Tag Archives: Random Musings

We took a three-year-old to South Africa.

Actually, that’s not technically true. Our friends Sarah and Eric took their three-year-old to South Africa. It was our crazy idea to do it, and they listened to us. They listened to their childless friends about how it was a good – nay, GREAT – idea to take a toddler across two continents.

Look at these crazy, sleep-deprived kids.

 

(I’d like to think we kind of helped out by interrupting his nap time and feeding him snacks.)

Here are a few of my favorite Jack moments from South Africa.

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I think the pack on the left cost me about $1.50 in Siem Reap, which is on par with U.S. prices, not accounting for the size difference in the packs. As for the mango flavor, it was exactly that, and kind of enjoyable (though still oddly minty at the end).

I didn’t end up finishing the pack. Some children were begging us for money, and you aren’t supposed to give them any, so Nicci handed them a roll of Oreos she had in her bag. And then they came back, so I gave them the mango TicTacs.

And then they came back again, and I was just about to put my foot down about how we weren’t giving them money and I’d already opened my mouth and said, “OH NO,” when Nicci pointed out that they just needed helping getting the pack open.

“Oh. Right.”

So I opened the pack. And the three of them – the oldest no more than five or six, the youngest a naked infant in her arms, the middle one perfectly in between them in size and appearance, like Russian nesting dolls – ran off with their spoils.

If Nicci hadn’t seen them, I might have missed them altogether. Or just looked over them, and tried to ignore them, the way I do when people ask me for money in the states. Because I’m not sure what else to do.

I couldn’t take them home. And I wasn’t supposed to give them money. So I gave them my TicTacs. An exercise in futility if ever there was one.

 

There are no florescent lights. Or aisles and aisles of junk food. There is no plastic container full of beef jerky, no row of humming soda dispensers, waiting to pour out sugary elixirs.

There are no walls, or ceilings. There aren’t even gas pumps.

Gas stations are different in Cambodia. They usually aren’t much more than a solitary person, standing on the side of a road with repurposed bottles full of yellow fuel. The tuk tuk driver stops next to them, hands over a dollar or two. The contents of the bottle are then poured into the gas tank. (more…)

I have to tell you something.

I’m an absolute sucker for weddings. I basically turn into a squealing frenzy of crazy every time we find out we’re actually able to make it to a friend’s nuptials. It probably doesn’t take very much explaining to understand why.

 

If I got an email from a wedding, telling me it was a dethroned prince, and offering to share millions of dollars with me, I would IMMEDIATELY give it my bank account and routing numbers. That is how much I love weddings.

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Hi!

Remember me? I know, I know – I promised I’d write two or three times a week and then I disappeared for two. In my defense, I had to go to Australia and eat Tim Tams and snorkel. This was not optional. This was something I had to do, out of moral obligation to … the cookie industry? (Okay, fine. I haven’t totally figured all of this out. Also? Seriously jet lagged. Still.)

The good news: I am getting lots of work done on other projects (mainly the book), and I’ve written four chapters in the time it would normally take me to write ZERO chapters, so that’s something.

But I have really let the blog fall to wayside, as many of you have let me know via email, tweet, and missives written on the wall of my home in frosting (props to those of you who realize that your message would get across far better using that instead of blood).


(Oh, Petra, dearest, I know. Trust me, I know. I think about it anytime I do anything that isn’t working on the book.)

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“Wait, what kind of car do you drive?”

She is my cousin’s little girl. Blond, California-born and raised, nearly as tall as I am, and presently obsessed with cars. We are walking through downtown Seattle together. I’ve been back from Cambodia for less than a week.

“A 2002 KIA Spectra,” I reply, “with power locks.”

This last bit I say with just a little bit too much gusto, and she laughs. Immediately, I confess to the lie.

“It doesn’t have power locks.”

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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.

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We didn’t end up going to any touristy grottoes while in Italy – not the Blue Grotto in Capri (it was too cloudy), or the Grotto Smeraldino in Amalfi (not yet open for the season). At lot of people have told me we missed out mightily, and I nod and try to look sad, but honestly, it’s hard for me to feel deprived. I’ve been to a lot of places. I’ve seen a lot of things.

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