Back to Saigon Again

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The angel on my shoulder started talking to me again, telling me that I had left something back in Hanoi. I didn’t realize what it was until I reached the airport – I had somehow lost my ATM card that morning.

So, I have to say that I’ve had a pretty full experience in Southeast Asia – I’ve done a border crossing, gotten money stolen from me, got ripped off and taken to the wrong hotel on purpose…and now I’ve lost my ATM card. I think I’m prepared for the next trip that I take out here (god willing…).

I was glad to go back to Saigon. While I loved meeting people in Hanoi, it was waaayyy too fucking cold out there. During my stay there, I had to buy a warmer jacket, 2 pairs of gloves, and wear the scarves I bought in Luang Prabang all day and night.

* * * * *

With just $100 USD on me for the next 5 days (including the plane ride back to SF), I took a $10 USD taxi ride into town and found Darrel at the Madam Cuc 184 hostel I reserved for us. It was good to see him again. We went out to get pho with some friends that he met while traveling 5 years back – an Aussie named Chris and his new wife, who happened to be from Vietnam but was a student in Australia. Man! It’s so funny actually being around a white guy-Asian woman couple while traveling (it’s great for me actually – vendors come up to them to sell shit instead of harassing me and Darrel. Everywhere we went with them, we made sure to walk a little bit ahead of them so that they could take the hit for us).

We went around with Chris and his wifey to do tourist stuff like take pictures of buildings and walk around. Not too interesting to me, but it was cool to be around Darrel and them.

My last 3 days in Saigon was mostly us four – plus Darrel’s friend Bobby (who missed his flight and arrived late) – rolling around town together, trying out different foods and getting drinks or what not. On my second day back in Saigon, we took a tour of the mall that Dario and I had visited before so that Darrel could find some clothes and Bobby could find some shot glasses (he collects them from all over the world). Since Bobby was alone and a white boy, I pretended to be his girlfriend in some of the shopping aisles so that the lady vendors wouldn’t stop and harass him – otherwise we couldn’t get anywhere without having to wait for him! At one point in the mall, someone told Darrel that his “white friend” was over to the side shopping. We were dying. “White friend” – yep that’s what he is.

Bobby was really interested in trying all the local fruits, so we got him to buy jackfruit, mangosteen, fresh coconut juice, sugarcane juice with lemons, and a bunch of other shit. He looooved the mangosteen, but the jackfruit was a bit of an acquired taste for him. He liked it though.

 We spent the rest of the day walking around town – going to the same sights that I saw before when I was in Saigon, watching Chris and Bobby – the white guy tourists – taking pictures of everything that we passed by, and trying to find Darrel’s “mythical” pho vendor that was supposed to make the best pho ever. We didn’t find her, but we did stumble upon some great vendors that sold these amazing fried rice cakes with spicy soy sauce. Darrel and I liked it soooo much we got three of them. Later that day we just roamed all over town – to the river, to whatever…by the time that I got back to the hotel I was fucking tired! And hot and sweaty. No matter what time of year it is, Saigon is muggier than a muuuuhhhhggg…

After showering all the sweat off my body, Bobby, Darrel and I went out to grab dinner at a noodle joint around the corner. Darrel really wanted to get a massage, so we went to one spot to get manicures and pedicures (it’s insane how cheap they are out there) and Thai massages – where masseuses walk on your backs and rub the shit out of you. Definitely worth it, plus the women who do them are hella nice. Bobby got a foot massage and a manicure, which was hella funny to watch. He was hella into it. Maybe a little too much…

That evening, Darrel and Bobby met up with a friend that they met traveling a few years back who now works in Saigon, so they pretty much spent the rest of the night talking to him while I sat and watched futbol on the TV screen nearby. They felt bad for making me hangout with them while I had nothing to do, but it wasn’t a big deal for me – that was their reunion.

Sorry this was a boring post. Not much to tell here folks! The highlight of my return to Saigon was probably just hanging out with Darrel and Bobby – they’re a fun(ny) bunch to roam around with.

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Posted: January 30, 2012

Author: Tiffany

Category: Asia, Blog, Vietnam

Tags: , , , ,


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