Friday, 25 November 2011

Vietnam Trip 3 - Friday. Back to Saigon

The trip back to Saigon was characterised by poor timing. My travel bag had been loaded up with beers. That was thoughtful and welcome. However I had been forced to leave with a partially full bladder as I had not been given time to find a toilet. Although I did change, from the minibus that picked me up, onto a larger bus, there was no toilet at the transfer point. Thus I sat for almost 3 hours not daring to drink in case I got desperate.
Funny how so much of travel is dictated around two key things, where will we eat next and where can I next use a toilet.
So with four cans of beer in my bag I was reluctant to consume them in case pitstops were a long way away. Eventually I judged that I must be close to a toilet break, so I opened a can. Almost immediately we stopped and I had the opportunity to relieve myself. Bad timing as there was no time to process the beer, it was still sitting in my stomach when the bus resumed it's journey. I was back where I started with plenty of beer but scared to drink it.
This bus had no opening windows and it was a hot cramped journey. I was sitting directly under a loud speaker which was playing some Vietnamese music. My experience to date of modern Vietnamese music is that it largely consists of sappy love songs. The Vietnamese seem to love it, I could have done without it. I don't like sappy love songs.
Most of this section of the blog was written during the bus trip. The road was bumpy and the tablet a bit cramped to type on. Given that it was also using predictive text most of what I wrote was pure garbage, with strange words and nonsensical sentences. I also had no reading glasses and could barely read what I was typing. I had not packed my bags, they had been packed for me, as part of getting rid of me as soon as possible. I was not sure where my glasses were, or even if they were with me. I did find them later in my larger travel bag that was in the luggage area of the bus.
The bus eventually stopped at the large shopping centre on the outskirts of Saigon that I remembered from the way up. Here it was confusing, I assumed that a minibus would turn up and take me the rest of the way, but the person in charge seemed more intent on getting rid of me. The minibus that did turn up was already crowded, but by waving my ticket around I was able to be squeezed in. The minibus made several stops to let off passengers, the driver kept looking at me and motioning me to get out. I stayed put and kept indicating that he should continue. Eventually we arrived at the bus office, which I recognised from the way up and I did get out.
From there I took a taxi back to the Hotel where I stayed the weekend before. I had called them on route and arranged a room. Glad that I did, I was hot, tired, dirty, stiff and in need of a shower and toilet facilities.
I ate dinner at a pub/restaurant around the corner. It should have been nice pork chops in a sauce. I spoke to the French Chef before he cooked it. It was not memorable.
The Bludger however did not care, he was tired and went to bed.

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