We’ve turned a new page in our travels. This week we’re staying in Izmir with Fi’s aunt and uncle, with every home comfort we could ever want. There are fridges and a fruit bowl. And a linen cupboard with actual linen. Today we even went to the movies.
All this comfort has causes us to reflect on some of less glamorous parts of our travels we’ve endured:
- The state of available bathrooms is a frequent topic of conversation. Are they squat style? Clean? With running water? Toilet paper?
- They probably don’t have toilet paper. So we carry it from one hotel to another.
- There has been a constant assault on our digestive system: new cuisines, dubious water and occasional (ill-advised) decisions to eat cows hooves. We’ve rarely been very sick, but feeling a little queasy isn’t uncommon.
- I’ve read recently that there are apparently twelve pairs of shoes that every man needs. This year I have had three pairs, and never more than one at a time. We carry as little as possible and the only time we get to buy new things is when getting rid of old ones.
- We often look like complete dorks and slightly stalkerish, awkwardly going up to other people’s tables to snoop at their meals to point out to waiters with no English what we want to eat..
- Washing machines are luxurious, driers more so. Without them we hand wash. And then we dry things in our rooms.
- A good sniff is required to determine whether clothes are dirty, or just smell like backpack.
- Travel towels. They’re highly useful but broadly horrendous. And they never feel clean, hand wash or no.
- Then the worst: Fiona has taken to drinking instant coffee, black.