It is 5:30 am and I am still in the sleeper bus. As usual, the little blue pill put me out for 7 hours. I should have probably waited until 10pm, now find myself up with the sunset. The bus we were riding in as made by Daewoo, and I have to tell you it is one impressive beast. It is geared with a 5 speed standard transmission that is the smoothest I have even encountered. The suspension makes deriving over the Vietnamese roads a breeze. And the horn???? Damn the horn!! That is the one thing that I absolutely hate about this place. I have grown accustomed to the constant noise, but the decibel level of the commercial vehicles is ear damaging. Do
make sure that earplugs are packed in your bags. We have just passed an accident on the highway between two large commercial trucks and a minivan. I would guess the minivan causes the accident and here is why. Everybody here drives a vehicle like a motorcycle. There is no yielding and because they are much bigger it is the responsibility of the smaller to get the heck out of the way. The one rule they seem to stick to is that the car will drive in the inside lane at all times and the motorcycles in the curb lane. The problem is that the cars will turn right from the left lanes and the motorcycles left from the right. It causes utter mayhem and I do not know for the life of me why not pull to the right or left to turn. Hey!! I just had a blast from the past. I just saw one of
those old busses that hauled my family to Dalat so many years ago. The bus had a few fixed benches, but mostly consisted of worn olive green military ammunition crates left from the war. The manual shifter next to the driver started as a normal looking thing, however, the shifter ran almost the center of the bus to a transmission at the rear. It was the silliest thing I had ever seen as part of a vehicle. The shifter was so ling that the metal was 4 inches thick by the time it terminated. Driving it was like watching a clock operate. At a certain engine pitch, two helpers would
drop what they were doing and aid in lifting the shifter into fourth gear. They would then hold it as its weight would pull it out of gear if released. This happened many times as we were travelling through mountains. It is now 6 am and the countryside on the way into Saigon s alive and busy. I am approaching Saigon and can actually see a wall of smog ahead. I hope there will be a wind today, it makes Saigon much more pleasant. Nope…… It is
going to be a tough one. We just stopped to let out a few passengers and the smog is quite noticeable. I expect that we will be delivered to the bus drop off within the hour. Then will begin my new Saigon adventure. If you recall, last time I was here I was robbed by ladyboys, and got lost in a remote area where no westerners go. This trip, I am ready for the thieves if they try to strike. I think I will head to the same spot and see if I can get a
photo of these scums for you. Yes, I am getting close. I can see the artificial mountain of Saigon’s theme park ahead. It is their version of Disneyland. I have been there once, and I guess it is OK if you like amusements. What I enjoy about the place is the junk fooda and candy is so different from what we see in our parks.
All in all the sleeper bus is an OK way to travel. If you are a solid sleeper, or have some kind of medication that will but you to sleep, you can save the cost of a hotel and travel this way. The one way ticket cost me 8.00, a bargain. I will be travelling home the same way.
The children here have a very long shhoolday. It is now 6:30 and the bus stops are full of kids making their way to school. It is always a pleasant spectacle to watch, large numbers of happy youngsters all dressed the same making their way to school. Especially impressivr is the convoys of beautiful young men and women all drussed in Dao ai’s on their way to junior and high school.
I am now sitting on a roof top resteurant in the main tourist area. The day is sunny and warm. A breeze has picked up, so the air quality should not be too bad. I have not found a hotel yet. Let that be part of the day’s adventure.