October 17 – Two more sleeps

I left myself many chores to do tonight after work. It is my only free evening this week, so I wanted to dedicate it to my final pack and to finish up tidying my house. I predicted I would get frantic with nervousness doing this, finding the last things to do before my trip. I leave early on Saturday so there won’t be much time for last minute dishes, etc, while I wait to go; but, thusly, I am anxious to be ready to go. I get fussy before a trip, making sure my house will be left clean: recycling out, kitchen counters wiped, bed made. These are things that I don’t care about on a day-to-day basis. But when I’m leaving for a big trip, I like to look around before I leave and know I’ve left things in order. Extra especially, I love coming home to a clean apartment.

Secret: I could have left that sentence as “I love coming home.”

This week my excitement for my trip has turned into anxiousness and a sort of pre-homesickness. It started last Friday when Susan and I were deciding where to meet for dinner. I had suggested something new, but then realized I was craving a familiar location, in anticipation of all the new places I’ll soon be visiting. And all of the situations I would have no such control over.

I wrote in my last post about how much I enjoyed spending Thanksgiving with my family, and that was part of this need for the familiar, or in this case, the hyper-familiar, the very foundation of familiarity. It was hard to leave.

I’m not sure why I’m so pre-homesick this time. I keep reminding myself that three weeks, while a longer trip than I’ve been on for a while, isn’t that long. I wrote as I was leaving for Mexico last year how homesick I felt – so it’s part of the trip, and I know it goes away. I have some ideas of why it hit me early this time:

  1. I’ve been on three airplane trips this year! So fun! But I haven’t had enough time to forget how much waiting and impatience there is to airplane travel. I usually plan trips with more of a gap in between to fully recover. (And to save up money again…. but I’m not thinking about that part right now.)
  2. Travelling somewhere completely foreign all by myself! Scary!
  3. It’s October and I should be getting ready for cold-weather hibernation – I’m leaving a bit later in the month than I usually do. I’m looking around my tidy and cozy house and thinking I would be a better choice to just stay here for three weeks.
  4. The anticipation of not having control over things while being on a tour: most days are planned with sightseeing, accommodation is pre-planned and assigned, restaurants are usually chosen by the guide. These are all things that I am happy to have organized for me, and is why I like to pay to go on a tour! But I live alone and is pretty much do as I like in normal life, so following along takes a little adjustment, even if it does make complete sense and I’m so glad to be traveling this way.
  5. I think too much about things.

I planned to fret and pack and clean tonight, Thursday, because still have one more sleep after this before I go. My plan for Friday night is to relax and be calm.

Truth: I am only ever nervous for a trip until I get on my first form of transportation. Then a little bit just before I meet with the rest of the tour group. Then I’m fine.

***

My List of Thursday Evening Chores

  • Clean bathroom sink and toilet
  • Do dishes
  • Pack few remaining items
  • Water bottle in suitcase or carry-on?
  • Long or short phone charger cord?
  • Have a bath
  • Bump elbow against corner of towel bar
  • Weird arm-wriggly cry-dance of pain
  • Is lower arm paralysis a thing?
  • Cut nails
  • Study peeling blisters on the bottoms of my big toes
  • Bandage new blister on back of right heel
  • Have maccachee for dinner
  • Finish yogurt
  • Write for Puddlelillies.com
  • “Chores”

October 9, 2019 – China in Ten Days

I’m going to China in 10 days. Here are some things.

A) I have to remember how to do blog posts because I haven’t written any for a year. I’ve noticed that if I want the date to show at the top of my post, I have to enter it in the section marked “title” in my template here. I have always resisted using “titles” for my blog posts due to being lazy: e.g. it’s hard to summarize a post into a few words. Also: labels, schmabels. I seem to have done it today with little to no fuss on my part. We’ll see what happens in editing.

B) I am remembering how to blog, and setting it up for people to read even though I may not be able to post anything from China due to their unique internet strategy. I may end up writing some things and then posting later.

*** Note that blog posts, however, are separate from being able to contact Mum to assure her I am safe. I have several methods to to ensure this happens.***

C) I learned today that I can ask to refill my prescriptions early so I have enough for my whole trip. It’s not that I wouldn’t be allowed at all, but the question was whether my insurance would pay. All it took was for my pharmacist to enter a code in their computer, and me signing a wee disclosure and now I am fully stocked and will be able to breathe for the duration of my trip. Speaking of breathing, I forgot to ask about getting a mask in case the pollution in Beijing is a hindrance. I’ll go in and ask about it tomorrow or the next day– I’ve been in around 6 times now asking about travel things. One thing at a time, as I think of them or remember. I know I should have made a list, and made one spectacular visit, but the pharmacy is right across the street from my workplace, and I need things to do on my breaks.

I'm not taking the basket. Also I think you can see my underpants.

Familiar, well-travelled suitcase.

D) I’ve been packed since Saturday. Partly this is because I’ll be in Duncan over Thanksgiving weekend and I wasn’t sure I’d have time to pack next week… but more I love packing and I’m impressed I could even wait that long.

P.S. If you keep reading down my blog you’ll find my Mexico trip from a year ago. I know this isn’t made clear or obvious, but I wasn’t into using descriptive titles as much last year as I am now.

This morning Julie and I went into old town Hoi An and we’re fitted for clothing and shoes. So many choices, but we went to Yaly first, which Julie noticed was quite quality. I chose a suit made of a dark blue linen/cotton blend. Pretty basic. And a white linen/cotton tunic-type blouse. Pretty cheap. Julie has a whole bunch of dresses being made for her, an had fun designing them with her associate from the store.

It was a lovely experience at Yaly. We were there at opening (we are keeners) and we’re each claimed by an associate. Then we were taken into a room where we looked at books of tear sheets and placed bookmarks when we saw something we liked. I had a book labelled ‘suits’. Once I showed my associate (her name is Tanya) that I knew what I wanted she took me to look for fabrics.

The walls of Yaly are covered in bolts of fabric. Tanya first showed me the section with wool and cashmere, but I wanted linen so she showed me those instead. Lots of colours to choose from. I knew exactly what I wanted when I saw it and Tanya yanked it out from the wall and let me touch and explained the price. Then some cotton for my blouse (off-white because the white-white was too white). Then to the back further into the store to choose from a wall of polyester linings (cotton lining cost more – and I don’t think I’ve had a cotton lining for anything.) I chose white with blue and black stripes. I was tempter to get bright pink, but no.

I then had my picture taken against a wall with height markings. I had to stand facing front, to the side and to the back. Very scientific, or I have been very secretly arrested. Then Tanya measured me – old school, with a tape measure. Unfortunately I don’t have a regular bra with me (only sports bras) so Tanya added a bit to my chest measurement.

I have an appointment for my first fitting tomorrow at 12:30. I might need a second fitting tomorrow night, and they’ll deliver to my hotel when everything is done.

Very relaxed at Yaly. The associates are all in uniforms of an asian dress with the slit and pants beneath. They all carry a little purse with supplies.

After Yaly, we ventured into the cloth market, where I was expecting to browse, but we were picked up right away by a vendor and led deep inside to her stall. The cloth market is made up of stalls full of bolts of fabric and taylors. All the tayors want to make you things.

Our taylor sat us down and gave us wated and caught our attention by saying she had linen (caught Julie’s attention-I was still like whaaaaat’s going on??) They had books of tear sheets too, which we promptly started looking through, while the taylor bantered. There was a whole handful of swatches of linen. I found a pair of pants I wanted made of linen, and chose a colour, then since I was there, found a blouse I wanted to, and the taylor showed me some nice cotton (the non-wrinkle, washable kind). She also described how she could alter the design along the neck, and could make the sleeves quarter-length. I’ve ordered two.

Then, the friend of the taylor approached us and invited us to her shoe stall across the road from the cloth market. This was in the shoe market, I guess: there were a lot of shoe stalls. Same thing: looking through books and choosing the leather we wanted for shoes. I’m getting some red flats.

As we were leaving the shoe maker’s, another woman approached us trying to get us to buy souvenirs, or do threading, or get a tattoo. By this time, however, we needed a rest and lunch. It was kind of hard to escape.

We have a series of fittings to attend tomorrow morning. I have much less money now.

This morning Julie and I went into old town Hoi An and we’re fitted for clothing and shoes. So many choices, but we went to Yaly first, which Julie noticed was quite quality. I chose a suit made of a dark blue linen/cotton blend. Pretty basic. And a white linen/cotton tunic-type blouse. Pretty cheap. Julie has a whole bunch of dresses being made for her, an had fun designing them with her associate from the store.

It was a lovely experience at Yaly. We were there at opening (we are keeners) and we’re each claimed by an associate. Then we were taken into a room where we looked at books of tear sheets and placed bookmarks when we saw something we liked. I had a book labelled ‘suits’. Once I showed my associate (her name is Tanya) that I knew what I wanted she took me to look for fabrics.

The walls of Yaly are covered in bolts of fabric. Tanya first showed me the section with wool and cashmere, but I wanted linen so she showed me those instead. Lots of colours to choose from. I knew exactly what I wanted when I saw it and Tanya yanked it out from the wall and let me touch and explained the price. Then some cotton for my blouse (off-white because the white-white was too white). Then to the back further into the store to choose from a wall of polyester linings (cotton lining cost more – and I don’t think I’ve had a cotton lining for anything.) I chose white with blue and black stripes. I was tempter to get bright pink, but no.

I then had my picture taken against a wall with height markings. I had to stand facing front, to the side and to the back. Very scientific, or I have been very secretly arrested. Then Tanya measured me – old school, with a tape measure. Unfortunately I don’t have a regular bra with me (only sports bras) so Tanya added a bit to my chest measurement.

I have an appointment for my first fitting tomorrow at 12:30. I might need a second fitting tomorrow night, and they’ll deliver to my hotel when everything is done.

Very relaxed at Yaly. The associates are all in uniforms of an asian dress with the slit and pants beneath. They all carry a little purse with supplies.

After Yaly, we ventured into the cloth market, where I was expecting to browse, but we were picked up right away by a vendor and led deep inside to her stall. The cloth market is made up of stalls full of bolts of fabric and taylors. All the tayors want to make you things.

Our taylor sat us down and gave us wated and caught our attention by saying she had linen (caught Julie’s attention-I was still like whaaaaat’s going on??) They had books of tear sheets too, which we promptly started looking through, while the taylor bantered. There was a whole handful of swatches of linen. I found a pair of pants I wanted made of linen, and chose a colour, then since I was there, found a blouse I wanted to, and the taylor showed me some nice cotton (the non-wrinkle, washable kind). She also described how she could alter the design along the neck, and could make the sleeves quarter-length. I’ve ordered two.

Then, the friend of the taylor approached us and invited us to her shoe stall across the road from the cloth market. This was in the shoe market, I guess: there were a lot of shoe stalls. Same thing: looking through books and choosing the leather we wanted for shoes. I’m getting some red flats.

As we were leaving the shoe maker’s, another woman approached us trying to get us to buy souvenirs, or do threading, or get a tattoo. By this time, however, we needed a rest and lunch. It was kind of hard to escape.

We have a series of fittings to attend tomorrow morning. I have much less money now.

Today.
1) woke up in Halong Bay
2) 4 hour ride back to Hanoi. I napped and listened to music
3)short stint as rice planter. Muddy feet.
4)Much time time spent wandering streets of Hanoi
5)Shopping
6)electic car tour (big golf cart) of streets of Hanoi
5) Water puppet theatre/nap
6) night market
7) packing for tomorrow evening’s overnight train to Hue
8)too tired to write in paragraphs
9)good night.

I have no idea what time it is right now. This is kindof a lie, since I just looked at the in-flight navigator that the passenger in front of me and to the left has up on their monitor (making it so I don’t have to turn on mine.) It’s 12:30 in the night in Taipei, and 9:30 of the morning at home. Currently I’m somewhere over Japan and trying to sleep. Also it’s Wednesday now, so I got a little bit of Tuesday, but otherwise it’s a day that didn’t exist. I wonder what the Lindsie in a parallel universe did on that day. Did it exist for her? Am I the Lindsie in the parallel universe? Probably.

I’ve slept 3 or 4 hours (can’t tell how long. Time is calculated different here.) which is the usual for me on a plane. I would love to sleep longer since it’s a 12 hour flight and time goes faster when you’re asleep.

Musings on having only three days left before my trip to Vietnam.

Today was my last day at work before my trip. It didn’t really hit me, however,  until about ten minutes before I left, when I had a feeling of “now things are starting!”

The day went surprisingly quick for the kind of day it was. I kept finding things to do. Also, people kept coming by to wish me a good time. I feel I deserve points for not only remembering to change the message on my voice-mail, but actually recording it, which is one of my least favorite things to do ever. I deserve extra points for listening to it when I was done to make sure it was audible and sensible. I doubly hate listening to myself. (For assistance, I wrote myself a script a few weeks ago AND set a reminder so I had no excuse whatsoever. Except maybe if I didn’t want to.) I especially enjoyed writing on the vacation board that I won’t be returning until August 11, exactly one month from today.

This evening I started packing and re-packing and generally editing my bags. It was in a bit of a manic fashion so I thought it would be best to leave the house so I’ve come to the studio to watch a bellydance show. This is the group is was in a show with last year, and I didn’t really get to see them, but what I saw- the finale, from a weird angle behind a lot of people- looked interesting. I can’t really pack until I do laundry tomorrow, anyway.

Edit: bellydance-circus fusion.

My throat keeps getting sore. Maybe when I consume sugar? Not pleased with this. I’ll rest today as I have no plans for after work today. I’ve prepared myself an echinacea tea.

I watched a lot of TV on Sunday. As a result I went to the library yesterday and got a couple of books, one of which I plan to read. I tried one of them but didn’t like it much so I shall return it. Too American, but I half sort of expected to not like it because of this. It had a good premise, and from the point of view from a woman with schizophrenia, but no go. I know maybe I should read more than a chapter, or half a chapter before making my decision, but whatever. I don’t want to waste my time.

I want to watch a movie called “Hyde Park on hudson” this evening and eat salmon spaghetti. My mum bought me gluten-free pasta at Costco so I might try that. Yes. I’ve just decided that I shall, too super make sure that I feel good tomorrow.

They brought me some fruit bread, too, mum and dad. I was supposed to take it at Christmas but everyone forgot so I have it now. I had a couple slices last night after dance. They were covered in lots of luscious butter that coated nicely my mouse and chair when I dropped. Hoo. Still tasty. I’ll save the rest for next week when I have no dance and will eat what I please for several days.

I don’t feel very good today. I’m afraid that I’m sick again after just getting better from the last time I was sick, like, a couple weeks ago. It feels like the same sick, too, where I’m all weak. Shit. I’m having warm liquids and echinacea throughout the day. Oh right: my throat is sore too as I was just reminded when I swallowed. I’ll have to see how I feel when I stand up again: I am on the lunchroom couch at work.

I don’t want to be sick because I wish to dance this evening. I’ll nap after work and if I don’t wake up then I won’t go. I think there’s a sub tonight anyway.

Boo.

Last night I wasn’t feeling good with sore throat so I went to bed just before 7 and listened to Ideas and played solitaire on my phone. Mono-style. Rock. On.

I was totally too busy last week. One might think that having Monday as my flex day would have helped but it did not. It started then with dance Monday night, followed by four days of work as is normal, but instead of having Tuesday and Thursday evenings off, I had plays to go to. They were good,  but I guess I didn’t really think about having so much to do in my week when I booked them. It was a long week where I didn’t spend much time at home. I was pretty tired by Friday and had a pretty miserable second dance class – I sort of got my second wind half way through I guess but I was super tired after. Then on Sat I had ballet closely followed by a visit from Susan and Amber and Mia. And in between there I also sewed the edges of my duvet cover to make it fit better. I had about 1/2 hour rest on my chair on Thurs before I went to dinner, but I didn’t get back there until noon on Sunday. After Am and Mia were gone. Fun times but exhausted.   This wasn’t helped by me getting up at 4 in the morning on Sunday to watch Canada in the gold medal hockey game. I snoozed a bit during the third period and Am and Mia (who were in my living room) slept through from sometime in the second period right through until a normal getting up time around 9.

This week I have much less to do, though I might do flamenco class on Wednesday again. Not to much hardship on my part since it’s right after modern. The only problem is if I am too tired.

Actually it’s not so bad that I was busy with things to do in the evenings last week as the Olympics were on so there weren’t too many shows to watch anyway. I might have had to read a book or watch a new show or something. I tried watching a new show yesterday. I chose it based entirely because it’s from Australia. I watched part of the first episode. It was actually a soapy medical drama that started in 1998 so it was not only cheesy but filmed on square video that didn’t fill up my monitor as well. Not that this last factor would stop me from watching if it was any good. If it was any good I may not have noticed. I only watched the first half of the first episode so I guess it might get better. I’m not going to bother finding out because the Olympics are over so presumably my regular shows will be back.

I forgot my oatmeal this morning. Rather, my oatmeal was in the same type of container as my hummus so I had hummus for breakfast instead. I sort of remember thinking as I put the hummus away last night that I mustn’t mix them up in the morning. This wasn’t enough of a warning for me when I was rushing to leave.