Je bekijkt de reis...
Reisverslag The great catch up
17 januari 2014
The great catch up
The bad part about putting things of for later it’s that eventually you have to face the music. So here I find myself in a situation I have been many times over the last few months (in front of my laptop) and this is usually where I close my laptop and say I’ll do it soon. Today I shall not do such thing and will try to finally get my blog somewhat more up to date. Due to the 4 month hiatus I will try my best to describe things in a less elaborate style then normally.
I last described my stay in the Cameron Highlands awaiting the arrival of Tiffany and Denise. We met up in China town, Kuala Lumpur and wasted no time in getting on with their reason for coming to KL. Tiffany and especially Denise travelled to Kuala Lumpur to watch Barcelona play the Malaysian national team (or just a local club team, I honestly can’t remember) . Hours after landing in KL they were already in a stadium watching the training of their idols, while I detest football it was funny to see the girls’ reaction to seeing their football gods in the flesh.
We tried to do some sightseeing too but it was mainly football for Denise and for me and Tiffany, we were just happy to be together again. Their visit was far too short and saying me goodbyes to them left me all alone again in Malaysia, but we would meet again.
Back on my own I visited Kota Bahru and the Perhentian Islands where I enjoyed some nice beaches and got to have some fun diving again. Penang was next on the list of destinations I missed on my previous visit to this country. Penang was chill and there was an abundance of amazing food to be enjoyed whiles feasting the eyes on the many street arts around Georgetown.
Langkawi was to be the last short stop before returning to Thailand to do some more island hopping there. Getting off the ferry I meet up with Daniel (Australian) and Morgan (American) we shared a cab and found a hostel to stay in. There we met Tim (Germany) who told us Langkawi is where plans get destroyed and he was right. What was planned as a short stop of 3 days turned into more than a week of island lounging with a good host of people. Every day there were more like minded people joining our hostel and all postponed their initial departure date to keep the good times going. However the nature of a traveller is to keep on moving so in time we did have to say our goodbyes and continue our journeys.
Crossing the border back in to Thailand has, as it has been for some time now, the feeling of coming home again. The island hopping part had to be skipped since there wasn’t enough time to do this before meeting my neighbour and very good friend Niek in Bangkok. One of the nice things about living in Bangkok is that many people pass through it and amongst those are some friends as well. Seeing Niek and his girlfriend is like having a slice of home again, I’m not homesick but it feels good to see those familiar and much missed faces. Together we explored some sights but mostly we met up during the nights for some neighbourly fashioned drinks in the various watering holes in Bangkok. It was amazing to meet up again and I had an absolute blast but my liver was pleased to see my friends go again.
It had been something like 19 months since I said goodbye my family when I left the Netherlands and it sure was good to see them again in Sri Lanka. It wasn’t the conventional kind of reunion but I had spent all night at the airport waiting for their flight and they just came from their long haul from Europe so it is safe to say it was a bit subdued but it felt good nonetheless. Trying to catch each other up more than a year and a half proved a difficult but satisfying task. Being on an organised tour meant that I didn’t have to plan my next 3 weeks and could just sit back and enjoy the country and spending time with the family. We saw ancient ruins, old cities and many temples, went on safari to see wild elephants by the dozens and sampled amazing food and drank some of the finest Ceylon tea Sri Lanka had on offer. The trip was concluded with a week’s stay at a beach resort which allowed us time to process al we had seen and for my personally to have enough time to talk to everyone again before splitting up. They went back to Europe and I had some more alone time in Colombo and Bangkok ahead of me before another happy reunion.
As said before Tiffany and I would meet up again, it wasn’t quite sure whether it would be Sri Lanka or Thailand but Thailand came out on top. I got to show her my home and some of the cool stuff it has on offer. It was just great spending time together again and to travel to some of the Thai islands. Bangkok was crazy as always, Phuket a let down but Phi Phi was where we loved it the most. It had been many years since I last was there but this fun island never fails to deliver. Saw the obligatory maya beach (the beach from the movie “The beach”) and climbed the mountain for stunning views.
The nights were partied away while buckets were consumed it was perfect. There were plans to go to Shanghai to find a new job or perhaps even Hong Kong but plans are made and changed on a daily basis as a traveller so I joined Tiffany on her flight back to Manila.
If you would’ve told me that I’d be back in the Philippines after a mere 4 months of leaving, I think I’d’ve been sceptical at least. However the heart wants what the heart wants and the heart wanted Tiffany. Coming back to Bangkok always felt like coming home but I had already spent quite some time with Tiff too so driving back to her house felt like coming home also.
It was great meeting all her friends and spending so much time with her and I also got to celebrate my birthday with her in Manila. After first just enjoying each others company I had to become realistic and start looking for a job again. The job hunt proved a little difficult and the jobs out there weren’t what I was hoping for. I did get a job offered but then on top of it all it turns out the wages in the Philippines were below the ones in Thailand which made it all more difficult.
Christmas was spent at the beach with Tiff and old Langkawi mate Daniel. It was not a Christmas as per usual but we had a good time and that’s what it’s really all about. There was an epic party with all of Tiff’s friends before new years eve came round. Unfortunately I wasn’t feeling wel on new years evel so it was hardly the all nighter we had preferred but instead we had an intimate evening with just four of us.
Now broker than ever before I had to make a call to leave the Philippines since money wise it just wouldn’t work out there. My time with Tiffany was absolutely amazing and I really felt embraced by all her friends so it was a sad decision to move on. After almost 9 months I had to say my goodbyes to Tiffany and now focus on getting a job.
On my bus ride to Taipei from the airport one thing was certain, I am no longer in the tropics. Wearing what little warm clothes I have I am still cold, but amazed by my surroundings. It feels like I left Asia and am now back in a Western city, everything is so modern and well organised.
My hostel is located in the centre of the city and if I turn around the corner I am greeted by the Taipei 101 tower, to remind me in which city I am. The first week was spent trying to find work and having a bit of a look around the city. If all goes well I shall be signing my contract on Monday and starting work in February but I until I actually start working I’m keeping my fingers crossed.
This entry doesn’t do justice to all the fantastic places I’ve been and more importantly I didn’t nearly spent enough time recounting my many reunions or the new friends I met that warmed my heart. I hope to see everyone again soon or some day may it be here or anywhere else in the world. In the mean time you are always with me in thought and in my heart.
(this is a first draft, didn't read it back so forgive me for typos and other errors)
17 januari 2014 19:46 | Door: Trisha Velarmino
Good luck, Martin. May the force be with you.
22 januari 2014 19:51 | Door: Frans
Nice Mardy! Good to hear from you and best of luck in Taipei - I'll come and visit you next time I'm in Asia :)