Isolated thoughts

Category: Travel

9. 

For the lost and abandoned

I spent my Tuesday on an alpaca farm and with my friends.

Woke up at 5am, checked the patients and then caught the train to the city before taking the one from the city down to Mandurah. The train ride was quite relaxing and wonderful at that time, since most of the world wasn’t up yet and travelling to the regional areas of WA. I was enjoying my music, and reading the introduction to Wuthering Heights on my kindle as I made my way down.

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Taban picked me up from the train station and we drove about 20-30 minutes to the farm. When we arrived we were greeted by the strangest assortment of dogs Рa border collie that was obsessed with the game of fetch, and a tiny doggo that liked pats.

We went into the shearing shed and helped to herd the alpacas into little pens. The white ones had to be separated from the greys, browns and blacks as their fleece are of different value.

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Little crias (baby alpacas) which make the strangest, cutest whines.

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After shearing all the adults and the little crias, we had lunch, and boy was I starving. It was wonderful being fed all sorts of fresh produce, and I had honeydew! It’s been quite some time since I’ve had so hearty a meal, and if this is what I will have when I go for more farm pracs I cannot wait.

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The little doggo.

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After we had finished shearing the males after lunch, we went around the farm feeding the weaners and those being halter trained. I was sitting on a hay bale on the back of a truck, and it was exciting to say the least.

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We were treated to an autopsy of a cria later, and learnt that they had some unique features – their liver and the coiled colon. Alpacas are pseudo-ruminants so they have 3 compartments to their ‘stomach’. Had a mini quiz at the place as well since there were skeletal remains scattered around the whole field. Am horrible at recognising the bones but it was still insightful. Got to bring some samples back (for educational purposes) as well! How cool is that?!

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I came back to get my assignment for the night, showered and then drove over for a Christmas dinner with my friends. It was lovely, and I had a wonderful time. Drove back at night and it was scary for my contact lenses were so dry, astigmatism makes the road lights shine too bright, and I stalled and kinda panicked on the steep slope when leaving the highway. Thankful for the guy who reversed and asked if I needed any help – and waited with me to make sure I made it safely through that wretched place.

Last night I had a visitor: little Rocket! He’s a spoodle: spaniel x poodle cross, and since he has some poodle in him, I was so very excited.

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Little bugger took over my pillow at one point in time.

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And this morning, Morrie decided to nap on my bed too. My bed has officially become a resting place for wayward animals. Please, all of you just make yourselves welcome.

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If this is the life I will lead, I will be satisfied.

Vietnam

2 – 7 June 2015

Vietnam is one of the Asian countries that I’ve never been to before. It started pretty casually, my cousin randomly asking me if I’d like to visit Ha Long Bay. At that time, desiring a trip to somewhere I’ve never been before, I said yes. I don’t think I regret it. Vietnam is definitely one of my favourite countries in the region. The people, culture and beauty of the country will definitely be bringing me back for more one day. Hopefully, alone.

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After checking in and getting lunch, we decided to go for a cooking class which was pretty damn fun. We cycled from the school to the local market and g or the chance to order the ingredients in Vietnamese. Interesting fact: the Vietnamese simply ride their motorbikes into the wet market, which makes for an extremely easy shopping trip. Witnessed the skinning of chickens as well. For a city kid, it was fascinating watching and listening to tales the older generation told of farming in olden Singapore. They boiled the chickens alive to make plucking the feathers easier. Alternatively, they slit the throats and collected the blood for other uses. Dog meat seems quite popular there as well.

Rode back to the school and sat around listening to travel stories. It’s quite inspiring how one travelled around the world after college. The idea of getting a high flying job and earning big bucks for the future almost absent from their mind. It’s awesome but I don’t think I can do that to be honest. Maybe in another form one day.

The wonderful thing about the school was that it was located beside the river opposite Hanoi. The sunset was amazing.

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Food was awesome as well. I loved the way their houses were made. The long alleyways where the children play after school and the general openness. In an ideal world, I’d live in such a quaint and peaceful place.

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I’m skipping day 2 and 3 because they were spent at the lake and in search of a supermarket.

Ha Long Bay was the main highlight of the trip. It lived up to expectations. Sadly, the tour guide wasn’t that great at english. It was slightly frustrating as there was hardly any information about the isles or about the history of the area. Spent the evening reading A Feast of Crows at the top deck and watching the stars (or airplanes).

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I just wish that I had more time to appreciate the wonderful world around sometimes. In the hustle and bustle of life, I realize how much I’m missing. So many fleeting moments of beauty and peace that are bypassed just because of the relentless drive to do something. I suppose that’s what makes travelling such a transforming experience. I really live in the moment and am present in all ways then.

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It poured back in Hanoi. But I was blessed with an awesome room and view. Had great street food and a horrible manicure before heading back the following day. Ban mih is seriously my favourite food. Have also developed a love for spring rolls and barbequed meat. Cheap beer makes everything better as well.

Vietnam was great. I live for those moments.

A woozy you, dopes up on a silky smooth perfume

My sleep cycle is terribly messed up. Ever since prom/pre-prom I’ve consistently been sleeping around 2-4am and hence waking at 9-11am. Yep, messed up. Today was no different. I woke and realised that I was going to be flying off to Japan. Time is flying by so quickly (too quickly). In a blink of an eye it’ll be March and I’ll find out about my grades. Then comes university applications (and hopefully a trip to Bangkok). And then school starts again.

Having wasted/in the process of wasting an entire month worth of time, I decided that I’ll work my ass off once I get back. I’m ecstatic that I’ve finally nailed a job. After 3 interviews only one option came through so far hahaha wow my interview skills are amazing. There is the potential for a total train wreck where various priorities pile up but I hope this all works out. I need to remember my prior commitments and finally get piano over and done with for one. Now’s not the time to neglect/slack off. I need this.

Hoping to enjoy Japan again. It’s probably the most visited country other than Malaysia. Travelling sucks though. We’re stopping over at HK and the flight to HK was such a horror I swear. The flight was literally filled with (to be really frank and mean/sorry but I’m just expressing my discontent & frustration) bawling children who couldn’t shut up since the damn boarding till landing. It’s a bloody public nuisance. Asked the mom and she said that she never had an issue travelling with me. Because I’m awesome (or just naturally quiet and shy).

It’s kinda silly but I’m developing a slight phobia of planes because of how sick I feel whenever I’m in one. Had the worst headache ever before on the flight back from Cambodia and that kinda ruined me because the pain then was unbearable. Ever since I’ve been getting headaches more often and it’s damn scary. No repeats, please.

To winter! Time to embrace the cold in approximately 5 hours time.