Follow Amanda & Rob around the world for a year. From 30 September 2005!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Winding down

Well I thought it was about time that I tried writing a blog entry again as Rob is getting far too many compliments on his writing :-)

We are currently in Beijing, staying with a friend of Rob’s and gradually preparing for our return home by buying up half the DVDs in China. In fact the total is at 250 right now...well at 40p a go, it's hard not to!

Since we last wrote, we have been up to quite a bit. We spent some time in Laos after Vietnam - Laos was a beautiful country. After Vientiane, the capital (where we learned to weave), we spent one week in Luang Prabang, spending two days trekking in the wonderful scenic hills, our overnight stay being in a small village where the people are pretty much self-sufficient, working in the rice fields and building their own houses. We were honoured to stay in the Chief’s house, Rob even managing a round of Laos wine with him (a bit like schnapps), which certainly helped sleeping on thin mattresses on a wooden floor. The houses were made of bamboo, the village shower was cold spring water coming out of a bamboo hose rigged up so it poured into the stream, and the land in amongst the houses resembled a clean(-ish), dry farmyard, with pigs, chickens and dogs running around causing us both much entertainment (yes, even though I grew up on a farm!).

After Laos we headed back to Thailand, to it's 2nd largest city, Chiang Mai, where we went to 3 days' worth of cooking classes at a fantastic school, which we thoroughly enjoyed. It wasn’t only cooking, but also presentation and the fine art of vegetable carving. This provided much entertainment for me as I watched while Rob aggressively gouged his leaves from a piece of cucumber instead of daintily carving them (as I did, of course). In any case, we really hope to cook ‘proper’ Thai food for our families and friends as soon as we can when we’re home. Which, as many of you already know, is not far off now….

As well as learning whilst travelling, we have also developed certain habits… well I have anyway. You may even call them addictions…

Scarves. And cappuccino.

The scarf thing came about only recently when in Luang Prabang – having learned to weave and seen scarves being woven, I became suddenly interested in buying as many as I could carry in all sorts of designs and colours. Rob even talked about getting a second job to fund my new obsession…
But the cappuccino thing, well anyone who knows me will know that I am a tea-lover and have never drunk a cup of coffee in my life… but now I can admit that I am fully fledged coffee lover as well (well Rob claims that cappuccino isn’t as ‘manly’ as coffee, but it’s the best I can do right now). In fact, because you can’t really get a proper (by my standards) cup of tea here, I search the menus instead for coffee. And I cannot believe what I have been missing out on all my life! No Nescafe for me though, only the proper stuff ;-)

We are in Beijing for a little while, going camping at the Great Wall of China this weekend. Completely illegal apparently but will be a fantastic way to see the wall, although I’ll have to go without the luxuries of a bathroom, bed etc. Soon we fly to Frankfurt to see our old offices and colleagues, before finally returning home….. and I’ll be in touch with everyone as soon as possible!


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