>>> Or into Hot black Mud <<<
19.02.2007 34 °C
Well I think the day is the 20th of Feb. I sorta lose track of time as things still seem kinda surreal and "Midnight Expressy".
Your never 100% sure that if all the attention you get is because you are truly being welcomed as a foreign guest or being eyed up for plump pickings or simply because they need to keep the jails full
Whatever I hope its not the later, but just paranoid ole me. I really do take my hat off to Mr Michael Pallin and his round the World travels. I try to emulate his style and decorum when I engage in sign lingo etc.......
Like two days ago I set off real early, bout 6.00ish, to hit the coast at a place near Vung Tau. I guess 'Ho Coc' was about 50Km further up the coast.
Anyway I was travelling in some relative style in a VN Taxi that cost about £40 for the whole day complete with driver and a VN family who have been acting I guess as good tour guides and generally being friends and who suggested that this was a very nice beautiful place and well worth the visit especially as they had relatrives right near rthe coast where we could chill out if ness.
So it was relly nice to get out into the real countryside and see the sights and all. We stopped 10.00ish for breakfast at a roadside bar and ate the as usual bowl of steaming Pho. So tasty and very easy to digest, who'd have thought noodles, beef, and freshly chopped herbs for breakkies could be sooo tasty. This then washed down wiith a nice pot of some tea whilst we chatted to owners of cafe and I had to play the game of guess the ages. Me having hair on my arms and legs always causes some amusement.
We finally arrived at their Fathers house in Phu'rÔc Bù'u, ( I think this translates to Southend cica 1786). A pretty poor but lively place. Here we had a dink and I was introduced to their Father who at 72 years of age could only partially see, however, he was a Professor of English, so I then had the most sensible conversation with a VN person for the complete trip to date. Very interesting guy
and some amazing tales to tell me. Very pro Margaret Thatcher and UK and quite disparaging of the whole VN government.
Finally onto the beach and then a glorious few hours lounging by the sea and chillin and swimming etc.
I was told that further up the road was a thermal spring resort well what thery actually said was 'mud streem'. But seriously this was a top quality thermal spring spa complete with packets of very thick mud which you plastered all over and then allowed to dry and then wash off in very relaxing baths.
This you followed with a swim in the thermal pools. I have never swum in natural water so hot must have been around 40+ degrees or hotter. There were warning signs all around not to exeert yourself as the heat can be dangerous.
It was only when you got out and dried off on a sunlounger that you realised how hard your heart and cooling sysytem was working to cope. You felt quite lightheaded and strange and I could see what they were warning you about.
So after a trip back to Fathers house and another quick bite to eat it was back to Saigon in the Taxi.
Oh!!!! when they accidently somehow played a Rap song on their car radio and I stupidly said it was quite nice, (especially as I was heartily sick of VN ballad music), I then had to endure 2hrs of thumping rap groove with the volume turned up to 26 on the richter scale and of course in true Pallin style I had to say how lovely it all was...............
The driver despite having to stop to wash his face to stay awake naturally became the demonic pumped up F1 driver we all love to hate. Music ... another dangerous class A drug really.