I was looking through my documents the other day and I found a journal that I wrote when I went on holiday to Vietnam in 2006. I have decided to periodically release the entries as blog post. Here is the first entry.
Well it’s nearly the end of day one and I love this country more and more. It started on Thursday night when we flew out. Well to start sindi was a little late but that’s okay we had plenty of time. Then we went through check in and I realized that you have to wait a long time on flights!! So the flight came and we got into Singapore. I realized that duty-free shopping is awesome! I bought some Dior fragrance and I also bought some wine as a present for Dylan’s parents. Then after a couple of hours we got on the plane and flew into Ho Chi Minh City.
When we got into there it was so busy! Completely different to anything I have seen in my life. Another thing that I noticed when I got outside first was how hot it was! The weather reminded me a lot of living in Kalgoorlie. Then we got to Dylan’s parents house and I got homesick all of a sudden. It came on in a rush and it felt like the floor had been ripped out from underneath me. I felt like I wanted to cry. But then as with all Vietnamese people I will meet in the future of my trip Dylan’s family welcomed me to the country. We sat down at the dinner table upstairs and had some fish and noodles for lunch.
During the lunch proceedings Dylan’s dad brought up a couple of Heinekens and he kept filling up my glass with beer! Vietnamese people drink beer a little differently to people back at home. Rather in Australia where when you order a beer you get the stubbie served to you ice-cold, here you get a glass tankard with a block of ice in it and the beer is served to you at room temperature and you pour it into the tankard. Then after lunch I and the boys went for a ride to Ben Thanh market. I went on the back of a moto and I quickly learned that bikes rule the road in Vietnam. We got a taxi from the airport to Dylan’s house and I think it would have been at least three times faster going on a bike! (There we even a few close shaves riding on them). Then we had a walk through the clothes section and I got hassled quite a bit by different people! But it was all very friendly, it was mainly people touching my arm and saying “You like diesel jeans? I got your size!” but Dylan kept ushering me along through the crowds.
Then we got to the food section of the market and my nostrils filled with all manner of smells, durian, fresh fish, things frying and I realized that this place would be my new Mecca. Then after walking around a little bit more we found a drink stall and sat down and I had a coconut which is basically a whole coconut where they slice the top off and stick a straw in it. So you drink all the coconut milk inside and then you are given a teaspoon where you scrape out the inside membrane of the coconut and eat it. After I had the coconut drink I had a lychee juice in a sandwich bag. Both of those were absolutely delicious and only about 2 dollars for both of them. Then we went to the seafood section where quite a bit of it was unrecognizable but all of it was really fresh, so fresh that the eels were still wriggling around. So we bought a couple of things from there but more on that later. I love this place.