Gran Canaria – Prep for Asia?

18 Nov
Maspalomas Dunes Gran Canaria

Maspalomas Dunes Gran Canaria

After a conference for work in Santa Cruz de la Palma (one of the Canary Islands), I ceased the occasion to stay on a week in the neighbouring island of Gran Canaria. One of my favourite holiday destinations: sun, sea, swimming pool, sipping cocktails, succulent and syeap meals – and some other things beginning with S ;-)

A friend of mine shuttled in for the occasion, we rented a little apartment for the week and the rest happened automatically as usual – it is like being ‘at home’ because we know the place so well, have our habits, the usual places to go – no strain, no pain…

It was a good preparation for Asia – not only because I had lots of time to read my guidebooks lying on the beach or at the pool. It was also a test to see how I’d react to traveling and meeting people. The results were not particularly brilliant… at first. It has to be said that Playa del Ingles is a gay holiday destination, so quite normal that people ‘meet’ (or was it ‘meat’). And with Asia in my head, all of a sudden an Asian guy also appeared on my retina. So what’s the next steps? I did smile to him, when he was leaving the beach I waved goodbye, etc – but actually start talking – noooooo way… (why am I so shy? Anyone any solutions, exercises, proposals?)

As I was traveling with a Chinese friend of mine, the ‘Asian’ (sorry for generalizing) approach seemed to be different and ‘slightly’ more direct. After having phantasised about the guy for a day or two, we walked passed him in the Yumbo shopping centre (the mythical yet ugly institution of Playa del Ingles). My mate was probably sick and tired of all the talking without any action, so he just went over and shook hands saying “Hello, I am so and so” – Is it that easy??? Actually… it is!

Spot the odd one out...

Spot the odd one out...

So all of a sudden I was on holidays with 2 Asian guys. It made me realise once more that Food is very important for Asians (or for these 2 travel companions, I should say). I deduce that from the fact that my Chinese friend had brought noodles, dried fruit and some other food stuff from Belgium! (with plenty of supermarkets around down there, even German, Dutch and British ones). The other challenge was ‘fish’ (I better get myself immunisized before my Asia trip) – as we were on an island surrounded by sea – one had to eat fish (which he got from the Spar supermarket, just like the one in Belgium, but it was more fresh, let’s say). But having the smell and taste for breakfast… that was and will be a little personal challenge… And food comes always first – never try to do anything else with a hungry Asian than EAT (I experienced it at my own expense).

Reading about Vietnam & Laos also made me more aware about these invisible cultural things from Asian (Buddhist) culture. Giving and doing good to each other is a very important thing. So when one of us had a sore back, tiger balm, pills and creams would appear automatically without asking. Wondering about where to travel in Thailand led directly to a couple of addresses provided by the Thai guy… Friends of friends seem to be friends… Something to take on board! (or ?)

Gran Canaria was also a nice occasion to try out my ‘travel gear’. I don’t mean my swimming trunks (see picture) but also the resistance of my mp3 player, picture camera and new netbook (mini laptop) to travel, sand and Asians ;-) I am very happy with my little Acer Aspire 0ne. It is not only cute, but captures all the Wifis in the area, and allows me to write on the go – for 3 hours without a plug. So these are promising perspectives for you – my dearest blog readers ;-)

The other question is though, how often and how much time do I want to spend on my computer, rather than ‘in Asia’…

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