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Anything To Declare? WHITE POWDER!!!

After backpacking from Singapore to the very north of Thailand & back I flew home on an Alitalia flight loaded with Europeans just transiting Singapore on their way to Australia. Of cause after two & a half months backpacking SE Asia I stuck out like a sore thumb, of cause Customs in Sydney naturally couldn’t help but single me out πŸ™‚Β  No problem, I’m excitedly telling the customs lady all about my adventures & what a great time I’d had & how I’d been right up to the “Golden Triangle” (Opium country) etc etc while she’s checking through everything in the backpack, dirty socks & all when she suddenly pulls out a little bag of WHITE POWDER!!! My heart stopped I suddenly didn’t feel so well πŸ™ “Do you recognize this?” she suddenly asks suspiciously, demeanor having changed in the blink of an eye πŸ™Β  I honestly didn’t! “no!” πŸ™ , In my minds eye I see myself living in a jail cell for many years, brain working furiously but hopelessly panicked πŸ™ . She cautiously cracked open and sniffed the crumpled plastic bag, “washing detergent” she says, my heart starts working again, I can breath again & my stupid brain stops spinning like a top. I then explain to her how I’d totally forgotten packing that before my trip thinking I may have to wash my own clothes at some stage. Of cause you can get your clothes cleaned for a few cents anywhere & the little bag ofΒ WHITE POWDER had worked it’s way, very much forgotten to the very bottom of the pack.:)

Opium poppies Chaing Mai (For tourist interest) 001

A very small plot of opium poppies grown in Chaing Mai for the interest of tourists

Golden Triangle Burma to the left Laos to the right across the Mekong ~1990062

The “Golden Triangle” Burma to the left Laos to the right viewed across the Mekong River from the Thai shore.

Solo Travel Lonesome Feelings

This subject has come up a bit on travel blogs recently & brought back memories of a time when I felt quite alone, there were no fellow travellers around, not even anyone who shared a language with me. Normally I can easily banish that private voice in my head telling me how embarrassed/stupid/shy & awkward I might feel.

My most awkward experience traveling solo like this was being in a very cheap (like a soup kitchen cheap) Chinese eating place (somewhere in Malaysia) & already feeling awkward & alone an old Chinese man came & sat at the table with me, I quickly realized he wasn’t the slightest bit interested in communicating in any way. It wasn’t until much later I learnt it is Chinese custom/superstition that briefly brought us together to share a table. The number one is very bad luck for many Chinese including being the only one at a table. This old man simply sat with me for his own benefit as well as mine & the establishments. He did seem rather p***ed off when I tried to communicate, even a little, with him, stupid foreigner (me) πŸ™‚