you would assume being on a night train in the top bunk is conducive to writing. it really isn't when you have to wonder who slept in the sheets before you, whether you might fall off, and if the roaches in the food carriage are any indication to what's underneath your bed. but then your travel companion brings out a $1 bottle of rum to make it all better and you decide that drinking is more of a necessity than writing on the night train.
however the a couple of days later the same thoughts are still here and i can sum it up neatly: i am starting to miss home. i am at the pinnacle of my trip, one cannot not love hoi an, by now i know everybody's name in my group and have learned how to avoid the motorbikes, and i prefer the vietnamese food to anything i have ever eaten. and now i am starting to miss home. how? why?
first of all my body feels a bit off. i have gotten sunburnt, had a cold sore, sport various bites from anonymous sources, and my left toe nail seems to be dying (which, dear wary traveller, had already started back home, so one cannot blame asia for it!), and for the past few days my stomach feels dodgy and since i have so far gotten away with eating pretty much anything, this makes me especially grumpy. it is probably punishment as i was secretly laughing at a couple who wiped their utensils with antiseptic at a fancy breakfast place. i obviously didn't and here i am looking for the happy house (yes, that's really how it's called!).
i am also starting to realize that even though i am travelling with a lovely group, i sometimes feel really lonely within this group. in certain moments i feel even more lonely than if i was travelling by myself, because being surrounded by people makes me more aware that they are not my people. though i have met some great girls, had nice chit chats and some good conversations, at the end of the day they are still strangers. i miss the non strangers in my life. i miss people that i have a history with, that i don't need to explain to, that still get my references.
i miss my brother, because he would love the fact that vietnam seems to love tin tin as much as he does. i miss julia to talk me in or out of buying giraffe print fabric for my tailor made pants. i didn't get them in the end, but i'm afraid i made the wrong decision, because i could have had giraffe pants! i miss my mother, because she would love all the different massage places and watching the chefs in the kitchens and the ladies on the markets. she would go into any restaurant kitchen if they would allow her and here most chefs actually wouldn't mind. i miss thekla, because she would enjoy eating all the food with me and i wouldn't have to feel bad that i can actually, without any problem, eat three full meals per day. i miss marie so she can check for me if something is really silk or not. i miss claire so i can proudly tell her that not me, but only the cover of my camera lens, fell into the rice paddy and luckily i had a knight in sweaty armour by my side to stick his arm into the muck and fish it out for me. i miss my father, because he would love taking pictures with me of our dinner before it becomes our dinner and because he is the best to order champagne cocktails in french. as it is i didn't have any because i'm not that fancy on my own.
but having that said, i will stop now. i have to collect my non-giraffe tailored pants, buy a bracelet, eat lunch at morning glory (no jokes please, i have heard them all over the last week), get a massage, attend a birthday party, and take a boat trip down the river for the lantern festival. so yes, i miss you guys, but i will see you soon, and life is too good right now to mope.