Embarrassing yet entertaining. We were on a minibus in Thailand discussing the physics of eggshells, specifically chicken eggshells. Apparently, if you hold an egg in your fist and squeeze, the force is equally distributed and the shell will not break. The minibus stopped and, lo and behold, a snack stand was selling eggs. Always eager to take advantage of a teaching moment, Mr. Fantastic bought an egg and commenced applying pressure on the egg enclosed in his fist. Thai snack sellers looked on with mild curiosity. The next thing we knew, boiled egg innards were splattering the surroundings in a radius of impressive dimensions. Yellow goo was splashed in every direction as by-standers jumped back and began laughing. The ladies behind the snack counter laughed loudly and long. Then they gave us a replacement egg for free. We tried this trick again recently and came to the realization that the egg must be raw- hard boiled eggs do not work!
Roadside rest stop. We were driving out west in the US somewhere desolate when Truly had to go to the bathroom and she could not wait. I was behind the steering wheel and decided to pull over rather than wait who-knows-how-long for an exit that might or might not have facilities. Really decided to get out and take advantage of the opportunity to empty her bladder as well. They got back in and someone closed the door. I pulled away and quickly realized they hadn’t both re-entered the car. Truly was a few hundred feet back, on the narrow strip between the highway and the desert, waving and running after us! I stopped, reversed, and picked up my poor anxious baby. I am so sorry Truly!
Embarrassing yet entertaining part 2. Ok, this was embarrassing at the time but so funny in retrospect. I’d like to tell you it happened to someone else in my family but… it was me. We felt a little self-conscious in Yangon, where it seemed everyone wore long skirts (even the men in their longyi) or pants. I had a large piece of fabric I liked and I would often wear it as a skirt by tying it around my waist. It reached to my ankles, so I was well covered, but my method of tying was not so good. I often had to tighten it during the day as I felt the fabric becoming loose or noticed it dragging a little on the ground. I took to wearing black shorts, kind of like bicycle shorts, under the skirt to tuck the fabric into and to cover me better during frequent public instances of skirt re-tying. Anyhoo, maybe you can see where this is going. I was walking along a typically busy sidewalk and the skirt was beginning to drag behind me. I didn’t notice until I got pulled back by the fabric a little. This was happening because someone had stepped on it, but I ignored the tugging and kept walking. Unfortunately for me, but to the delight of bystanders, the whole thing untied, the fabric was largely behind me on the ground and there I was with my big ol’ white legs naked as the day I was born, and thank goodness for the shorts! The modest locals laughed, especially the group of men playing cards and chewing betel nut leaf. They looked up from their cards, forgot to spit the red betel nut juice for a moment and laughed. I just laughed along and grabbed the fabric as quickly as I could and kept walking, wrapping and tying as I walked along. The whole thing was over in a flash- did I just say flash?!
Traveling west was a great way to go. After losing 24 hours crossing the International Date Line at sea in September 2015, we gained time slowly the rest of the trip. We almost never traveled by air and never crossed time zones by air so we were never jet lagged. I think that gaining time made it easier to make it to trains and busses on time and to get enough sleep. Traveling eastward would mean losing those hours instead. We did not plan it this way, in fact I originally wanted to cross the Atlantic first and continue eastward, but I like how it worked out.
Obama and leap year. I feel lucky to have traveled during Obama’s presidency because people around the world seemed to know and admire him. Also, we scored an extra day of this long vacation because we happened to travel during a leap year!