền. Ở bên đó cả tuần chỉ tốn cỡ 3, 4 ngày bên đây thôi, tính luôn cả tiền vé máy bay.

Mình sáng mắt: Vậy mình đi đi!

Anh trầm ngâm: Nhưng mà năm nay còn bao nhiêu chuyện phải lo…

Mình hùng hổ: Hmm… Thì lo thì lo, đi thì đi. Lo từ giờ tới lúc đi, rồi đi, rồi đi về lại lo tiếp. Lo nó có chạy đi đâu đâu mà anh sợ. Đi có 1 tuần 10 ngày gì thôi mà.

Anh phân vân: Ờ. Thì chỉ tại năm ngoái mình mới đi Mt. Buller rồi.

Mình phân tích: Thì em biết. Nhưng anh nghĩ coi nha, giả dụ mình tính năm sau có em bé. (Giả dụ thôi nghe.) Coi như từ lúc đó tới khi nó 5 tuổi là mình kẹt không tuyết tiếc, trượt triếc gì được đâu.

Anh cương quyết: 3 tuổi thôi! 3 tuổi cho nó học ski được rồi.

Mình bấm đốt ngón tay nói lèo lèo một hơi: Rồi, cứ cho như là 3 tuổi mình đã lôi nó lên núi lạnh ngắt lạnh ngơ, bắt đi học Ski School cho té ầm ầm chơi vậy đi. Nhưng nếu tính có 4 đứa thì tới lúc đứa đầu 3 tuổi, đứa sau mới có 1 tuổi. Rồi tới khi đứa đầu 5 tuổi, đứa sau 3 tuổi, lại thêm đứa nữa 1 tuổi. Rồi đứa 7, đứa 5, đứa 3, đứa 1. Rồi tới khi đứa Út 3 tuổi thì vị chi là 10 năm nữa mình mới đị trượt tuyết lại đươc à nha.

Anh trợn ngược mắt: Trời đất! Thôi vậy mình đi năm nay. Em coi vé đi rồi mình book heng.

Túm lại ngắn gọn là chuyến đi tháng 8 này đã được quyết định như rứa đó. Ai nói phụ nữ thông minh tháo vát biết thu vén vậy mà cũng đúng nghe. Hí hí.

~a&h~

Lúc phải lo thì hay nghĩ vẩn vơ

Tuy còn đang ngay ngáy vụ núi lửa Iceland đang ầm ầm ì ì phun xịt loạn xạ, chả biết chuyến bay của mình sẽ ra sao. Nhưng vẫn phải cong đuôi kiếm mua vé xe lửa, vé máy bay, & đặt khách sạn ở bên “bển”. (“Bển” kỳ này là châu Âu.) Tự nhiên chợt nghĩ không biết mấy người đã ở bển rồi thì dòm hoài mấy tòa nhà cổ, đi hoài mấy bảo tàng xưa, chơi lang thang hoài mấy công viên đầy cây đầy hoa, học hoài đủ các thứ tiếng khác nhau, nói chung là có ngàn vạn dịp để v.v. hoài những cái v.v. thì có chán không nhỉ?!?

Hmm… máu ghen tị lại nổi lên đầy người rồi nè. Thôi tập trung đi! Tự an ủi mình là ít ra thì chỉ còn có hai tuần nữa, mình cũng được xí xọn v.v. một số những cái v.v. ấy. Thôi coi như kế hoạch trước 30 tuổi tuy có hơi bị trì trệ một chút xíu, cũng chưa đến nỗi nào lắm. Nước coi mòi vẫn còn để tát.

Cứ phải nhìn đời thấy nửa ly nước đầy như vậy mới được. Heng!

~t2 but one~

Grand plans

I talk of grand plans. Of achieving the world, winning the world, conquering the world. Well, okay, not really. Completely forgot for a moment there that I wasn’t Caesar. But at least, of travelling the world. Of seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, feeling a good chunk of it, while I’m still on it. But nothing, nothing can ever compare to seeing my parents, to see them smile, frown, laugh, raise eyebrows. To hear them talk, scold, joke, raise voices. To hug them & kiss them, hold Mum’s hand and pat Dad’s tummy. Even if it means now and again there’d be arguments, err… I mean, disagreement. For it’s unlikely that they will ever stop pressuring, nor will I ever stop rebelling. For they’re the parents and I the first born. It’s our job, isn’t it, to uphold stereotypes? 😉

So I made a pact with myself, to stop by and see them every time I go on a major trip. Even if only for a short time. And frankly, short times are often sweeter, before we run out of patience for each other. I have done that the last few times (twice to China & once to the US), and will try my best to keep it up. How’s that for the best plan of the year, hey?

~bm~

Wannabe art connoisseurs. The environmentally destructive kind.

Mr. Man: Let’s go to Canberra and check out “Masterpieces from Paris“.

Me: What’s that?

Him: A major Post-impressionist exhibition at the NGA. van Gogh, Gauguin, Cezanne, etc.

Me: Alright about van Gogh and etc. (!) But I don’t even know who the last two dudes are.

Him: Isn’t seeing a van Gogh in real life good enough?

Me: Yeahhh… But it’s such a long drive. It’s like another Dali episode. Only much longer!

(Last year we went to see Dali at NGV and had to wait in line for more than 4 hours. I’m scarred. Still haven’t got over the torment experience.)

Him: But I’ll do all the driving. You can do all the sleeping and talking and belting out some corny tunes at the top of your voice.

Me: But… but doesn’t driving 8 hours to see some paintings seem a little er… environmentally damaging?

Him: I also want to see my cousin and his family.

Me: But more than 16 hours back and forth… And that’s not to mention all the fuel used in shipping the collection over from Musee d’Orsay.

Him: Ah, then who flew all the way to Broadway to see The Lion King? Imagine the carbon footprint of that.

Me: Oi! I was travelling and also visiting my cousin!

Him: Well. So am I this time.

Me: Oh-kaaay! Point taken. We’ll go. But you’ll have to let me listen to Justin Timberlake in the car.

Him: *hands up in resignation*

I think we both got ourselves a pretty good deal. Don’t you? 🙂

~t2~

Soft, white, city people

Mr. Man: Let’s go kayaking down the Murray and then camping in the bush.

Me: Right. What do we do?

Him: We’ll paddle the first day, pitch up a tent for the night. Paddle some more the next day. And they’ll pick us up from where we finish.

Me: But I’m a city girl. An ASIAN city girl at that too. I’ve been in the city all my life, from one continent to another. But always in a city. You know what that entails.

Him: But you love the outdoor. You’ll love this!

Me: The swimming I’m sure I’ll love! The paddling is also fine. Coz you’ll be doing most of it.

Him: Hah? Right.

Me: But the camping. Is that in a camping ground?

Him: Nope. Anywhere we feel like.

Me: Anywhere? Meaning the middle of nowhere?

Him: Yup.

Me (eyes widened): Meaning no toilets, no electricity, no shower?

Him (eye-brow raised): Yup.

Me (starting to squeak): Meaning snakes, insects, spiders?

Him (eyes rolling): Probably.

Me: I’m not going.

A few days later.

Him: So we’re going.

Me: So that’s a statement, not a question? Hmm… But is there any crocodiles? Anything that can bite us in the river?

Him: Nope.

Me: Anything that can bite us on land?

Him: Nope.

Me: You sure?

Him: Well, maybe a snake or a spider. But that’s very unlikely.

Me (eyes narrowed): So do we bring a snake poison kit or whatever it’s called?

Him: No need. I’ve got a knife.

Me (eyes popping out of head): What? You’re gonna chase the snake and kill it with a knife and just leave me there to get high with the poison??

Him (sighs): Nope. Slash the flesh where it’s bitten and the poison will bleed itself out. But we’re only a phone call away from the Kayak store!

Me (fainted!): I’m not going.

Some more days later.

Him: So we’re going!

Me: Maybe.

Him: We can cook camp food. It’s fun.

Me: But what about a shower?

Him: In the river.

Me: Hmm… that would be nice actually. What about toilets?

Him: A hole in the ground.

Me: What? I’m not going.

Him: I’ll let you bring 2 toilet paper rolls.

Me: Alright. How about 4?

Him (speechless)

Anyway, so yes, we’re going. Don’t ask me why. Maybe coz I’M OUT OF MY MIND?? Wish me luck. And while we’re away, get out that SATC episode where Carrie went to the countryside, saw a squirrel up close and freaked out like it was a two-headed monster. Imagine that was me and have yourself a good laugh!

Happy Australia Day!

~a~