The Departed


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January 8th 2013
Published: January 8th 2013
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I'm currently sat on my bedroom floor in the UK, surrounded by half packed bags and several unfinished cups of tea. I leave for Southeast Asia in just over two hours. I should probably focus a bit more on that and not on typing a blog entry.

The problem is that it's very hard to imagine that by tomorrow (or at least I think it'll be tomorrow, I haven't got the time difference straight in my head yet) I will be in Bangkok. I think it's probably got something to do with the soul-destroying 15 hour plane journey that's ahead, and the fact that I am scared of flying, and also the fact that I am a lazy packer. There's a whole lot of boring stuff to get through first, and not for the first time in my life I find myself wishing that Dr Who was real. One of the key features of the TARDIS is surely its excellent storage space, and, hey, no plane food.

Having never been to this part of the world before, I asked friends and family for advice. Memorable tips I have been given include "don't get shot" and "if you feel like you have dengue fever go to a hospital". The latter was from my mum, and she clearly has high expectations for both the trip and my mental capacity. I also thumbed through the Rough Guide but it can be hilariously downbeat, particularly about Laos. In Pakse, for example, one of the main buildings is 'a majestic eyesore resembling a giant cement wedding cake', and in Muang Sing the guide despairs that the locals wear 'track suits and Nike knock-offs'. I grew up in Essex. This doesn't phase me.

Onwards and upwards. Back to packing and possibly a few more cups of tea.

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