A long time ago I mentioned that this hotel used to rent by the hour, as well by the night. We still have to turn customers away that only want the room for an hour. We now offer them a rate for the whole night, but they usually just walk away. Next door to us is a hotel that is a bit larger than us. They still keep up with the practice of renting by the hour, and last night, Mai and I were witness to some of the things that can happen with those kind of customers. A few weeks ago it was a woman with a knife that ran yelling and screaming into the hotel claiming she was going to kill the woman that was cheating with her husband. Of course nobody got hurt and the situation did not last long. The ruckus last night was fun to watch. I again wish I had the presence of mind to take some pictures, but sadly I did not. I am a poor
excuse for a photographer. I never remember to snap those sots that make for a good story.
Healthcare was the topic yesterday, and now lets discuss why you might need it. Firstly there is the traffic. Us bumbling foreigners do not know how to cross the street, let alone drive, yet so many will rent a motorcycle and give it a go. I have heard statistically that foreigners make up a very large percentage of deaths on the road, and I do not doubt it. I sometimes catch myself thinking”damn tourists”, when the overly cautious attempts of
negotiating traffic causes all sorts of mayhem.. It is hard to explain but trust me, trying to drive by the yielding rules of home causes a lot of accidents. Another cause of getting ill here can be the lack of attention to the basic rule “if it is boiled or peeled it is safe to eat”. That is a very good rule to live by when not in the cities. The bacteria in the water is totally alien to us and can cause all sorts of stomach problems.
Then there is the broken bones that can happen anywhere. Everything here has a hard corner or an uneven surface. Tripping is part of everyday life.
Some people worry about the mosquitoes…… I have to tell you that the little buggers cause a hell of an itch. They are mostly tiny and light bodied so very hard to see. They land very gently and have a bite that cannot be felt. But do not fear. Malaria mostly does not exist here. There are old charts and doomsday articles that will scare you senseless, but after talking with a lot of people, and travelling here many times, I can assure you that it is not a problem. I have been told that the malaria mosquito is not within 40 km of the ocean, and some of Vietnam is only 40 km across. There
is also the small chance of contracting Dengue fever. Now that is a real one that I cannot gloss over. I have talked to people who have had it and can confirm that it is not pleasant. Unless you have some serious health issues, you should recover. I think the two most common things that can be caught here are hepatitis and athletes foot. Make sure to have your hep shots before traveling to Asia and you will be fine…… but the athletes foot????? Everybody shares thongs here. Bare feet are a way of life and with it comes transmitted fungus. Also, beach walks, pools of dirty water, and just plain moist sweaty feet can cause irritation.
So, I guess in a nutshell, if you do not drive, use mosquito repellant when in areas that need it, make sure the veggies are washed in boiled water, and watch that the ice is round machine made, you will be fine. Do not worry…… You will be fine.
Now for a plagiarized bit about a landmark here:
Within this building there is a small museum dedicated to Dr. Alexander Yersin. The Pasteur Institute was founded by Dr. Yersin in 1895, and he is probably one of the most respected French man in Vietnam. During his time in Vietnam, he spent four years in the Central Highlands and was the person who recommended that Dalat become a hill station. He was also responsible for the introduction of rubber and quinine producing trees and discovered the microbe that caused the bubonic plague. This institute now performs research and produces vaccines. Within the Nha Trang institute, the office and library of Dr. Yersin are now open to the public and contain a small yet interesting collection of his equipment. The Institute is the large mauve colored building between Tran Phu Boulevard and Pasteur Street. There are two other Pasteur Institutes, one in Ho Chi Minh city and the other in Dalat.