It Begins…

A month tomorrow, I leave for Vietnam.

I am thoroughly unprepared.

Aside from my plane tickets to Hanoi, a visa (which says i’m travelling with a load of people with improbable names, and probably implicates me in some kind of sex trafficing scheme), and a map of the region made from indestructable(tm) paper, i have basically done none of the huge list of things that i need to get sorted out before i leave.

I would probably have a lot more of them done out of the way, except for one thing. At the moment, it overshadows everything else,  and makes the days and week after it seem but a dim possibility, which i may or may not actually survive to see.

Tomorrow morning, i have (what is probably only the first batch of) my inoculations. I’m not even sure what i’m having altogether to be honest, i was too afraid to ask.  I’m pretty sure i at least need tetanus, hepatitus A and B, typhoid, cholera, japanese encephalitus and rabies. Being needlephobic, what would for most people be a slightly unpleasant but otherwise simply necessary stage of their preparations, is, for me, an event filled with portents of doom. It took an effort of willpower simply to make the appointment, and now i have to actually turn up for it. The horror.

Earlier today i’d hit a kind of plateau of calm about the whole thing, telling myself that i WAS going to do this, there’s no choice in the matter, because if i dont get them i cant go. That i had to keep my eye on the prize, that this is the only thing that can stop me sitting back a month or two from now, and knocking back a cold beer in ha long bay.

Obviously, to the non-needlephobic this seems like lunacy, but this is literally the thing that scares me most about the whole trip. Going to the other side of the world, alone, where i dont speak the language, quite a lot of people are going to try to mug/rip me off, and i have no idea where i’m going or what i’m doing, that doesnt scare me at all. I relish the prospect. But the idea of going to my local doctor so he can poke me with a sharp piece of metal a few times, its shit yourself time. Obviously, its not the poking itself, but the whole “feeling like i’m dying” thing afterwards is what actually scares me.

Its a good job i booked the day off work because i’m clearly not really going to be sleeping tonight.

I’m currently consoling myself with the thought that i actually did achieve something pleasant and positive regarding my trip today.  I’ve been looking for a cheap helmet to take with me when i go, since i’m not taking my £200 shoei, and i dont trust the helmets they sell out there to be anything more than nicely painted papier mache. So i’ve had a look around and found this –

£55 including delivery for a flip-front (breeze on my face when i want it, ability to avoid flies in my teeth when i don’t, woohoo!), with built in sun-visor (or as Aled insists on calling it, the blast shield). For that money, if it gets stolen, or i drop it in the river, or it gets eaten by a rabid dog, who cares…

Shit. Just remembered tomorrow. This is going to be really unpleasant.

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~ by zendog888 on 19/09/2010.

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