Alas, another great adventure comes to a conclusion and the crazy life we’re living in Singapore returns to normal, quickly, oh so quickly. But that’s what it’s all about. We work our arses off to get out there and see this magnificent world every chance we get. It’s the only motivation I’ve ever had for making a living.
|The boys got some custom cowboy boots made in Hoi An. They wore them to breakfast – noice!|
While I’ve been to too many places to count alone, as well as more adventuring with Steve, I have to say travelling with my mini-loves brings a whole new dimension to the experience. I love being out there with them. I love how they engage with the world. I love the simple pleasures they find – like chickens… who knew? Sure there are definitely times when it’s not a lot of fun, and they can moan – my word they can moan – but all in all, I’d say my dudes are great travelers.
In Asia, they love kids, but in many of the developed countries they won’t necessarily openly engage with kids – especially if we’re around. This was not a problem in Vietnam. Everywhere we went, the boys were told they were so handsome, and as the mother, I was told I was so lucky. I was getting a bit annoyed with the lucky-to-have-two-boys-bit until my friend Sam told me she heard the same thing about having two girls. Maybe it’s the two thing? Maybe it’s just because they love children? Maybe children are just a sign of good luck and fortune in a country coming out of a pretty bleak time?
Whatever it is, everywhere we went, complete strangers were reaching out and touching them. Motorbikes would stop as we were about to negotiate a road to tell the boys how handsome they were. A whole school year in Halong Bay insisted on having group photos with the boys. The teachers insisted on photos with Steve. It was great. I loved it. But sometimes the boys found it all a bit much. “Mum why are they staring at me? Tell them to stop.”
|We had to wait at a strip club for our train to Hue. One day the boys will understand this sign|
Lex is definitely the more curious of our two lads, so when we caught the night train from Hanoi to Hue I decided to take him on a walk. We were at the shiny end, with clean toilets, good aircon and beds, so as we walked further and further down the train, the standards drop significantly. By the time we got to the comfortable chairs (we didn’t make it to the wooden slat benches) the arms started reaching out, touching Lex, wanting to talk to him. He was having none of that, turning around to leg it back to our cabin for the rest of the ride. That was a good result. It would’ve been tedious heading up and down the train with him, like we used to do on planes when they were toddlers.
All up I’d say that Vietnam is awesome. I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to get there and now I’ve been twice in a year! It’s definitely a country coming into its own, and the people are truly magnificent – friendly, open, warm, engaging. However, within the next five years – based on the construction we saw everywhere – it’ll be a whole new country. Some of it will be better, some will be a sad loss (its history is so rich, we can only hope they value it), but you can’t stop progress, as they say
Where ever it heads as it develops, I can definitely recommend it to anyone who’s been thinking about a visit. If you’ve got kids, more so. They’re completely welcome.
I would suggest, however, that you check the weather before flying off. We managed to get the hottest temperatures Vietnam has experienced since records began, and it was hot, really REALLY hot. Singapore actually feels quite cool today at a balmy 31 degrees celsius.
So now it’s time for the next adventure to be planned. We’re tossing up Myanmar or Sri Lanka… both have such appeal! Then again, I think Steve would insist on a beach holiday next… We’re pretty tired after this trip.
Yours, without the bollocks