Sunday, 3 December 2017

Home Coming: SGN - UIH - HPY

I'm sure you have heard the tune on the radio.  
But you REALLY should WATCH THIS VIDEO.   
It is topic-related, because Half my heart is in Vinh Hoa, oh na na ... LOL
Plus it provides great background music for reading ;-)
As an early riser, I can witness....
... how Saigon changes colours
Time for a Banh Mi Cha Lua and two mini bottles of wine.


Check out and pay for room on 21.


LOVING this city

Boarding pass

Another Banh Mi, this one from the store in the parkade across from the domestic terminal building.  A MUST on any trip through here ;-)

 I sleep through the whole flight and only wake up once the wheels touch the ground.  2 minutes later the plane is angled right across the runway and NOT moving.  Turns out that we landed on a soaked runway and must have slipped a bit at the end while turning around.  The pilot is afraid that hitting it with the jet engines will cause his front wheel to go in the ditch instead of turning the corner.

So now we are waiting for one of those plane pushers to push us back a bit, in order for the plane to be able to taxi on its own again.  It's a looong runway and those pusher things are slow, so I fall asleep again.

When I get to my hotel, Mr. proud Viet Kong is sleeping on his wooden reception bench in his white underwear.   I check in, walk up to my room, and do the same.  After 2 hours I wake up slightly rejuvenated.  Better not sleep more now or I'll be up all night.

Time to hit the town and its Coopmart ;-)

When I get back the hotel, two freshly arrived Frenchies are being boozed up by Reception Man (all they did was try to check in ;-)

It's too early to get wasted and I still have an errant to run.  

remnants of Typhoon Damrey
Over chocolate ice cream & white wine I negotiate the rental of a scooter for the next 18 days.

Back at hotel, the easily predictable happens.

The owner is joined by yours truly, then by the French, and then by a young Canadian teacher couple.  We finish my bottle of wine, the bottle of Viet Medicinal wine, as well as the bottle of Vodka the Canadians have left.  GREAT FUN ! 

But I'm just slightly worried about what I will feel like tomorrow morning.

At 2 am I am briefly convinced that I broke my foot in the worst possible way.  I slip on the wet tiles and slide with the side of my foot violently against the rectangular metal edge of the door jamb.  OUCH.   

4 am.  I don't know HOW I managed NOT to break that bone (especially given the pain and throbbing shooting through there at the time) but I can WALK normally.   Thank you Guardian Angel !

Half of my heart .....
... is in Havana, oh na na
Time to walk to the beach.  My STUPID Panasonic Lumix camera is giving me issues AGAIN.  WHAT is the point of carrying that expensive thing, if at the relevant moment it gives me Zoom or Focus error messages?  Good thing I went through my boxes at Grandma and I'm traveling with also a Canon Digital Elph and a Sony Alpha ;-)  Time to weed out the crap !

The last shot the Lumix will ever take .....
Some mandarins on the way back, leave the broken Lumix, grab the Canon and try that again ..... and whom do I see?  My 70 year old drinking companion of last night returns on his bicycle from his 6 am morning ocean swim.   I keep humming "half of my heart is in Vinh Hoa, oh na na" and I am confident that THIS is the life I really want ;-)
NOT afraid of colours, LOL

Kung Fu on Mars?

By 8:00 I've been to the Coopmart and loaded up on noodle soup (no street food available at 4 am) wine (always good to have ;-), yogurt and other stuff I won't be able to get in my village.   The bill comes to 496,700 DONG !  Almost half a million !  That actually only converts to US$ 22 and I got 2 bottles of wine, cheese, butter, etc etc etc.

By 9:30 I have my scooter.  They have neither my passport or a photocopy thereof.  They know me, so they let me ride off with the motor without leaving security.   This is the life ;-)
It's raining just a little ....
10:30 I've seen Viets transport refrigerators on their scooters. So why am I having problems putting a simple small roller suitcase and a backpack on there in a way so that they don't go flying?  Need practice ;-(

At least I'm smart enough to leave all my luggage at Barbara's and go the gas station FIRST.  No point strapping all that crap to the bike TWICE.


I've made it to Life's a Beach.  I navigated the village street that has turned into a small river.  This is not rain.  This is the end-of-the-world FLOOD.  I'm drenched to my undies despite the plastic poncho I'm wearing.  

The waves at the beach here are as high as I've even seen them.  The SCARY type!  Photographing them is a problem though.  The RAIN along the line of sight utterly confuses the auto-focus system.

More people who are happy to see me.  The waitress mentions that she saw me in Quy Nhon yesterday.  I feel AT HOME here .....

But I can't stay here forever. 27 more kilometers must be driven to get to the real HOME.

Flooding does not describe what I am driving through next.  The world truly is coming to an end.  Half the #1 highway is under water for God's sake.  It gets worse when I turn into the local road.  There are creeks flowing across the road.  One is so surprisingly deep, I almost get stuck right in the middle of it. The situation is insane by any normal standards.

  What do I do?  Maniacal laughter in combination with LOUD singing of Half of my heart is in Vinh Hoa, oh na na. But the worst hits me 200 meters from home. For about 50 meters the water on the road is higher than the floor board of my scooter.  We're talking 30 cms here, LOL.  I can feel my larger backpack, which is stored sideways in front of my feet, being pushed back violently.  I'm ramming my way through the remaining wall of water and I'M HOME.

still pouring.  And is that a LAKE covering most of the yard?

family dinner

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