So we still haven’t found a computer to upload our photos and videos from… so sorry! I promise to upload all of the (really good) videos when we find somewhere to do so!

But just a quick update…

Ha Long Bay:
We swam and kayaked among the karst landscaping and in the blue-green warm waters.

Calvin Losing Things:
Calvin lost his watch when we dove (I jumped) off of the roof of the boat into the water.

French Language:
I never thought that I would be speaking so much French.. and not even with locals. There are Francais, Quebecois, Algeriens, et d’autres qui ont en vacances (who were on vacation) en Vietcong.

Baller Hotel Manager:
My skin has been pretty dry despite the humidity and our hotel manager, Rose, drove me on her motorbike to purchase body lotion. She’s awesome.

Met some Quebecois guys – Nicholas and Phillip – both mid-way through school and on vacation, both studying Pharmaceuticals, and one who gave me some advil for my ankle!

Hotel Staff/Lost in Translation:
The hotel staff here is really nice (might I say again) and the younger man (I think around my age) got us a better boat for our tour through asking a favor of a friend (the tourguide) without charging us extra.

The younger woman (also about my age) who doesn’t speak a word of English, and I had some interesting attempted conversations whilst fetching my laundry and she’s given me more free drinks and food than we’re supposed to have.

Driving is a Sport:
The drivers here are insane! They are skilled, have to dodge about hundreds of bikers, and do not in any way abide by lane lines or sides of traffic. They will drive into oncoming traffic if it means getting around a slow driver. The drivers coming from the other direction just drive around you.

Honking is commonplace and I can see why my guide book tells me that “11,000 people die every year on Vietnamese roads, and a further 30,000 are seriously injured.” (Rough Guide to Southeast Asia)

I just dragged our trio to finally have some real Vietnamese food at a local place that was recommended in Rough Guide.

So good. No menu. They bring you bun cha (small barbecued pork burgers served with a bowl of rice noodles and minty greens) and nem cua be (crabmeat spring rolls).

Calvin was pretty confused at first not to have a menu and seemed like a fish out of water… but caught on eventually.


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June 2010