I have discovered something that is going to make my life a lot easier. There are alternatives to the local old style bus travel here. Many locals have not used it, so it has been a bit hard getting the information. There are private companies that are offering express bus services to almost all cities. The cost difference is very little. We discovered this while in Quy Nhon. Now that I know, I will never travel via local bus again. It is too tiring and chaotic. On the drive to Quy Nhon, there were chickens onboard. We spent our last day lazing around after a buffet breakfast ant one of the most exclusive hotels. The buffet cost us 2.75 dollars. We met a corporate executive that assumed we were there as investors. I mean….. any westerner in Quy Nhon…. The land of no tourism must be a business man with lots of money to invest. We got some eye opening information about what is in the works and where there are roadblocks, but alas, I am not invested in the Vietnam stock market…. (yet). The bus ride was much more pleasant than the trip out, but still tiring at 4 hours for 220 kilometers. The minibus we rode in was an air-conditioned Mercedes 15 seater with a total of 5 passengers…. Much better. The bus arrived in NhaTrang at 7:15 pm. To late to go home for supper, we headed to the Texas Grill for something to eat. BBQ chicken,,,, mmmm…mmm….good. A common dish at home, but a rarity here. I fear the pressure is back on. I talked with Mai and was informed that there were many decisions to be made. Hopefully my little road trip has got me prepared for the hours to come. I know this place and how complicated things can be when you want things done in a certain way. I did however notice as I rode by in a taxi, that The hotel lobby was being retiled as my instruction. I will see the results when I am finished writing this blog.
A short word about feet and bacteria:
When I was here in 1999, I picked up some kind of bug that affected my feet. After I got home, I would develop a blister on my foot in random spots. I would drain it, thinking nothing of it and the next day it would appear in another location. After months of seeing different doctors baffled by this phenomenon, I found a rookie fresh out of university that simple prescribed me something for athletes foot…. It worked….We never did figure out what it was but it made me aware of something that is very different from home…… People share footwear here. It is traditional and respectful to take ones shoes off at the door. You may proceed bare footed, or you can dawn one of the many slippers you will see there. When people just nip outside for a moment, your shoes might be the first they see so the first they use. It is just the way it is here… you have to try to ignore it. At hotels in the showers, they supply thongs that have probably been worn bu hundreds of different people. Maybe bring your own disposable slippers?? Walking barefoot on the beach, there is a lot of different things that can cause foot irritation. It is a warm moist climate here. Bacteria will flourish. It seems I am yet a victim again…. I have spent the last couple of days walking in wet streets and sometimes flooded ones in my sandals. After the first day my feet started to smell bad. It got very bad in a hurry so I washed and scrubbed both my feet and my sandals to no avail. I think. I can still smell. Something has either in my shoes or in my feet. (I am hoping the shoes) Everything should be OK, but here is a tip to the traveler. Bring some kind of athletes foot cream with you in your bag. Do not be paranoid with walking barefoot or with sandals, millions do it here, just be prepared if you end up with some kind of bacteria or fungus in your footwear, or heaven forbid, your feet.