Next, it was a comfortable day bus to Hoi-An where we would be staying for no more than a night and a day. As it turned out however, there would be nothing comfortable about my time there.
As we only had one evening in Hoi-An we were intent on exploring the Old Town, a World Heritage Sight. It turned out to be a collection of quaint boutique shops, lively bars and restaurants that lined narrow, winding alley ways which eventually opened out to the riverfront. It was a pleasant place, but nothing more than that. Unfortunately, the riverfront scene was diminished by the abundance of Vietnamese and Western reps promoting the 'opening night ' of whatever bar they represented , with the promise of free shots and happy hours echoing into the night. It kinda made it hard to enjoy the unique town when you had Joost from Holland hounding you about attending the opening night at the Mr Bean bar down the road,whilst thrusting a picture of Rowan Atkinson in your face.
After a late dinner, we returned home and went to bed. Then it started. An uncomfortable throb came from deep within my stomach as I lay down to rest. Probably just full I thought as I drifted uneasily to sleep. But then it came again. 4 am and the uncomfortable feeling had intensified. Laying there, I analysed the pain. I know what that pain is I thought. But na, it can't be. I lay there for some time but the pain only intensified, so I rose and slowly made my way to the toilet. Na, I thought as I casually bent over the toilet bowl, it can't be. Then it was. Before I knew it a torrent of pure vileness felt as if it was being wrenched from the deepest recesses of my stomach and pulled out through my throat and thrown into the bowl below. Time and time again. Eight in six hours to be exact. Until my stomach contorted, my throat burned and my body sweated with exhaustion. Think Leonardo di Caprio in pretty much every movie he does now.
Melodrama aside, this was not good for practical reasons. We not only had to check out at eleven, we also had a 24 hour bus to catch in the evening. The latter certainly wasn't happening and we hoped to be able to avoid the former. We were left disappointed. There was no more room at the inn. So, with the aid of another girl staying in our room, Alice carried all my things, along with her own, as we were forced to transfer to another hostel. I trudged, feeble and pathetic, behind them, throwing up again as I reached the bottom of the stairs. Soon after I was bundled into a minivan and taken to our new private room which the receptionist, obviously seeing my condition, quickly ushered me into. Then it was just a day of sleeping uneasily, whilst Alice provided me with fizzy drinks, water and sweets. I was glad tui have Alice there. I knew her parents were doctors and that she would be a good nurse. And she was. She saw to everything and even managed to squeeze in a night at the club. Not bad.
The one good thing to come out of all of this was that we were forced to cancel the ridiculously long bus journey to Ho Chi Minh and book a one hour flight instead. After 24 hours of being tired, miserable and irritating, but crucially of not being sick again, we made our way to the airport and eventually took our seats, ready for our last stop in Vietnam.