Monday, 10 October 2011

Vietnam - Day 2, Phu Quoc

The hotel breakfast was memorable for what it didn't have on the menu rather than what it did have.
 I ordered the house speciality which was thick noodles a special sauce and various seafod pieces. The waitress came back and apologised that there were no noodles. Phuc took charge and I ended up with a bowl of thin white noodles with squid and prawn. It was quite tasty. The squid had not been prepared to restaurant standards and i pulled out several bits of the cartilage which has the taste and texture of thin clear plastic. But not bad. I am discovering that leaving the cartilage in is standard practice here.
We then went to meet her friend Mau. Mau is acting as interpreter for us. I had met Mua on my last trip, he was pissed at the time and terribly difficult to understand. Things were better this time. Mau was busy so after a coffee we arranged to meet later.

With time on our hands I hired a motorbike - well that is to say that I expressed the need and Phuc organised it. In the process my wallet transferred itself to her pocket. She is very good at doing that but it generally comes back with most of what it started with less the expenses that we incur. I am being lazy, but it is certainly easier to let her handle the money side of things given my limited Vietnamese. This happened on my first trip and in all honesty, despite my poor attempt at humour, she does not siphon off money. I have learnt to trust her. To date there has been no requests for money other than what we would spend on meals drinks and incidentals.
With wheels under us we were free to hit the road and she took me to the Suoi Tranh waterfall that I had been to on my last visit. Today was different. No doubt the company makes a difference, but the last trip it had been insidiously hot, this time it was cooler and it didn't seem such a big walk. At the waterfall at the end Phuc passed all the valuables to me, including my wallet, and made her way into the pool at the bottom of the falls fully clothed. I stripped down to underwear and followed her in. We played in the water, stood under the waterfall and all that time had the place to ourselves. As far as secluded romantic spots go, it doesn't get much better.

On the way back to meet with Mau we visited the Buddhist temple that I had also visited briefly.
The meeting with Mau didn't quite go as I intended as Phuc decided that she needed to dry off, she was still soaked after the swim, and pick up her boy from school. Mau and I talked at length and I gave him some of the messages that I wanted to get across, knowing that these would be retold later.
Phuc returned with her sister, Thu, and the 4 of us went to lunch. My status as a motorbike rider had obviously been established as I was allowed to drive with both Phuc and Thu on the bike, making 3 adults on a scooter. A bit of a challenge as there is a fair bit of mass there, you feel it when leaning into corners or swerving past slower vehicles. We are all alive to tell the tale.
After getting back to the hotel, Phuc prepared to go off to work. I took her to the Restaurant and prepared to spend an evening alone. However she returned a couple of hours later. The restaurant was not busy and she was not needed for the night. So I am pausing here in the narrative. And I got very confused as she then changed and went back to the restaurant. I was instructed to join her later for dinner.
For dinner I shared a hot pot with Phuc and one other waitress Yin (pronounced ing). The pair of them were bobbing up and down between customers which made for a rather fractured meal. The hot pot itself was very nice, no different to what you would get in many places of the world. A portable gas cooker was placed in the centre of the table with a broth of some description in it. Vegetables went into the broth and when boiling thin slices of meat and seafood were also added. To accompany this we had some baby squid char grilled with various accompaniments.
That pretty much ended the day.
The Bludger was tired, full and well content with life.

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