As Christmas draws closer I’ve found myself reflecting on the last 4 years of Christmases. We have done some crazy travelling and have spent Christmas in 3 different countries in 4 years with this year being a real Zambian Christmas, with all the frills.
When you think of moving or living an expat life often one of the things that comes to mind is the things you inevitably loose along the way, the friends, the familiarity, the family living close by, and of course the material stuff that eventually gets lost, stolen, destroyed in storage or if you’re lucky you’ll be able to sell it for almost nothing. It can be a sad story. Eventually you start to get less interested in making true friends because saying goodbyes are never easy, you learn to choose price over quality because who needs a 10 year guarantee when you’re not sure if you’ll even see the first year out and mostly you learn to pack light. Granted, I’m still learning that but I’m getting better as we go along. You realize that those jeans you’ve been carrying around because they cost an arm and a leg but you’ve only worn actually once, just aren’t worth the space.
The other day I happened upon an interesting fact about the husband and I, our “thing” is eating out. Some couples like going to watch the latest movies, some like going on hikes, some like S&M. Us, we like sharing a well cooked meal together. We also like lots of other things, we can spend hours together in a bookstore, we enjoy a good comedy, we enjoy a good dorking out session but if it came down to it, the thing we both enjoy doing more than all the other things is eating good food. That is our common ground. No day together starts without going to get a good breakfast. We also, commonly, get really annoyed with badly cooked food. And that brings us to Malaysia.
Is this a practical joke? Were some of the first words out of my husbands mouth when he spotted me coming through the airport laden with luggage. Yes, it was that bad! No, I am not proud of it. Okay. I have been reduced to temporarily living out of suitcases, what can I do?!
Few things irritate my darling husband more than generalizations. Quickest way to get under his skin? Tell him a “you men are all the same” line. He can’t stand the image people have of men and what they are ‘like’, I suppose because he is so far from your typical male and that is one of the things I love about him. He loves cooking, can spend hours in a home ware shop and the thought of a ‘boys fishing getaway’ makes him cringe more than anything else. He is intuitive, caring and a wonderful, wonderful dad and husband and would rather spend an evening in with his family than out drinking anyway, so I can get why he gets annoyed when people refer to all men as being the same, especially because its normally said in a criticizing manner.
Are you going to get sick eating from a food vendor in Phuket… Possibly! No, in the almost 3 months we have been here I have not been sick from eating the local food but then again, I’m a picky eater. My daughter on the other hand has not been so lucky.. she loves sausages and she loves them even more on a handy skewer, so when we popped up to the shops yesterday and the smell of freshly cooked sausages wafted down to us she had to have one. Two hours later. The sausage made a second appearance. All over grannies duvet. And clean clothes that were nicely folded on the bed. Thankfully she did not suffer any long term side effects but it definitely gave me a wake up call. My carefree attitude to street food is a little less carefree, needless to say.
Tomorrow my husband will be packing his suitcase and heading off to Malaysia for 3 or 4 weeks. For the next 2 weeks I will be in Phuket packing up our house (again, thank goodness I restrained myself from buying the extra dinner ware and other paraphernalia I felt I simply couldn’t do without), and then joining him in Malaysia. Where to from there? Who knows at this point. Drop a pin on the map.