When people in vietnam say a journey is ...

Trip Start Jul 09, 2001
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Vietnam  ,
Thursday, September 27, 2001

When people in Vietnam say a journey is going to take 14 hours they REALLY mean it's going to take 17 hours, and you have to stop for breakfast at their relatives place only an hour before you get to your destination.

As you can guess the bus trip was pretty much the usual, all fun and games, with one twist. I went into a chemist before we left Vietnam in apprehension of having to spend the night on a bus, and asked for some sleeping pills. The dude behind the counter sold me a few packs of valium which made the journey flllyyyyyyyy past. I kept on waking up to the odd screaching of the brakes as the driver narrowly avioded death or the loud crowing from some random farm animals, but apart from that it was unusually bearable.
We got into Hue at about 12 midday (instead of 9!!) and decided to set out on a 2 day mission to see as much as possible before we left instead of just wandering around aimlessly and drinking cheap beer. So we checked into our cheap and nasty room for 6 dollers and a free colony of antz dominating the window sill, washed all the stail solidifying sweat off us and then set off the see the Forbiden Purple city with a french couple we had just met (whoes names escape me).

It's quite shocking when you find out how many wars Vietnam has been in! France, China, America... they've had a pretty rough trip and its hasn't been that long since they started to finally get back on there feet... the Forbiden puurple city used to be a massive, well, city. Surrounded by water, and split into a massive array of different living quarters for the rulers and all the people who accompany them. The bits which were still standing after the many wars have had to be refurbished but theres still a huge amount which you have to leave up to your imagination. There's a small scale replica of the place which does give you an idea of how big it was and which helps you get an idea of the scale. It took us a whole afternoon to wander around it, someone who maybe wasnt so fucked from a massive bus journey might have been able to do it quicker. One highlight of the day..... !!!!! I bought a flute!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I've been missing decks a LOT since leaving my music at home and wanted to buy something to be a bit creative on, so I bought this bamboo flute off a guy in one of the little gift shops, he even gave me a lesson on how to get sound out of it. This was to lukes dissmay as he's had to put up on me twanging on this little musical mouth instrument that I bought in Sapa, but I'm sure he'll appreciate the musical genius after a while.... or snap it in a fit or rage.
We found out that the colony of ants was not the only thing we payed for when we got our room! We found a pair of HUGE cockroaches sitting on the wall joined at the butt. Pressumably they were kissing or something but they didnt seperate until they were led outside and twated with a large bit of wood. Then again about an hour later, just before going to sleep another one of the bastards runs along the side of the wall. This time I hit it with the trusty stick to the door end of the room, it kinda looked dead but I poked it to make sure and it scuttered over and behind the bin sitting in the corner of the room. What happened next was quite a shock and not something you want to witness in your bedroom before you sleep. I moved to bin to get to him and remarked to Luke that there was a huge dead shell of a spider in the corner, just as I said that the cockroach ran past it towards me and the fucking thing lept (I mean LEPT!) from the corner and started munching on the cockroach!!!!!!! It was quite funny!!! I was quite intersted so I got the spider in a glass to observe it for a while, he was about as wide as "qwerty" on your keyboard there, and about the same length! After that I took him outside with the cockroach and left them for the rats to finish off. Then went to bed with the mosquito net tucked firmly under the mattress. And luke the same.

Today we had a choice of going on the expensive hotel tour (10 dollers) which was not recommended by a fair few people or this boat tour to go see all the tombs and temples. We almost did the boat thing until we found out you have to pay 5 dollers to get into ANY of the tombs. So we decided to make our own tour. We walked down to see the Ho Chi Minh museaum. Which was closed and looked crap anyway. Then we made the massive trek across and down the river to see one of the Pagodas and a few other small things. The walk down there was harsh in the heat, but funny because luke had his top off and every single person, or group of people that went past, seemed to find this hilarious!!!!! The Pagoda was beatufil and peaceful, apart from this one lady who stalked us the whole time because we made the mistake of enquiring about the price to get a river boat back down to where we started (the walk was bad enough once!) After we finshed wadering around the gardens, tall ornaments and shrines of the pagoda we gave in and payed 20,000 dong each to cruise down the river. Not bad considering she started at 50,000 each, and it was worth it! The we sat on the side of the river, got laughed at by some locals for some reason and saw some guy with a mask on swimming in the river and dragging his boat behind him, the reason for that is still unclear to me though.

We've both feeling quite full at the moment, we just ate a typical Veitnam meal which consisted of a plate of what we thing were eal fillets, a bowl of cabbage soup each, a plate of rice each, another plate of beef, a plate of salad mix stuff, a plate of beans with what might have been chicken, a plate of squid bits with more wierd stuff mixed in, another plate of meat of some description and then 2 bannanas to finish off. We got the large portions and it came to 1 pound each!!!! I just wish I knew what most of it was. It tasted delicious though so thats all that counts.

Thats all for now. This pC keeps blanking out so Im going to post this now before it explodes in my face or something.

Have fun with the routine!
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