In our last post we wrote about some of our best travel moments, but with the good also comes the bad. Luckily we haven’t had any epic bad travel experiences this year, and overall I would say that all of our travel has been positive. But there are always a few funny stories in there about mishaps and misadventures.
Getting sick in Vietnam
I didn’t even go to Vietnam this time and I still managed to get ill! Last time I was in Vietnam, in 2008, I managed to stay relatively healthy, but my partner ended up coming down with salmonella poisoning. Dealing with salmonella is a budget hotel room in Hanoi is never great. This time, Dan and Jacob went with some of his family on a short 10 day trip to Vietnam. Despite travelling with a higher budget and staying at nicer places than I did in 2008, Jacob still managed to pick up a tummy bug.
Now my Jacob is an incredibly healthy baby. In his almost 2 years he has been to 18 countries and has only gotten sick this one time. But Vietnam defeated his tummy of steel and Dan got to spend a 10 hour flight with toddler who had very explosive diarrhea. And don’t forget that toddlers don’t get their own seats, so Jacob was sitting on Dan’s knee the entire time.
I didn’t go to Vietnam this time, I was at home preparing for an interstate move from Brisbane to Melbourne. So when Dan got home (and also quickly came down with the bug himself), I was stuck doing all the packing and cleaning and organizing of the removalists. And then, with impeccable timing, I got the bug myself, the day we were flying down to Melbourne… on the red eye flight.
I was so ill. For every step I took in the security check line, I would have to stop to vomit into a plastic bag. Beautiful. I was so ill I was almost removed from the flight and the airport. But somehow I was allowed to fly. By that time Dan had recovered and Jacob seemed to be mostly normal….. until the plane started to take off. We were set to fly at 10 PM on a red eye flight to Melbourne, and as soon as the plane started to take off, Jacob suddenly projectile vomited all over the entire row of seats that we were in.
I don’t even know how a body that small could produce such a massive amount of vomit, and to this day I am still amazed. We ended up using an entire package of wipes and had to throw away all the clothes Jacob was wearing. Needless to say, we were not the most popular people on the flight that night.
Prostitutes in Bulgaria
In January we spend several weeks road tripping around Bulgaria. Our car was pretty packed full with luggage and strollers and lots of other baby paraphernalia, but we always said if we found a solo hitchhiker we would pick them up. Well we certainly did see lots of people standing by the side of the highway, but they were not hitchhikers.
In Bulgaria (and particularly in the North), every few kilometres we would see some lone female standing by the side of the highway (in broad daylight…..sometimes even in the morning) in high heels and lingerie. Now not all of them were dressed that provocatively either (it was winter after all), some the them were wearing what looked like normal office attire. I tried to give them the benefit of the doubt… “maybe they are waiting for a bus?”. But when we came back down the same road several hours later and saw the same woman standing in the same place, I had to revise my theory.
The amazing (and sad) thing about the prostitutes in Bulgaria is that there were just SO MANY of them.
Personal space? What personal space? – In Indonesia
Jacob is a super star in Asia. We spent 10 days in Java Indonesia in November and spent most of our time in or around Jogyakarta in central Java. We wanted to spend our days seeing temples and exploring the cultural and historical sites of the region.
The main sight we wanted to see was Borobudur, a huge Buddhist temple in central Java. Dan decided to go the 4:30 AM sunrise tour, and I planned to join him at 7AM, when the temple opened for general admission. Big mistake. If you want to experience Borobudor, just suck it up, wake up early and go on the sunrise tour.
We approached the temple and wanted to walk up the steps, stop at each level, and walk around to look at the carvings and experience the ambience. Now just doing that can be difficult enough in 40 degree heat, but it is pretty much impossible when a thousand other people are there as well. But these other thousand people were not as interested in looking at the amazing temple, all they wanted to do was queue up to have their photos taken with….. us (mostly Jacob).
We were at the temple for about two hours and saw a grand total of NOTHING. The entire time we were there we were continually accosted by locals and Asian tourists who wanted their photos taken with us. It was an effort just to walk up the temple steps. We ended up not even seeing any part of the temple, and just left as soon as there was a lull in the paparazzi. My face actually hurt for the rest of the day from smiling, and my normally very social little boy was totally OVER being picked up and cuddled by strangers by the end of it.
If you plan to visit Borobudor, we have written a guide on how to make the most of your trip.