Arriving in Sydney signals the end of my blog I think. I'm unlikely to share a bus with a dead (was it?) chicken, find a rat in my room or argue with locals and I can't imagine there will be too much interest in my day to day life as I'll find it tricky not to be smug as I head to the beach. Three months is not a long time to be away but it is long enough to have learned some life lessons, a bit about asia and a small amount of personal discovery.
Things I have learned:
Personal grooming is a public activity. It's a pleasure to see people cutting their toenails in the street (usually during a meal), shaving on the pavement (or motorbike), mining for gold (one chap went so far up he had to open his mouth and tilt his head)
Pajamas are entirely acceptable day wear
You can fit at least double the number of people than you think in any given mode of transport
Always cover everything when on a bike (skin vs Tarmac has only one winner)
Do not attempt to squeeze into small spaces
Traffic lights and road rules are null and void
Day to day people don't stand on each others feet. The minute you lose a nail people (cough Bryony) will stand on your toes daily
Pavements are a token gesture (and an advert for claims direct)
If anyone offers to thread your legs, say no.
Waterproof cameras are not waterproof and have no longevity.
All forms of public transport are horrible.
Most city dwellers are angry.
There is nothing that can't be transported by bike (including a fridge).
There is rarely a time when a cup of tea isn't appropriate.
Wetrooms are rank (I already knew this).
Your bowels will let you down only at the most inopportune moments.
There is no place like home.
Things I have learned about me:
I am not good at driving anything other than the corsa
I am not a city traveller. The beach is my domain as I will not stray far from her
I will never climb a volcano again.
I am more attached to my toenails than I thought
I like the idea of a manicure. I never like the result.
I will never be a deep, European tan. But I also don't burn as easily as you all think.
I either don't wash my hair enough or I am very sparing with shampoo. 3 months on a 100ml travel bottle. So proud.
I am a terrible, terrible haggler.
Things I have lost:
Both big toenails (the saddest)
A fair amount of dignity
Countless hair bands
All my pens
2 cameras (technically just broken, not lost)
Oh, and most importantly, always WEAR SUNSCREEN. My bazzing days are behind me.