All posts by Michelle Britton

The Interview

After Seven Countries, Twenty-Eight Cities, Seventeen Airports, I hope this answers everyone’s questions.

Q: What was your favourite Country in S.E. Asia?

I have come to realize that each of these countries are very much the same. There are slight differences in religion and culture, but for the most part they are the same. They all eat rice and noodles, drink shit beer, they all sell the same shit from China and they all drive scooters.

So I would have to pick Bali, Indonesia as it was our first country and everything was so new. Although, Cambodia did have the friendliest people of all the countries.

Q: What was your least favourite Country in S.E. Asia?

Each country was new and exciting, but I would have to say Malaysia. I can’t put my finger on why. I have even asked Dirk why he felt the same way. I think it came down to some silly reasons. One being, the internet in Malaysia was terrible – sucked pretty bad.

Q: When you think of Asia, what stands out the most for you?

I am a clean person. If I was a superhero I would be ‘Krystal Klean’ – ensuring all garbage is disposed of properly in my wake.

Asia is a fucking pig sty.

I have never seen so much garbage and disrespect for the planet as I have seen in Asia. I understand these are families in poverty, but living in one’s own garbage makes no sense to me.

Driving along in a van, our host opens the window and just tosses his empty water bottle out. WTF! Standing waiting for a train, I observe a women eating fruit. She is peeling each with her teeth and just spiting the skins onto the platform. By the time she is done, she is standing in a puddle of her fruit skins and seeds.

I saw no signs of a government program for garbage or recycling collection. No fines for littering, spitting or pissing on the streets. I am thinking there is a big business opportunity here!!

Q: Which country had the best food?

Although, Vietnam was the only place that ripped us off, the food made up for it. I had the best meals there over any other place we have been.

Q: Were there any interesting people you met along the way?

Met an Aussie guy that asked us where we were from. Once he heard ‘Canada’, he mentioned he was not interested is visiting a country where you can’t say ‘cunt’. He was awesome!! Here is the link to the song he told us about.

On a scooter night tour, our three guides were university students taking business and tourism. Running the tour company was a project to help them learn English. We are all chatting talking about where we are from and what we do. This tiny little guide starts to speak, he tells us he has not seen his father in three years. His father was a fisherman that just didn’t come home one day. Both Dirk and I will never forget him.

Again on a night scooter tour, which by the way, is the best way to see a city. They take you to places tourist never go. Anyways, another of the operators had only been in the city a year. He came from a small village of 600 people. His family wanted more for him, so work hard to get him out of the village and into the city. At the bar he told us he had never been to one before and ask if we had ever been to one. He said he was very lucky as he was the only one from his village ever to leave. Yikes!!

Q: Would you go back to Asia again?

Yes, we weren’t able to do and see all the places we wanted. Plus at the start, we were not very good travellers. Some places we stayed too long, while others we didn’t stay long enough.

Here are the final pictures of Thailand.

Travel Tip:

Travelling you need to be smart. Don’t let every person suck you in. We read trip advisor and lonely planet to help us understand local scams. For instance, that the lady begging for formula has an arrangement with the local grocery. You buy the formula – she returns it for cash. 

Know your prices before you buy. When you negotiate a price, ensure it is clear. Sales people in all these countries are very pushy – they will see you coming. Stay strong and try not to engage them if you are not really interested.


The Ladies of Beauxbatons Academy

Over these last four months we have been in thirteen separate airports. Each of these airports are the same in many ways.

Same grande entrance to the same high ceilings and the same modern designs. Same checkin and baggage counters. Same long lines to get through security. Once past security, the same flurry of shops, bars, cafes and duty free stores faces you. Each with the same unreasonably high prices for inedibly small portions of food.

Same moving walkways. Same waiting areas at each of the gates. Same amount of construction ‘to improve your travel experience’.

There was something that did stand out. The Flight Crews. In Asia, they flowed through the airports like the lovely ‘The Ladies of Beauxbatons Academy’. Prefect make up, hair and uniforms. Uniforms are elegant and flattering. They exuded class, beauty, and grace. They seemed to float as they walked pass you.

Dirk comments, “”It would be nice if in Canada they’d stop dressing our crews in ugly uniforms made for men.””

I stare after the crew, then looked down at myself wearing the same clothes I did yesterday, I have no make-up on and my hair which is due for a wash is tied in a messy top knot. I guess I am going to have to pick up my game when flying if they are full of Fleur Delacours.

Travel Tip:

I always recommend that you do ‘web check-in’ when flying. During this trip we have had great luck at surpassing very long lines. Cruise right by everyone to simply drop off our bags. You can also pick your seat, ensuring you get the window and your partner gets the middle seat. It works out perfectly. It also has the added advantage of ensuring they know you are coming, even when you are stuck in traffic or delayed since you don’t have a ticket proving you are leaving the country in 30 days.

Short Shorts

There were several little stories I felt were too brief to make a single post, so I have decided to put these short stories here.

Awkward Entrance

The hotel we stayed in Singapore had a poster in the elevator for 20% off drinks in the lounge. One night Dirk and I decided that we would take them up on the offer. Getting into the elevator with an older gentlemen, we pushed the 2 floor button. He looks over at me and asks if we are sure we want the second floor. We think this is strange, until the doors open. In front of us are head shots of pretty Asian girls. At this point I am not sure what we are walking into, but proceed into the lounge. It was like time stopped, or for that matter, everyone in the bar. They all turned to stared at us. Women all dressed in evening gowns were singing, dancing, and entertaining men on plush couches. After a moment of awkward silence, we turn and leave. In the elevator I turn to Dirk, ‘I guess we know what the old guy was getting at now.’

Level Of Love

Laying in bed one morning I turned to Dirk and asked, ‘Who do you think loves each other more?’ Dirk was not following what I was talking about so I explained, ‘Like do I love you more or do you think you love me more?’ He responded that he thought we love each other equally. After a brief moment I added, ‘Well, I certainly put up with more.’

The German Chilean

It was Saturday night in Penang, so we thought a drink at a local pub was in order. Looking at the menu I decided on a nice glass of white wine to beat the heat. The waiter was insistent that I order a bottle. ‘But, I don’t want a bottle, just a glass.’ He convinced me that it was cheaper and what I did not drink I could take with me. Besides its a very nice German wine. The wine arrives, my glass is poured. As the waiter walks away, I comment to Dirk that I am pretty sure the Santa Carolina is not a German wine.

Hot As Balls

Sitting at a cafe, I turn to Dirk. ‘Man, it so hot I am sweating my balls off.’ Dirk looks at me strangely and says, ‘You don’t have balls.’ I responded immediately with, ‘See, that’s how hot it is.’

Travel Tip:

Dirk has been pushing me to add a tip about using Evernote. This tool helps you stay organized and can be shared amongst fellow travellers. We use it to track everything we are doing: our hotel bookings, airplane tickets, bus travel, maps, checklists. All of these are synced between each of our devices automatically. Just ensure if you add something on one device you sync it before the guy at the airport wants the correct address and you don’t have an internet connection.