Back from Asia

Posted on
Jul 10, 2014

You know that part in The Princess Bride where Wesley has just become reanimated after being “mostly dead” all day, and Inigo is trying to fill him in on what happened?

“Let me explain … no. There is too much. Let me sum up.”

That’s kind of how I feel right now. There is so much to tell you guys about. I don’t even know where to begin. Chronologically, I should keep telling you about Italy, and the Amalfi coast, and then my subsequent trips to Minnesota and Boston, and then finally get to Cambodia and Vietnam, but if I do that, then you will have to wait weeks, if not months, to hear about this:

 

You guys. YOU GUYS. I met an elephant. I obviously can’t wait weeks or months to tell you about that. Hell, it was a struggle to not simply post that photo first, along with the text, “OMG ELEPHANT WAT WE ARE BESTIES” before collapsing in a puddle of my own drool.

It would also mean that you’d have to wait to hear about Nicci, and that would be sad, too, because she is almost as cool as an elephant, and she put up with me for two and a half weeks through southeast Asia. Here she is with a monkey on her head, because that is something else that happened:

 

Here is a picture where you can make her out a little better:

 

Isn’t she absurdly adorable? Guys were literally confessing their love for her everywhere we went. Here’s a snapshot of the two of us, before we got ravaged by mosquitoes and sunburned:

 

Several folks asked if she was my daughter, which is kind of tragically hilarious because she is four years younger than me. By the end of the trip I contemplated embracing it, yelling loudly to onlookers: “YES SHE IS MY LOINFRUIT. MY FIGURE ONCE LOOKED LIKE HERS BEFORE IT WAS RAVAGED BY THE MIRACLE OF BIRTH.”

But then I lost my nerve because I’d already made enough of a fool of myself trying to haggle in Saigon Square where, as a friend of mine so eloquently put it, “Everyone is an asshole.”

So I hope you’ll forgive me, but I’m jumping straight into Cambodia posts. Here is the rest of what has occupied the last few weeks:

  • We ate spiders. Intentionally.
  • Nicci got mugged; someone on the back of a scooter reached into our tuk tuk and tore her necklace OFF of her body while we were speeding through Phnom Penh.
  • I finally learned to how say “Phnom Penh.” (Hint: you pronounce the first “P”!)
  • We both took a long look at the U.S.’s involvement in this part of the world over the last half century. That was incredibly difficult. There’s a lot to say on this subject, as it pertains to the Vietnam War, the Khmer Rouge, and the lasting legacy of landmines and amputees we’ve left in this part of the world. In the coming weeks, I’ll do my best to cover some of this, which is conspicuously absent from most American history class curricula.
  • We saw Angkor Wat (and several other temples). I’ll post some pictures, but believe me when I tell you: they don’t do it justice.
  • For the first time in 20 years, I rode a bike. In Cambodia. And then again in Vietnam.
  • My amazing and incredible friend Chad had his third brain surgery. And if that wasn’t badass enough, he RAN TO THE HOSPITAL ON THE MORNING OF HIS SURGERY.
  • On Tuesday, a film crew from A&E came to my home to shoot a video which will (hopefully) appear on one of their websites (full write-up about that crazy adventure soon to come).
  • And one last big one: as of today, I am married to a 35-year-old. Thirty-five. The 22-year-old boy I fell in love with is now 35. Go figure.

So, that’s what happened, and that’s what you can expect to read about in the coming weeks. And because I can’t resist, here’s one more pic of me and Lucky:

 

I think I may have had the trip of my life, you guys. But it’s still nice to be home.

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