Back to civilisation
After 5 months of destitution our epic journey across Asia has finally come to an end: it is time to integrate ourselves back into society and once again maintain the appearance of respectable human beings. But this will not come without its difficulties; it will be a challenge to rid ourselves of the sub-human habits we have acquired through backpacking for so long.
Every so often we have to remind ourselves that it is no longer acceptable to pee by the roadside; we are secretly searching for a house fitted with a squat toilet; we still carry toilet paper in our handbag; we have to resist the urge to cut our toenails in public; we are re-learning to use cutlery instead of our hands to eat; we lament the lack of boiling water taps in public areas in which to make instant noodles and coffee at our convenience; we are supressing the urge to carry our plastic coffee flask around in public and to use our hand sanitiser before eating.
But on the positive side we are somewhat relieved not to worry about sharing our bed with fleas, cockroaches or bedbugs; we have a new appreciation for soap, sinks, clean toilet pans, freshly brewed coffee, hygeine and personal space.
Finally, once again we have a fixed abode, long-term employment, dignity, and we are (semi) respectable tax-paying citizens with reasonable standards of hygeine.