Yesterday I assumed my landlubber status by getting off the boat that had been home for six nights. We jumped aboard a bus for the hour and a half journey into Saigon.
Having been in Saigon in 2002, I was keen to see how much the place had changed. Mr. Woog and I had stayed in one of the “fancier” hotels at the time, and it was considered “fancy” because it had a working lift. The big chain hotels had not yet made their mark on the city. That has now changed. We are staying in a small, neighbourhood hotel in District One. Part of it is stuck in the 90’s, which I kind of like. Big chandeliers were common back then.
But it is within walking distance of a lot of cool places. Yesterday, we went in search of some magical Pho, the traditional Vietnamese soup. We eventually found it. Pho Hoa was a triple storied shop front which was packed full of locals all slurping soup with great gusto. So I did what the locals did, and had myself a noisy and delicious lunch. It was like getting a hug from this inside.
And then we walked home via several unfamiliar streets. I have been in this city for about 24 hours now, and I have gotten lost each and every time I have left the hotel. Now, I would not call myself a novice traveller, but Jesus Christ, girlfriend cannot read a map to save her life.
Last night, Mum opted to have a night in but I felt a bit antsy. I told her I was going out wandering, would have a little dinner, a bit of a mooch around and I would see her soon. She naturally looked alarmed. I thought I would take a couple of bread rolls, and leave little crumbs in my wake AKA Hansel and Gretel style, but I figured that would not work, considering the size of the rat I had seen earlier, sunning itself on the pavement.
I had a lovely meal alone in a small restaurant and was very happy with all of it.
The other thing that I have given up on, besides reading maps, is to maintain any sense of personal style. I only packed two pairs of shorts, one beige knee length nanna shorts which seemed like a good idea at the time, and my “smart” shorts. (Shorts on me never look good, but these were as good as they were going to get.”
The problem with the “smart” shorts is that some brain surgeon from the shop that I bought them from had left the security tag on the. Which was bolted to the crotch. It contains bright red dye so if you attempt to unpick it, it would look like Aunty Flow had come for a visit. Another cruel and unnecessarily treatment of women and I plan to take this up with said retailer on my return. Complete with a change.org petition.
The first person to guess this retailer in the comments gets nothing but my personal praise.
So we have our beige shorts, and for no other reason but compete practicality, the are teamed with a pair of hot pink Adidas runners. I only bought a couple of t-shirts and so they are on hight rotation. A big, faded, floppy black hat, a face free from makeup but featuring the odd tropical zit and a backpack. A picture I do look walking the streets. I occasionally trip on the uneven sidewalks, because I am too busy gazing around and avoiding being knocked out by motorbikes.
Oh and the sweat. The rivulets of rivers raged down my back, by boobs sweated buckets. The less said about the chafe the better and in a new and exciting development, did you know given the right conditions your ass-crack can produce perspiration? Fascinating.
Today I am planning on visiting the bustling Ben Thanh Market to see if I can source a white Pomeranian puppy that Jack has convinced himself that I am getting one for him. From Vietnam…?? (disappointment to commence in 3,2…), I am also going to get a Vietnamese Massage and then just wander around. Here and there, ducking down little allies and eating anything that might cross my path.
Did I mention I love the food here?
And I am aware that I have been rude over the past week or so and have not asked you anything?
What have you been up to?
Sydneysiders, has it stopped raining?
Stay safe Queensland.