Gratitude and dorothy.

Trip Start May 25, 2012
Trip End Aug 02, 2012

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Flag of Singapore  ,
Tuesday, July 31, 2012

i've been away from home now for 10 weeks. 4 weeks working, 6 weeks travelling. there have been good times and bad times. and many times between. :) i think a good way to finish off this experience is by summorizing what i've learnt and what i'm taking home with me, in my heart and in mind. i also want to write down everything special i got to experience. that way i will always be able to look back and see how many amazing experiences i've made! and you can do that with me, reading this blog. :)

- i watched baby sea turtles hatch and released one into the sea
- i went scuba diving for the first time
- i snorkelled with lots of gorgeous fish and green sea turtles
- i went trekking in the rainforest
- i learned the following words in indonesian: bintang (star), terima kasih (thank you), selamat datang (welcome), selamat jalan (safe journey), selamat malam (good evening), jalan (road), bebek (duck), goreng (fried), mie (noodles), nasi (rice), panas (hot), wanita (woman), pria (man), awas (caution), fesyen (fashion), taksi (taxi) and ayam (chicken).
- i learned that the local language of lombok and the gilis is called sasak and the most import saying is: ADENG ADENG (take it easy)!
- i learned to love instant noodles
- i remembered that it is impolite to give money to someone with one hand in countries such as japan, singapore, etc. you give it with both hands. something, i now always do it. i think the habit might stick for a while.
- i got seasick for the first time
- i learned how dependent on other people you are when you're sick
- i practice haggling and definitely improved my haggling skills
- i learned to surf. but there's still a lot to learn there... :S
- i realised how dangerous corrals are when a wave smashes you in one.. i think both parties lost the fight, though i was the only one bleeding.
- i saw a gigantic millipede and learned not to be apalled or afraid of it.
- i learned to love ginger beer
- i now have a new favourite flower: frangipani. still love roses though, hrm hrm. ;)
- i learned to miss my home and deal with it as best as i can
- i tried chili crab
- i tried jackfruit
- i tried durian and i will suffer my whole life because of it.. yuck!
- i tried satay and paneer makhani.. and love both and will try to cook both! kitchen, get ready for asian food!!!
- i learned that indian men hold hands and practically cuddle on the streets and it's normal.
- i had my first henna tattoo on my hand
- i got to know joel and daria a lot better. but especially joel.
- i learned what a sarong is and how to tie it (if i can remember).
- i got to touch a starfish, a sea cucumber and a shark!
- i saw monkeys up close
- i learned about the hindu way of life in ubud
- i learned about and saw rice terraces and plantation for the first time
- i learned about chinese history in singapore
- i saw the skyline of singapore from different angles
- i got to know three new currencies and know the exchange rate. ;)
- i ate the legendary banana pancakes at different stops of our banana trail
- i learned that when you eat dog, your body temperature rises and dogs can sense that, so they bark at you!
- i learned about the history in singapore, malaysia and indonesia and now know who charles brooke, sir henry raffles, etc. are.
- i taught people how to do a flämmli in singapore. :D
- i drank coconut water for the first time

those are just a few things of many more i'm sure. it's all i can come up with now though. good things to learn and experience. the most important one i've left out so far though.

- i have realised what a great life i have at home. the people i love, the places and food i enjoy, the things i am passionate about - they are all back home waiting for me. i am more grateful for them now than ever before and i think i'm truly blessed to be fully aware of this. i hope that this feeling of gratitude will stay for a very long time since the path it took to come to that realization was tough. the realisation itself came quickly, but the 6 weeks after that were not only full of great experiences but also marked with struggles. in other words, i had quite a lot of time to think about my realisation, which made me miss home even more.

as i'm writing this, though, i have but one sleep left. roughly 27 hours before we'll be heading to the airport and about 48 hours til i can finally fall into the arms i've been missing most. singapore was impressive, malaysia was hospitable and indonesia was beautiful - but, there's no place like home, there's no place like home, there's no place like home.

see you when i see you.. ;)
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