Wednesday, September 08, 2004

My Vietnamese Memories

Hubby says I should have a lot of things to write about the Vietnam trip, but right now all I can think of is we got a very nice gift from there - diarrheoa. I guess on the positive note, we only had it when we got back. At least it didn't mar the trip there, which was quite nice actually. Ah well, we won't forget this in a hurry.

I think I know what the culprit was. I had been very careful with what I eat and drink, except on the last day ... when I was really thirsty. You know, sometimes you know that you really shouldn't be doing it, but there's a certain recklessness and you just go ahead after all. Let's see, it was in a posh restuarant, in a posh hotel, when I ordered a freshly squeezed orange juice ... and it came with ice. At that point in time, I went ... damn, ice! I shouldn't be taking the ice. But it was too late not to drink it, and it was a waste if I don't. So probably that's why we ended up like that. Before that I was very careful not to take any drinks with ice.

*sigh* ... I'm ashamed to tell Wen who pointedly reminded me not to take any ice or drink any local tap water.


Ho Chi Minh City was a very interesting city. The first thing which struck me as most interesting was the traffic. First of all, everyone was driving on the wrong side of the road. Felt damn strange. Like I'm trying to write with my left hand. And there were lots of motorbikes. At some junctions, there were no traffic lights. So it was free for all when you wanted to cross the junction! Imagine - cars and bikes and people all moving together from left to right, right to left, across the junction, to and fro, blah blah blah. Whew. Very very messy really. It was a wonder no accidents happen! And crossing roads was extremely fun. Hubby's rules: Do not make any sudden movement. (like swing your arms suddenly) ... Apparently the bikes can predict what you were going to doing and try to avoid you. Definitely interesting.

I think the people there were much much more gracious in their driving than all of us put together. Imagine in Spore, if there were no traffic lights at the junction, everyone would be swearing and honking away and refusing to give way. In Vietnam, it seemed that the bigger your vehicle was, the more powerful you were. Bikes went around your car and well, everyone horned all the time too actually. And I suppose everyone drove slower too.

I liked the buildings. There were a lot of buildings of French colonial style. And every building seemed to be haphazedly built. Every building was individual. Kind of reminded me of Spore in the 70s. Where my Grandma used to stay. The place was actually cleaner than expected. They kept their streets clean. Or perhaps it was because we were in the 'orchard rd' area of the city.

to be continued ...

I need to lie down. Apparently not eating at all yesterday is sapping all my energy. How is it that if one does not eat at all for one day, one loses all appetite? duh.

What I liked about the city was that the women wearing the traditional Vietnamese dresses looked really nice. Very elegant. I wanted to shop for one too, but I was too lazy and tired. The weather there was hot, hot and very hot. And we did a lot of walking, and crossing roads, so if we do enter a shop, it was actually just for the air-con. The whole place was very dusty too. Most people there covered themselves from the dust. We didn't have much time to look around though, and I did not have time to read up about the place before we went there, so we didn't visit many places too.

There were many trees there. Along the roads. The parks were nice too, parks in the city. I liked the tress, but the trees didn't really give much shade. And interestingly, every tree was painted white about one metres from the ground. Apparently they were painted white so as to make them more visible at night, proclaimed my hubby.

I didn't do much shopping. The most expensive things we bought were ... ahem ... dvds non-original. heh. The quality were very good too. I couldn't find all the studio ghilbi dvds there, but we got spiderman and a few other nice stuffs.

That's about it, I don't think I want to go back to Vietnam again ... there wasn't really much things to do there. It wasn't really that bad, but I guess it was not really a touristy kind of place. The food was pretty good, and that was because we had someone to bring us around. But other than that, plus being absolutely ill when I came back, it does make one not really keen to return. At least right now, I'm really really not very impressed at all.

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