Thursday, 26 July 2007

Good Morning Vietnam!

Yeah I know, anyone who can make a conical hat look that good should be locked up for the sake of the local female population...

A boat selling rambutan ( a fuit that looks like hairy red testicles) on a floating market

Me and Tom thought this looked rude therefore funny, therefore you all need to see it/them

A trap used by the Vietnamese during the war. You kind of just fall in and get spiked a lot

One of the many helicopters used to "stop the spread of communism"

An artists impression of how Tom might look were he a Vietnamese teacher. Above him is a picture of Ho Chi Minh, or Uncle Ho as he's better known

A lot of the boats on the Mekong Delta have the two eyes because superstition states that a monster lives on the bottom, of the lake. If it comes up to attack and sees the two eyes it will think the boat is a friend and will leave peacefully.

So who's already finished the last Harry Potter then? Well, if you have don't tell me what happens because now Tom has finished his in some kind of record time, I will soon be starting said book. We've barely had a word from him in days on coach journeys, I think I may have even seen him shed a tear, although I can't back that up with any actual proof. It was impressive though how on the day of the worldwide release of H.P, you could pick up a dodgy copy on the streets of Ho Chi Minh city for about 100'000 Dong, or about 3 pounds.

We also said goodbye to Nick until we get back to the UK, albeit for a second time in Ho Chi Minh, we'd already had a bit of a leaving party in Sihanoukville on the South coast of Cambodia. It invloved drinking a lot of cocktails, a whole menu's worth in fact. Which could explain why the next day when we said the first goodbye to Nick, it felt like something had crawled inside me and died. But then when we said goodbye for the second time it was Nick's turn as he reckoned he had Dengue fever or something like that (read: manflu). Anyway, if it was Dengue fever, don't expect to see him too soon as there is no known cure for it. His last meaningful action in this world would then have been to get me to take a picture with Tom's camera (so I can't show you the horror at the moment) of them having a big, and slightly wrong goodbye embrace. When I say slightly wrong I mean very wrong, because when I say goodbye embrace I mean the meeting of two beards in a brief "manly" goodbye smooch. I bet Nick slipped him the tongue.

Anyway, enough manlove, back to Vietnam. In Ho Chi Minh we went to see the war tunnels used by Guerilla fighters in that famous war of the 60's and 70's. This was where I discovered that I am a little bit claustrophobic. Not so much that you'd notice but put me in a dark, hot tunnel with just enough room to crawl on hands and knees and I'll look for the exit quicker than you can say "I love the smell of napalm in the morning". We also saw a lot of gruesome looking traps, the worst of all for me personally being one that spikes the armpits after you fall onto it. It probably wasn't the most deadly but come on, spikes through the armpits, it's just not cricket.

After Ho Chi Minh, we went on a 2 day trip to the Mekong Delta, where we stayed on a homestay with a Vietnamese family and helped out a bit on cooking some of the best food I've had whilst travelling. I'm kind of hungry right now so I won't go into detail for my own sake, I don't want to be charged extra for drooling onto the keyboard. It was gooood though. We also rowed a bit on one of the boats we took through the Mekong Delta where I was put to shame by a not quite eldely but old woman who rowed ceaselessly through the inlets we were passing through, while my arms wanted to fall off after less time than they should have. I like to put it down to the fact that she has been doing this all her life, not to the fact that university ruined my physical fitness to the point where I can be out-rowed by a woman who could feasibly have been old enough to be my grandmother.

Now we are in Mui Ne, a small beach town on the south east coast of Vietnam. Yesterday was a good day of doing virtually nothing on a beach so today we had a roam to some large sand dunes around on moto's (scooters essentially). I can now drive a manual, who needs a license anyway?

Seeing Die Hard 4 in a Vietnamese cinema a few days ago was also a worthwhile experience because Die Hard 4 is a brilliant film! I can't think of a fourth film in a franchise that has been as good. Normally, by the time they make it to number 3 it's all gone to hell, let alone 4. Just consider the shite number 3's that Hollywood has put out this year; Spiderman 3, Pirates of the Caribbean 3 and although I haven't seen it, I have heard that Oceans 13 was entirely unecessary for all concerned. Well, if you haven't seen Die Hard 4 do it or Bruce Willis will drive a car through your house.

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