He Said/She Said: Only Abroad

He Said/She Said: Only Abroad

During our “regular” life on the road we encounter situations that we just wouldn’t find in Minneapolis…or the USA…or the West.  While some are frustrating and some are funny, here are two that demonstrated to us that we weren’t anywhere near Kansas anymore.


I just wanted to get out of Sawai Madhapor.  Arriving with one wish, to see a tiger in the wild, we were leaving unfulfilled and wearier than we arrived.  While the lack of a tiger was disappointing, the blistering heat was dry-roasting us.  In the spirit of thriftiness we had opted for a non-A/C room, not realizing the moment we chose this the Rajastani summer would begin.  It didn’t drop below 90 degrees overnight and the power was out for most of the evening, leaving us slow-roasting without a fan. As soon as the sun rose I was ready to leave, except we had a major problem: there was no way out.

I hadn’t seen a taxi or rickshaw since we had been dropped off at the hotel.  With the train station several miles away there was no way we were going to hoof it, let alone with our lack of sleep.  Oh, and there was that blazing sun focused on us the way a boy burns ants with a magnifying glass.  Realizing our predicament I did what I do in these situations: send the wife to handle it.

It’s how we roll.  Arriving at the train station in style.

With low expectations of LOCAVORista hitching a ride, even as a blonde by the side of an Indian road, I asked the hotel owner where to get a rickshaw while settling the bill.  She responded that it would be very hard, then something outside the window caught her attention.  She started laughing and said: rickshaw, no…does she have a camel? Befuddled I turned around to see LOCAVORista impatiently staring at me from a camel cart.  Laughing I got on, realizing that this was a moment I’d never forget: when I asked my wife to get a taxi and she brought me a camel.


We had just arrived in the small village in northern Laos after a long, hot hike.  Everyone was gathered around a coffin and we were told there had just been a death in the village.  Immediately feeling a little awkward that we were crashing a funeral we headed upstairs to put our bags down.  We came back down to check in with our guide and determine the appropriate etiquette in a situation like this.  Our guide was drinking the local firewater with a group of men and had just been invited to play cards.  Soon we realized that funerals are a way of celebrating the deceased’s life, which meant copious amounts of drinking and gambling.

As the evening wore on and the village men alternated between drinking, gambling and working on decorations for the coffin.  Soon drinking became the only activity and I couldn’t help but notice one of the younger men stealing glances in our direction.  He was an effeminate guy and reminded me of the lady-boys in Thailand.  After a bit of liquid bravado he came over to chat, he didn’t have a lot to say, but he definitely had eyes for thinkCHUA.

Not too long after thinkCHUA’s suitor had come over to talk stare our guide joined us.  He immediately cut to the chase and asked about the relationship status of my “friend”, referring to my husband. I replied that he was not my friend, but my husband and no, he was not available.  He laughed and got up to relay the message to the lady-boy that had been giving thinkCHUA looks all night.  As I put it all together I couldn’t stop laughing.  thinkCHUA may have a laugh about the camel cart in India, but I will never, ever forget about the time he was hit on by a lady boy at a funeral in Laos.

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» Bka :
Sep 23, 2012

Your stories are amazing….I so enjoy living through them vicariously, but still have little interest in experiencing the camel cart and lady boy first hand….love you dad

LOCAVORista Reply:

Dad, the camel cart I can’t recommend, but the lady boy was quite a hoot!

» MomA :
Sep 25, 2012

thinlChua, you know she’s magic or you wouldn’t be in this adventure together!
LOCAVORista, Can we say Metrosexual isn’t the question, it’s how you translate it to a Lao!

Got a kick out of this one!

LOCAVORista Reply:

Mom, explaining anything to this lady boy about my husband not being available was pretty tough as far as translation goes.

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About the Author

thinkCHUA: Photographing and documenting the world on a 3 year round-the-world trip to help future travelers discover new places, travel longer and enjoy the world's great experiences.

About the Author
thinkCHUA: Photographing and documenting the world on a 3 year round-the-world trip to help future travelers discover new places, travel longer and enjoy the world's great experiences.


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