Trip Start Feb 10, 2014
16Trip End Mar 08, 2014
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When leaving a place I usually look back and like to reflect on the things I have learned or noticed. The difference between one's homeland (s) are often vast but over time when you get used to the sights, sounds and smell of a place seem to ebb away. So what are the obvious differences? I suppose it depends on your interests somewhat. Architecture shapes a city, so I guess just about everyone is interested in some degree of architecture. My other interest, having been involved in sales and marketing most of my life, is commerce and how this is done.
I mentioned during a previous blog, the oversupply of traders
The buildings blocks in the cities and towns are small and I suppose expensive. For its size they don’t seem to have height restrictions like we do. When walking through the narrow alleys of Hanoi and Saigon you can see right inside the houses which are as wide as two doors (which are usually wide open) The downstairs room often measure no more than 3 x 4 meters and has stairs in one corner and cooking in another, a few chairs or bed/sofa and a TV. This could be a 6 or 8 story building with similar rooms above, I have no idea if different families live on each floor. The designs range from very simple to magnificent as you can in the pictures.
Things are happening at Eddie’s house- As said a million dollar view
The Nicest People
On the 15 of Feb. I wrote a story about a girl I met and invited me for diner and my misconception that this was a bit strange. Before departing I thanked her and said that I had a problem with the fact that she did not allow me to pay for the meal- She answered that as she had invited me that she should be the one to pay but…she continue, if you wish you can contact me and we can have another meal and you can payfor it then.. On entering Saigon I send her a text message . As she was very busy with a monthly report she could not make it. "Call me when you get back from Phu Quoc" she said. Ok Friday night she fronted on her large scooter and zipped me through the city to a very nice place where she recommended having “rice in a clay pot”. An interesting dish prepared in a closed up pot which is later smashed in the middle of the restaurant. Out of the pot appeared a disc shaped crunchy rice ball .The head waiter smashes the pot and flings the disk shaped rice clump across the restaurant several tables away and is caught by the waiter standing next to my table. Very entertaining and it made a very nice meal
The Nicest People part 2
The next day
I had a painting made from a picture I use on face book(me on my BMW R1150GS). A bit vain? Perhaps , but I like it. I collected it from the shop early in the morning but by now time started to run out. The airport is not that far away but it can take up to an hour to get there in a taxi. So there I was waiting at the check-in counter.
I see a man in front of me holding his pasport in his hand-
Pasport !!! SSh&%&&%t
My passport!... the receptionist in my hotel had not hand me back my passport!! . A good thing that since I missed a plane or two I now make sure I always get to an airport early… Best not to panic. I walked back to a nearby cafeteria and sat down quickly thinking about the choice of actions open to me.
1/ Doing a round trip by taxi? , not an option – I would miss my plane.
2/ Put my baggage in storage and take a motorcycle taxi…? I can be back here in an hour and just make it, or perhaps not.
3? I think about motorcycles taxis, then scooters and then … Phuong! I get on my mobile and said hello Phuong it is me, Richard… I really really really, need your help. I told her the story. “Not a problem”, she said, I go to your hotel, pick up your passport and bring it to the airport.
35 minutes later she calls and ask me to walk over to the domestic terminal as scooters are not allowed at the International terminal ramps
Vietnam, a beautiful country with great people, and so easy to make lasting friendships. You should try it one day!
Thanks again Phuong!!