Airport Jelly

December 16, 2009 at 12:14 pm (general life)

More stressful events are passing one by one, and I’m increasingly able to focus on the big event: I’m shortly leaving for China and Indonesia with my partner (who’s never been overseas).

I’m also taking happy pills again, and just had an extremely informal visit from my landlord (our first semi-inspection in a year), which motivated me to clean the whole house (which resulted in minor cuts, bruises, burns, muscle pains, and oddly sore fingers). Having a clean house makes me feel much more peaceful. And I think I just did my absolute last shop before Christmas. Since we’ll be in Sydney for a week before going to China, that means no more grocery shopping this year. (We have a house and catsitter for the whole time, yay!)

China and Indonesia are obvious choices for us to go to. For one thing, we already live in a wealthy Western country, so why visit another one? They’re nice and all, but not worth visiting as a first priority (our to-do list is basically: visit the third world, have kid/s, buy a house. It also works as a ten-year plan, but it really works best in that exact order). The reason visiting the third world is so important is that, for twelve years, I planned and trained to live permanently in Indonesia – probably as a volunteer teacher living in or near a slum. By way of preparation, I have visited Indonesia six times, I speak the language fluently, and I even have a favourite slum.

That life is over for me, but it’s something I thought my partner needed to understand, at least a little. You really need to see – and smell – emaciated children to truly know our world is. . . just wrong.

So why China? Simple – my partner’s brother is currently living there.

We’re not doing any volunteer work, and we’re staying with friends (rather than aid workers, as I usually do), so it’s a different sort of trip for me too. In China (based in Beijing) we plan to see the Great Wall, a few things around Beijing, and go to the ice sculpture city H-something) a bit to the North. We’ll also have a six-hour stopover in Guangzhou on the way back. And, perhaps most importantly, we’ll be eating Chinese food.

In Indonesia we’ll visit Mount Bromo (an active volcano), and (I really hope) eat soto at Jakarta domestic airport. There’s a little restaurant there, and I LOVE their soto (which gets translated as “Javanese chicken soup” – ingredients include sweet soy sauce, lime juice, and coconut milk. Mmm).

I have cunningly set up the first twitter tale for 2010 to take place in China, Indonesia and Australia, so that when I’m able to blog (via email to my parents if there’s an issue with the Chinese government’s anti- social media stance – they’ll be putting the story on twitter and facebook, plus posting some pre-prepared blogs) I can just say what I’ve been doing, and it adds to the story. So for the first two weeks of January, there’ll be more of me in than here. The story is called “The Spy Who Shoved Me”.

The airports I’ll be visiting are (in order): Sydney, Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, Jakarta, Denpasar, Brisbane, Canberra. We’ll be flying with three different companies. What could possibly go wrong?


1 Comment

  1. Ben (Crispin) said,

    I’ve often thought this (and it’s surprisingly relevant!):

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