Thursday, 22 October 2015

GOOOD MOOOORNING VIETNAAAAAAAAM ! (A good start to a Thursday)

Here is the VIDEO  CLIP !!!!

I’m wide awake at 4 am again.  Not because the room is in any way not perfect for sleeping. No. It's because there are so many things I could do today and the excitement of being here is blasting my  mind awake this early.

When I step out onto the  deck for my first cigarette at 4:30, the title line just pops into my head.  Given the early hour I don't  shout it quite as loud as Robin Williams but still have  a cock crow 3 times  in return.  SHUT UP, it seems to say, Sunrise is still HOURS away!!!

At 8:30  my receptionist  informs  me that  I  can stay in the Penthouse for the remaining 2 nights and what floors me even more is that he  gives  it to  me  for the same price as the cheap room,  US$ 27 instead of the normal  penthouse US$35.   I am floored. 
When  he mentions  another possible excursion,  I bite the bullet and say “I know that you  will  lose money if  I don’t go another day trip (they  must be working on some kind  of commission basis), but don’t worry,  I will make  it  up to you !!!.     My original plan had been to upgrade to the penthouse for the remaining two nights and on the side ‘pay’ him personally for the free upgrade I already have received for last night, so paying him the excursion commission is actually saving me money.

Mong at the other hotel informs me that the commissions paid to the hotel employee usually range between 5% and 10%. Back at my hotel, I innocently ask him how much an overnight train tour to Sapa would cost me. US 120.  Not bad for 8 hours train in a sleeper compartment there, breakfast, tour guide and equivalent return journey.  I use my  laptop to calculate how many Dongs equal US$12.  Not much really; I've spent more on dinner.

Since I get to keep  the room, it is worth investing in flowers from a street vendor. I stalk one on the bicycle  for a couple of minutes to take some pictures and then pounce on the orange long stemmed ones and some day lilies.  75,000 Dong  the entire thing costs me. 

 Back at the hotel I ask the 'kitchen' for a sharp knife and get to work in my room.  One of my mother's careers was professional flower arranger, maybe I can do it without training.

And I think I can ;-)

The flowers when I just put them in the water

and on move-out day 2 days later

I gain even more respect for the women with the 'scales' carrying system.  The one below is a walking restaurant.  Notice the red stepping stools behind her back that will form the seats and tables. The white dish in front of her that contains things that look like food is actually sitting on an open-flame brazier that is cooking the food as she walks.

sidewalk restauant

These tents erected on the sidewalk seem to house weddings

NIce room ;-)

Back at the hotel, I sit on my deck for a while and realize that this is a very clandestine vantage point for taking pictures of people on the street below.

holy bananas

mystery dish

bread and pastry

This woman is only half as tall as the load of flowers on her bicycle

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