My time in Vietnam is slowly but surely coming to a close. I didn’t plan on being here for so long, but then again, what did I plan on? At the moment I am on an organized tour, so the next couple days are pretty well mapped out. The tour involves a lot of boats (the Mekong Delta is a good place to be a riverboat captain, dad. Just sayin’.) and getting shuffled from one touristy place to another, but it’s all part of the experience.
I am glad that I stayed a couple extra days in Saigon to do my own thing and stay in one place for awhile. I was there for a full week, so I had time to get to know restaurants I liked and feel the rhythm of the city. Yesterday, my last day in the city, I lived it up and went to a museum, the zoo, the cinema (I wanted to see Vietnamese cinema but it was a Thai movie with subtitles. Even better! I was pleased that my language skills are still such that I could follow everything and even got (most) of the jokes, of which there are plenty even though it is a ghost movie. But there is always an element of humor in Thai creations, no matter the genre.), found a nice coffee table photo book of Vietnam for my Thai host family, got a massage, and free mojitos because it was lady’s night. Not a bad farewell to the city! It felt like my birthday. Then again, I am always good at finding reason to celebrate.
And I know I will be back in Vietnam. This place speaks to me – I could still see staying here for longer in the future. But for now I am on a set course to Cambodia. I think I will spend at least a week there before moving on to catch up with my Thai host family and friend Anouk. After giving it some thought, I don’t think I will go to Laos this time around. Other travelers say wonderful things about it and that it is a pretty relaxed country with some exceptional cities in the north. I want to go, but at the moment I wouldn’t be able to take the time I want, especially since I want to spend a good month in India. There are daily flights from Bangkok to Goa (with a stopover in BOM Mumbia) that leave at 8:50 pm for $290. I will book something in the next couple weeks.
And now for a couple pictures…
If I were to become a fruit vendor working the streets, I might look something like this. A lady bamboozled me into getting this picture taken and then buying some pineapple, but I think it was worth it.
Of everything that is hawked to tourists here, I think I enjoy the old propaganda posters the most. This one was in a museum. The caption is something like “Nixon owes us a debt of blood” or something like that. Some of these posters can quite creative.
This lady would fit right in at Gasparilla – for her teeth at least. Apparently blackened teeth are a sign of beauty in certain tribe cultures. Girls will start to paint there teeth upon hitting puberty. Smile, poppet!