Husband of 1, father of 2, beer drinker of many, counter of beans
  • Day23

    Tokyo Rocks

    July 7, 2018 in Canada ⋅ 🌧 18 °C

    Final post

    Yesterday we visited our favourite ladies in Hong Kong for breakfast. When we arrived all the tables were occupied, but the head snarky lady handled that for us. Four walking in vs one poor lady sitting at a table for 4, not quite finished with her breakfast. Guess who lost that battle. I don’t know what was said to her but she finished her food in about 5 seconds and scooted out.

    Hong Kong restaurant etiquette lesson #15. It was raining, hard, when we arrived at the restaurant. Three of us had umbrellas (the lone abstainer was the 53 year old male who turns his wet nose up at umbrellas). Do not walk into a restaurant in Hong Kong with a wet, dripping umbrella, unless you want a Cantonese tongue lashing. A stack of long narrow plastic bags are provided at the front for the umbrella to be wrapped in. Don’t be a stupid tourist.

    Our flight from Hong Kong to Tokyo was nice. We were on a new 777 with massive amounts of leg room. I could sit with my legs fully stretched and I still had a good 6 “ more leg room. Approximately 2/3 of that plane was first class/business class seating, so obviously a high revenue route. When we arrived in Tokyo we had to go through further security screening for our connecting flight to Vancouver. It was while we were loading our belongings into the plastic bins the floor started bouncing and rolling under our feet, lasting for about 15 - 20 seconds. Our first, and hopefully last, Tokyo earthquake. We found out a little later it was a 5.9 magnitude quake. I’ve felt a few jolts over the years living in the lower mainland but this was the first one I’ve experienced that has lasted for an extended amount of time. We narrowly missed the Osaka earthquake 3 weeks ago so I guess we were due.

    We were on a Dreamliner again for this leg of the trip. They carry some live tv channels so I was able to watch both World Cup matches, which is a damn nice way to spend some time while flying.

    We were met at YVR by Port Moody’s top Uber driver, Mr. Ken, (in spite of the advertised complimentary beverages being a no show, he still gets 5 stars), who greeted us with the sign pictured below. About 2 weeks too late with that but it’s the thought that counts.
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  • Day22

    Hong Kong Part Deux

    July 6, 2018 in Hong Kong ⋅ ⛅ 31 °C

    Hello Hong Kong. I appreciate you more the second time around.

    Our flight from Ho Chi Minh City was uneventful and we arrived at our hotel in Hong Kong around 4:30 pm. We headed out a little later for dinner and discovered a covered elevated walkway that led us to the closest metro station. Attached to the adjacent shopping centre from our hotel it would have saved us a lot of time and sweat if we had known about it on our first stay.

    We ended up at a Taiwanese restaurant at another shopping centre a couple stops down the line. Food was good, service was great, restaurant was spotlessly clean and packed, and the portions were tiny. We ate about 2/3 of what we would normally eat at a Chinese restaurant for double the cost. We are definitely not in Vietnam anymore.

    After dinner we strolled around some of the main shopping streets for a while before making our way back to our hotel to catch the early soccer game- 10:00 pm here.

    Tomorrow we fly Hong Kong to Tokyo, then Tokyo to Vancouver, departing Hong Kong at 2:30 pm and arriving in Vancouver at 2:45 pm. Must be some kind of new supersonic jet or something.
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  • Day21

    Ho Chi Minh City 4

    July 5, 2018 in Hong Kong ⋅ ⛅ 31 °C

    I headed out early yesterday morning to drop off enough laundry to carry us through to the end of our vacation. Walking in Ho Chi Minh City with a plastic bag stuffed with dirty laundry makes you a very popular person. Suddenly there were a number of individuals who seem to provide laundry services, offering to wash our clothes for “cheap cheap”. I had a specific place in mind to go and stuck to my plan, clutching my plastic bag of funk tighter before someone tried to yank it away. Braeden was up even earlier as he had to register for his courses next year at 4:00 am Vietnam time.

    Yesterday was a bit of a nothing day. We had intended to spend a day during our time in Ho Chi Minh City taking a tour out to the Mekong Delta. That was the plan, but we had reached our saturation point and the thought of driving a couple hours out to the delta, touring around, and then driving back didn’t really appeal to us.

    After a long, lingering breakfast at a bakery, due to the presence of a sudden rain and wind storm, the boys and I headed over to the Reunification Palace for a tour. This was the home/workplace of the President of South Vietnam during the Vietnam War and the site where a North Vietnamese army tank crashed through the gates during the fall of Saigon in April 1975, ending the war. The palace is a huge building, a total of 215,000 sq ft, complete with banquet halls, a bunker, multiple apartments for underlings, and a shooting range complete with pictures of Viet Cong for targets.

    It was interesting enough and we spent a couple hours there, then found a cafe to cool off and have some cold drinks. Prior to receiving our drinks we were offered some cold tea. The tea looked like dish water and tasted of dirt and cigarettes. We found out it was artichoke tea, made with the stalk and leaves, and there are supposedly a number of health benefits to drinking it. I think I’ll stick to my belief that beer, bacon, and butter provide me with all the health benefits I need.

    Dinner was the same as the previous night and just as good, although we went a little crazy and spent about $5 more on food - big spenders we are, but you only live once. Today we fly out to Hong Kong (hello my favourite bitchy waitresses, we’re coming back for a visit!) before heading home on Saturday

    Final thoughts on Vietnam:

    We knew it would be hot and thought we were prepared for it, but nothing can ready you for the humidity here. Vietnam was going through a heat wave when we first arrived so it made for some very uncomfortable days. If I were to come back (unlikely) I would avoid the summer months and visit at a time when touring is more manageable.

    I am glad we came here as it provided us with some eye opening, unforgettable experiences, but I didn’t see or do anything that would draw me back again for a second visit. The Ha Long Bay cruise was very nice and a must do for visitors. Time spent at the beach was the perfect short respite from the heat, noise and general craziness of the city. And the motorcycle tour was a thrilling and worthwhile adventure. Apparently only 5% of visitors to Vietnam ever return, and I understand why. It’s raw, and gritty, and loud, and chaotic - non stop. A worthwhile experience, but for me anyway, once was enough.

    And finally a big shout out to Braeden for his A+ navigation skills in getting us to where we wanted to go, for checking us in online for all our flights, and for filling in all our customs declaration forms. To Keegan for keeping it light, making us laugh, and his nose for good food, and to Nat for planning and booking flights, hotels, cars and excursions. All I had to do was write this silly blog, so I got off easy.
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  • Day20

    Ho Chi Minh City 3

    July 4, 2018 in Vietnam ⋅ ⛅ 32 °C

    Today we slept through our hotel breakfast cutoff time, damn, so we headed over to a nearby French bakery for breakfast. Warm baguettes and croissants - yes please.

    After breakfast we walked over to the Bitexco Tower, now the second tallest building in Ho Chi Minh City, which has an observation deck on it’s 49th floor. Unlike the Space Needle or the CN Tower, there was no wait. We walked in, paid, took our own private elevator up, and had the whole observation deck, consisting of an entire floor with floor to ceiling glass, virtually to ourselves. Fantastic views of the city and outlying areas. I had read that smog can be a problem with the view but I guess yesterday’s downpour helped with that as we could see clear and far.

    After the tower we walked along an adjacent pedestrian thoroughfare, which was very reminiscent of something you would see in Europe, to city hall. Reaching the end of the thoroughfare we stopped, took some shots and moved on, looking for a cool place to stop. This has become our routine: Make our way to a point of interest, 4 iPhone’s are then pulled out and we take the same pictures of said point of interest, look for a place to cool off, and enjoy the a/c and Wi-Fi at whatever coffee house/pub/restaurant/shopping centre we have stopped at. Today we landed at a shopping centre which seemed to cater to a more affluent Japanese clientele. No matter, it was cool and had Wi-Fi. I visited an upscale food retailer to check out the products while Nat and the boys found a Baskin Robins. Somehow the boys managed to down $20 worth of ice cream. Had to remind them we are not affluent Japanese.

    In the food shop they were selling some of the real deal civet coffee. These are the beans that the cat like creature eats, and then some poor bastard follows them around until they defecate, and picks out all the beans which are then roasted (and hopefully washed at some point). Apparently the stomach acid of these animals gives the beans a unique flavour - no shit (pun intended). The coffee beans came in a nice box, contained 1.8 oz of beans and were for sale for the equivalent of about $37. Someone is making money off that and I doubt it’s Mr. Shit Sorter.

    After spending some time at the mall we headed to a waterfront area of the Saigon river. Nice enough area but holy plug your nose and breath through your mouth is that river ever polluted. Amongst all the garbage floating downstream I did see a couple of what looked to be catfish swimming along. How they can survive in that floating, festering garbage dump is one of nature’s true miracles.

    Dinner tonight was middle eastern. I think I should rename this blog “How not to eat Vietnamese food over the course of 16 days in Vietnam”.
    Just to give an idea of the price of meals here (Baskin Robins ice cream not withstanding), our dinner tonight consisted of 4 entrees, a shared large salad, 2 large bottles of beer, 2 pineapple juice, a mango smoothie, and a coke. Our bill came to $30. We’d be eating for even less if we were to eat Vietnamese food.

    Random thoughts:
    We’ve driven in a fair number of vehicles here - taxis, vans, and buses. Every vehicle has had a manual transmission. Of the dozens of drivers we’ve had, every one of them drives with super low revs. Merging onto a highway, it’s zero to 60 in about 90 seconds, changing gears at about 1200 rpm. And they hate downshifting. If they are driving along in 4th or 5th gear, and traffic slows to a speed where you would normally downshift to 2nd, they leave it. The vehicle will be shaking and vibrating and struggling to keep from stalling, but they leave it until they absolutely have to downshift. It’s the strangest thing.

    The number one job here appears to be bored security guard. They all wear uniforms so are easily identifiable and virtually every store has one, and every 20 feet or so of sidewalk space has one. The guards working the sidewalk are there to direct and charge for scooter parking. There are no parking meters or machines of any kind, anywhere. Usually the guards are just sitting on a little plastic chair in the middle of the sidewalk looking bored as hell, playing on their phone, or snoozing.
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  • Day19

    Ho Chi Minh City 2

    July 3, 2018 in Vietnam ⋅ 🌧 32 °C

    We were up fairly early this morning as we were to be picked up at 8:30 am by the ladies from XO Tours for our Saigon City motorbike tour. They arrived at the scheduled time, gave us some quick do’s and dont’s about riding in traffic, and we headed off into rush hour with our plastic buckets affixed to our heads.

    Within 30 seconds we were in the middle of it all with hundreds of scooters ahead of us, hundreds behind us and riding at least 10 abreast. Initially it was scary as hell and thrilling at the same time. To be riding in that kind of traffic with other scooters, and the occasional car/truck/bus at your front, back, and sides mere inches (and quite often a lot less) away was an experience. It actually sounded like being in the middle of a swarm of bees with the buzzing of all the little scooter engines.

    Initially we all had death grips with both hands on the seat rails, hanging on for dear life, except for Nat who had one hand clasped to her driver’s waist and the other firmly bolted to the rail (us boys weren’t allowed to touch the ladies). After a while our confidence grew and we eventually loosened up our grips. Keegan was trying his best to look nonchalant by not hanging onto anything and ended up sliding up the seat and slamming into his driver when she had to brake suddenly. Lesson learned.

    We stopped at several sights where Tai, our excellent tour guide, would explain the significance of each. Of note, we visited the memorial built to commemorate the Buddhist monk who set himself on fire in 1963 to protest the government, of which there is the famous photo:

    And the building where the last helicopter out of Saigon took off from the rooftop in 1975 during the fall of Saigon

    We also stopped at the Saigon Central Post Office, a beautiful French Colonial building, where we met a fascinating character. Mr. Ngo is 88 years old and has been working at the post office for over 70 years as a letter translator, translating letters from Vietnamese to English or French and vice versa. He is the last surviving letter translator in the city. Apparently he officially retired in 1990 but the city asked if he would continue his service, so he still shows up for work everyday, bicycling in from his home.

    We made some other stops as well to sample Vietnamese desserts, fruits, and drinks. All in all a really enjoyable tour and highly recommended.

    After our tour we chilled in our rooms for a while, cooling off yet again from the sticky heat before setting out to another craft beer pub. Several beers and some excellent pub food was enjoyed while we waited out a torrential downpour before heading back to the hotel.

    Dinner tonight was at a French creperie, similar to what you would find in Paris and just as delicious. We are really enjoying the food in Saigon. I guess it’s the heavy French influence but it has all been very good, hotel breakfast not withstanding.

    One annoying habit in this city that we have encountered many times is scooter driving on the sidewalk. Because the sidewalks here are much wider and have the space, many drivers circumnavigate slower traffic by driving on the sidewalk. They will even honk at you if you are in their path. It’s awfully tempting to throw a hip at those bastards as they pass by.
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  • Day18

    Ho Chi Minh City

    July 2, 2018 in Vietnam ⋅ ☀️ 32 °C

    Today started out with a disappointing breakfast at our hotel. I think that’s about the 4th strike against them now. We have done well with our other hotel choices thus far but this one is a bit of a dump. Our experience here certainly hasn’t matched the online pictures and reviews.

    We found a French bakery not too far from our hotel and topped off our minimal breakfast with some baked goods. Not the best croissants I’ve had but decent enough.

    Ho Chi Minh City is much more cosmopolitan than Hanoi, and about 30 years ahead of it in terms of modernization. There is also more of a French influence here. As a pedestrian it is much easier to navigate the streets as the sidewalks and storefronts are generally what you would see in North America or Europe.

    After our second breakfast, we headed to the War Remnants Museum which features a very detailed and graphic look at the Vietnam War. It was of course from a Vietnamese point of view, but it was very sobering and you don’t come out of there feeling very positive about the Americans (unlike now....... wait what?) I found myself wishing I had something visible on me identifying myself as Canadian. I’m sure the Aussie’s in there felt the same.

    The weather today was a little more bearable as it was fairly windy at times, so walking wasn’t as great an issue. After the museum we made a longish trek to a craft beer joint (the Winking Seal - run by Aussies) and enjoyed some good beer and snacks. We asked our bartender how strict they are about the legal age in Vietnam, he said it’s generally ignored, so Keegan joined us with a small sampler sized beer. To add to that, at dinner tonight when we were finishing, the waiter brought us 4 shots of lemongrass flavoured vodka. No questions were asked about Keegan’s age.

    By the time we left the Winking Seal (is spending a good chunk of an afternoon drinking beer with your not of age children considered a bad thing?) it was rush hour and my oh my, the volume of vehicles on the road was something to see. Not volume caused by a traffic jam but just the sheer amount of vehicles on the road. So far we have encountered many more controlled crosswalks here than Hanoi and in spite of the volume, have found it easier to cross.

    Dinner tonight was at a place called Propaganda Vietnamese Bistro which has stellar modern Vietnamese cuisine and a tongue in cheek view of communist propaganda.

    Tomorrow morning we are taking a scooter tour of the city, starting right smack in the middle of rush hour (we ride on the back with lovely young Vietnamese ladies driving). We had to provide our full names to them for insurance purposes. Not sure if that’s a good thing or not.

    A couple things:
    Like a lot of places in the world, World Cup fever has gripped this city. When games are on, in the late evening here, there are tv’s and projection screens set up everywhere, storefronts, alleys, sidewalks. We were walking back from dinner tonight while the Brazil/Mexico game was on and I had no trouble following the action as we walked along.

    Earlier today we passed a shop that caught my eye. Seated on couches in the front area of the shop were probably a dozen young, beautiful Vietnamese woman wearing the same tight, low cut red dress. Further into the shop was a woman cutting a man’s hair. I figured Monday was probably cut and blow day (ba dum tsss)
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  • Day17

    Da Nang 2

    July 1, 2018 in Vietnam ⋅ ☀️ 32 °C

    We had some hours to kill before our flight in the evening so after breakfast we headed out to see Da Nang. It was a little cooler today - only 44 so we were raring to go............. ahem. We took a cab to the Dragon Bridge, so named because it was made to look like a dragon, and walked across the bridge into the city centre area. We were sitting in the shade on the other side having a rest, enjoying the breeze when, unfortunately for Braeden, he had a bird shit on his head (that’s what you get for choosing not to wear a hat - I’m sure it’s a sign of good luck somewhere). A good laugh for the rest of us but if you know Braeden, you know how well bird crap on his head went over with him.

    We found a Baskin Robins nearby and stopped for ice cream and a head wash. We then made our way to a nearby shopping centre for some a/c, and the purchase of a couple shirts for Keegan (no more running out of clothes for him). Sufficiently cooled, we made our way back across another bridge to another shopping centre. This one contained a grocery store that carried seemingly everything, a Superstore type of store but much much smaller. There was a lot of security at the entrance, exits, and roaming the store. I counted at least 7. I don’t know if the Vietnamese have a hot-fingered reputation or not but you weren’t going to get away with taking anything from there. I guess the store owners figure the cost of security out weighs the shrinkage from theft. There was some strange looking stuff in the store, I had a hard time identifying what was inside the packaging, and there was some really odd looking items in the produce section that I couldn’t even begin to guess what they were. I didn’t check the meat section too carefully for fear of seeing something I didn’t want to see. We bought some junk food (cookies and potato chip packaging is pretty universal) and continued walking about the mall. The top floor had a food court so I wanted to have a look at that, and saw something I didn’t expect to see, an ice rink with real ice. Lots of kids racing around on the ice, having fun and staying cool.

    We took a cab back to our hotel to pick up our luggage and then we cabbed it to the airport. We were starving by the time we got there so after we cleared security we checked out our dinner options - Pho, Banh Mi with mystery meat of suspect origins, or Burger King. Guess what we chose. Ugh. Should have had the Banh Mi.

    Our flight was pretty bumpy, our first one this trip with any kind of real turbulence. Our hotel neglected to send a pre-arranged car to pick us up, and now we are in our 3rd different room as the a/c wasn’t working in the previous 2. Not a good start. I blame it all on the bird shit.
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  • Day16

    Da Nang

    June 30, 2018 in Vietnam ⋅ ☀️ 35 °C

    First off, we got our laundry back, all clean, dried, and folded. And, I managed to get a picture of the water buffalo as we left Hoi An today.

    Not too much other action on an obscenely warm day. It was in the upper 40’s with the heat index, so not a whole lot of desire to do too much outdoor activities. We left Hoi An for Da Nang late morning, about 26 km away. The drive between the two cities follows a long stretch of beach with several huge resorts by all the usual suspects - Hyatt, Sheraton, Melia etc...

    We got to our hotel in Da Nang late morning and cooled off in our room for a bit before deciding to risk the weather and see if we could find a place on the beach to relax. We walked along the shore for a distance (warm water on our feet, sauna like breeze - it didn’t exactly have the desired cooling effect) until we stopped at a beachside stand for refreshments. One dollar for a can of cold beer, shade, and a stiff breeze coming off the water did wonders for us. We sat there for a couple hours pondering life, mortality, and the meaning of our existence (uh-huh, the only thing on my mind was drinking my beer fast enough before it got warm) before deciding to trek back to the hotel and the a/c.

    Da Nang is by far the most modern Vietnamese city we have been to. A lot of newer buildings and tree-lined boulevards exist and new construction is going up everywhere. It has, over the past decade or so, built itself up as the tech hub of Vietnam. This is the first area in Vietnam where I’ve seen any type of luxury vehicle. Any automobile is considered a luxury item here. A new imported vehicle is subject to a 70% tax and the larger cities charge a further 15 - 20% registration fee.

    Indian for dinner tonight. Two really good Indian meals here, who would have thought.

    A full day in Da Nang tomorrow before flying to Ho Chi Minh City in the evening.
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  • Day15

    Hoi An 2

    June 29, 2018 in Vietnam ⋅ ⛅ 34 °C

    Beach day. The perfect antidote to the 38 C weather. We went to the beautiful An Bang beach, about 4 km from our hotel. Golden sand, clear water, uncrowded, beer served on the beach, it was almost perfect.

    There were plenty of palapas with beach chairs available for rent. They are governed by employees of the various restaurants lining the beach so you can choose to either pay the daily rate of 100,000 dong (about $5.75) or eat at the restaurant and get the beach chair for “free”. We chose the food route. The food turned out to be nothing more than something to fill our belly’s, totally forgettable, but hey, at least our beach chairs were “free”.

    The water was fantastic, sandy bottom, a gentle slope out, enough wave action to keep us happy, and no jellyfish. Keegan was in it for hours. And there was a stiff breeze coming off the water that kept the temps bearable. It was a nice sweat-free day.

    In the pictures below you’ll notice a round boat, which is a basket boat that fisherman use in the area. The boats are made of woven bamboo, coated in waterproof resin, and are manoeuvred by a single oar in a short back and forth waving motion. We did see a couple of fisherman heading out in their boats until they were hundreds of yards off shore. The paddling doesn’t look like it would be very efficient but seems to work. Apparently when the French arrived in Vietnam they started to levy taxes on everything, including boats. The fisherman, worried about being unable to pay the tax and endangering their livelihood, came up with these basket boats and argued that they were not boats at all but baskets. The French accepted this and they were able to avoid paying the tax.

    Dinner tonight was Italian, which was pretty decent. Pasta was perfectly cooked and tasty, and Keegan scarfed down his pizza, not unusual but he said it was very good. Mexican, Indian, Greek, Italian, American, all on our Vietnam vacation. Shows you where Vietnamese food ranks with us.

    Off to Da Nang tomorrow to overnight before flying out to Ho Chi Minh City the next day.

    A couple stories:
    The other day, driving in from Da Nang to Hoi An after the train, we passed several rice fields lining the road. Standing just off the side of the road, in the shade of a large tree, was a gigantic water buffalo with a woman lounging on her side along it’s back. Today, driving to the beach there was the water buffalo again, this time lying down with a woman lounging on it’s back. On our return from the beach the animal was once again standing, with a woman reclining on top of it. I don’t know if it’s the communal resting spot but it was quite funny to see. I would have taken a picture but that would have meant extricating my fingernails from the front dash of our taxi. There is tailgating, and then there is tailgating Vietnam style.

    During some of our past longer vacations we’ve had need to get our clothes cleaned. We’ve always used a self-serve laundromat, sitting for hours waiting for our clothes to be done. In Vietnam they have laundry services, drop off or pick up. Your laundry is carted away somewhere (the river perhaps? I don’t really want to know) and returns the next day clean, dry, and folded. All for a much lesser cost than any do it yourself laundromat we’ve used. Across from our current hotel, sitting beside a hand made “Laundry” sign, is a little old Vietnamese lady who always waves and smiles at us as we walk by. In need of some clean clothes (particularly Keegan, he’s currently wearing a hoodie and jeans), the boys and I lugged our stinking pile of clothes across the street to this woman. All she had at her disposal was a very old scale to weigh the clothes (you pay by the kg). Not a washer in sight. She weighed ours, told us how much it would be, and said we can pick up tomorrow at 9:00 am. No receipt, no ticket, nothing. I have nothing to show that I dropped off our clothes with her. I trust she’s legit, I mean who would want some sweaty, dirty tourists clothes, but you never know. Money is pretty tight here for a lot of people. I guess we’ll find out tomorrow. Keegan may be in his hoodie for a while.
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  • Day14

    Hoi An

    June 28, 2018 in Vietnam ⋅ ☀️ 33 °C

    We all slept in a bit this morning, I guess we needed to sleep off the stench of yesterday’s train ride. One more item from yesterday. An announcement was made that our train would be late arriving to pick us up in Hue, first in Vietnamese, then English. No idea what was said in Vietnamese but the English announcement was “blah blah blah the train will be late blah blah blah we sincerely apologize for the inconvenience and hope to receive your sympathies”. Hmmm, those would be some misdirected sympathies.

    Our hotel’s breakfast was decent. The highlight of our breakfast is usually the fresh fruit and fruit juice - mango, pineapple, dragon fruit, passion fruit, Vietnamese orange, and that devil fruit, watermelon (I’ll take the word of the others on that one). All the fruit is perfectly ripe and full of flavour - even the bananas taste different (better) here.

    We set out after breakfast to explore Hoi An. Today is the first day since arriving in Vietnam with blue sky and sunshine. Not necessarily a good thing though as we had to do the shade seeking strut - walk quickly through the sun into some shade, pause for a bit, repeat. The last place we did this was in Madrid, where it was also stinking hot. Nat gave up after about an hour or so and returned to our hotel while the boys and I soldiered on. We explored for a while longer before having a break at a local coffee roastery, sitting beside a huge fan while enjoying some iced beverages.

    We’ve noticed a lot more tourists in Hoi An than the other parts of Vietnam we’ve visited. Australians, Europeans, and lots of Chinese. The Chinese tour groups are pretty funny to watch. They all wear the same shirts or hats supplied by the tour company, all of the woman walk with open umbrellas, all of the men have huge DSLR cameras around their necks, and they dutifully follow their guide who carries a long pole with a stuffed animal mounted to the top. They are also the only ones seemingly oblivious to the honking of scooters as they block the roadways to take pictures.

    After our drink break we returned to our hotel and spent the rest of the afternoon lounging by the rooftop pool. The pool is situated mere steps from our room and as we were the only ones there the entire time, it was like having our own private area to enjoy.

    Dinner was Greek and was good, with slightly suffocating service due to an over abundance of eager staff. We then joined the hordes to walk about the old town and view all the lanterns lit up after dark.

    World Cup Football dribble:
    My head is still spinning over Germany’s loss yesterday. What the hell was that? This was not the plan. It was probably those green uni’s they were wearing. Not sure who to cheer for now. Certainly not Brazil and that serial flopper Neymar. England? Never those wankers. Love Messi so maybe if Argentina gets through, but can I cheer for the same team as that idiot Maradona? Or perhaps the ever hungry Suarez and Uruguay?
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