Anyone who knows my other half will know how annoyingly good he is at picking up other languages. I, on the other hand, am rubbish.

Within a few weeks of living in Mumbai his Hindi was going from strength to strength. He could count to 100, construct basic sentences and pick up small parts of other peoples conversations. I resorted to sign language!

Needless to say one of the first things he did when arriving in Indonesia was to buy a book of grammar so that he could add ‘Indonesian’ to his growing language repertoire. He only has to hear a word a few times to be able to remember it, but frustratingly for me my brain just doesn’t seem to function in that way.

Ask me to remember a number, or statistic, not a problem. Give me a name or a word to remember and I can guarantee I’ll either forget it or remember only part of the word. I can recall countless times where I’ve been at a work function, just been introduced to someone, and then two minutes later been in a situation where I need to introduce them to one of my colleagues and their name has popped off, disappeared, gone. Very embarrassing.

I’m determined that on this trip I will overcome my mental block with languages and have found a solution using visual images.

Backpacking with a baby SE Asia

Terimah Kasih

‘Thank you’ is my first challenge. Terima kasih (Phonetically: Terry- ma- carsea) is a visual image of Terry Wogan (Terry), his mum (ma) and a child’s car seat (carsea) and I am pleased to say that it’s working. Ten days later and after making more appearances in my mind than he ever did on his successful chat show, I no longer have to think of the Irish charmer. The word is finally etched on my mind.

OK so progress is a little slow, but I’m getting there. I am proud to say I can count to 5, say ‘let’s go’, ‘same to you’, ‘boy’, ‘morning’ and ‘goodbye’, which is Sampai jumpa (Phonetically: Sampie jumper). Fireman Sam, with a pie and a woolly jumper.

Backpacking in SE Asia with a baby

Sampai Jumpa

Top tip of the day:
On very hot days a quick dry travel towel doubles up as a buggy liner.  It’s soft, absorbent and very easy to swill out and wash when it gets dirty.