Tag Archives: t-shirts

Backpacks and Zacpacks

27 May

Z with his new backpack on the pier of Cat Ba island, Vietnam

A brand new backpack!


One of the reasons for the longish silence I’ve been keeping is that Z’s dad joined us in Vietnam this last weekend.

The boy, it would be fair to say, is overjoyed. They’ve enjoyed quality time in arcades… pavement eateries… Hanoi’s really rather A-list waterpark… Vietnam’s first university, the Temple of Literature… And are currently chilling out on a very pretty beach on Cat Ba island, Halong Bay.

Z’s père arrived bearing gifts. A new backpack (a Deuter Fox 30, with all the functionality of an adult pack but tailored to his small frame). Books and goodies from my parents and my auntie, including E. H. Gombrich’s A Little History of the World. Continue reading

I Heart Cambodia – Part 1

19 Feb

sun starting to set over angkor watZ and I are sitting in pitch blackness on the laterite stairs overlooking the lake of Banteay Kdei, Cambodia, between a sculpted Khmer lion and the light of a Chinese guy’s tripod, some unsightly period before 6am.

Tourist lore dictates that, when experiencing the grandeur of the Khmer god-kings, and the Angkor sights, one sees a sunrise. Holding to the belief that sunrises are best experienced without busloads of fellow travellers, I have picked Banteay Kdei as being less crowded than Ta Prohm.

“You wan’ buy flute?” asks a boy, who is probably in his early teens, for perhaps the fifteenth time.

“No, thank you,” I say, for probably the thirteenth time. “I do not want to buy a flute. I no want flute. Thank you.”

The per capita income in Cambodia is around $2000. When you take the elite out of the equation, it means most people earn very much less than that.

“I make you good price! One dollar!!! For your baby!” Continue reading