The Luxuries of Home

February 11, 2007

Last night, on Night 2 of our trip to Halong Bay, we stayed at a 3-star hotel. Lap of luxury. There are many things I miss while on the road. Some may seem obvious: family, Internet and TV, makeup. Others, surprise even me. For example:

1) Bathtubs, shower curtains, and bathmats. As in, things that prevent water from spilling onto the floor when one takes a shower. There’s nothing ickier than walking into a bathroom with a wet floor.

2) Stores where prices are marked. Sure, bargaining can be fun. It can bring prices down more than 50% on some things. But, it’s such a hassle. You have to bargain for everything here. Clothes are a given, but also shampoo, bandaids, fruit, water. I’ve even bargained the visa fee for Laos. Plus, bargaining over a $2 dollars in countries where that’s close to the average daily wage makes you feel worse that Ebenezer Scrooge. I dread shopping because I just don’t want to bargain.

3) Hot water to make tea and coffee.

4) Free public restrooms with toilet paper.

5) Knowing the language. Languages are not only forms of communication, they are windows into a cultures. There’s only so much a smile can say. I miss the carefree mindset of someone who knows what’s going on. Not looking around from the sidelines like an idiot. Not being a tourist. I hate this feeling of perpetual awkwardness.

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One Response to “The Luxuries of Home”

  1. Keiko said

    I completely agree with the shower curtain and bathmat thing. Not that I’m backpacking around or anything but I really can’t handle wet socks from a wet bathroom floor.

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