Well I made it. I am back at home to the cooler temperatures and into the arms of my loving wife. There are only a few guests here at the moment leaving me with some time to do other business that I have been putting off. The day started off pretty good. For some reason I slept until 9 am. It has been a very long time since I was able to sleep so late. It felt good. I stopped to say bye to my buddy Ken and then walked to the local bus terminal. Along the way I stopped in a small Pho Ga restaurant and amazed the students eating lunch there by ordering in Vietnamese. All of a sudden I was the focus of attention for half a dozen curious teenagers wanting to practice their
English skills. It is pretty difficult to wrap your lips around a soup spoon when trying to engage young curious minds. After leaving and crossing to the bus station, I was forced to avoid many small areas of vomit in the street. Odd, but I never thought nothing of it until a young woman ran from the bus terminal and vomited close by. Huh?…. What is that all about I am thinking to myself. The timing was perfect and the 152 bus arrived at the same time as I did. I paid my fifteen cent fare and was told by the driver that I had to pay another fifteen
cents. I am not sure why. Maybe he was charging me for the carry on bag, or maybe he was just old school and charging a foreigner double, but I did not care. I just paid. As before, the bus was able to reach the airport faster than any taxi and I was 3 hours early. No problem…. There was a very big brand new shopping mall across from the airport so I headed that way to kill some time. On the top floor was a Vietnamese version of a
food court. Very impressive.. The fast food pizza shop also offered every kind of beer available. Did I mention before that you gotta love this place? I skipped on the beer and decided to try something that has been nagging at me since I got here. KFC’s are here and offer a large variety of fattening foods such as what we have back home, but one thing they have that I have never seen is a seafood burger. I decided to try it and OMG let me tell you I was amazed… It was GOOD! It was a deep fried patty as
any other chicken or fish sandwich, but it was made from squid, scallops, and perhaps shrimp pressed into a patty. Delicious!! Doners, and seafood burgers are now my two favorite junk foods here. Anyway, back to the airport. I walked past domestic arrivals on my way to check in when a young woman ran into the street and vomited. Hmmmm….this is getting weird. I checked in and upstairs I was forced to walk around two more vomit piles, and then it hit me!! My wife, and two of my nieces also vomit whenever we travel. They all suffer from severe motion sickness and even medication
does not help too much unless it puts them to sleep. People here, and especially women seem to suffer very badly. I have no idea why. Perhaps one of my readers could shed some light on this issue. I had thoughts that maybe they never traveled by vehicle, but they do all the time. My wife is much better than she used to be, but still gets sick sometimes on busses or in cars. Again….. anyways……Ever see fog coming out the air vents in an airplane.. Check out the pics.
I was delayed getting off the plane and was angry to find that the mini bus to Nha Trang was full. I was forced to take a taxi. I shared with two other people in one of the red cabs I always advise people not to use, however, split three ways made it cheaper. The fellow passenger (Hung) was a Vietnamese from Alabama who was here to deal with the H1N1 virus. He is a research scientist that has come up with a cure and is here to deal with the H1N1 crisis that plagues the avian population around this area. Talking to him opened my eyes to how overblown the whole affair is. He himself has not been inoculated and said he would not be. The whole scare is just a media frenzy and there is absolutely nothing to worry about. I hope to see him later today as he was an interesting fellow to talk to. I was a bit concerned about picking up my motorcycle at the airport. I had no claim check, motorcycle papers, or ID. As it turns out, the security of the storage facility was so
addled by a westerner showing up and boldly walking to take a motorcycle away, that I was not challenged. It is evening as I write this and I am happy to be standing in my lobby, enjoying the cool breeze and watching 3 beautiful young women horse playing in front of the hotel. A far cry from the chaos of Saigon. Saigon can be a very fun place, but it can also be frustrating if you want a little peace and calm.
Here are a couple of tips for travelers to Saigon. First, save yourself some time and money. If you are travelling with luggage easy to carry, use the local transit to get the tourist area. The bus is the number 153 and it can be caught towards the far end of the domestic arrivals terminal. Just turn right as you exit the international arrivals and walk to the next terminal that is not too far away. Next, do not worry about your accommodation. There will be people in the street offering to lead you to a well priced room that is off the main streets and much quieter. Do not worry about your security. In the
daylight hours, there will be no problems. Third, use the safe or locker provided by your hotel and only take what you need to use for the day. You will be safe during daylight, but at night if you are unlucky like I was, you may be relieved of your possessions. The odds are pretty small that you will be the target of the pro’s, but it can happen. I happened to me and I am experienced.
Drifter commented yesterday about Vietnamese Face. It is a concept that is very hard for foreigners to understand. I lived with the Chinese for a time and after about 4 years I got it. If nothing else comes up, I will try to address this tomorrow. It will be one of the most difficult concepts that I will ever put into words.