Mui Ne and Saigon, Where do I even start?
I've been sitting here writing and rewriting this blog but there are no words to describe the madness of this week. We had the absolute time of our lives! I'll try and find a few ....
This was the week when ... We met the most fantastic people, Dan got drunk and had a sex change, we had an amazing all day pool party, Aron fell off an ostrich, Mel was the perfect French man always smoking and drinking, I fell over and near cracked my head open (sober if you please!), Meg got a love letter from a terrifying man who looked like a blood thirsty dentist, Dan threw his shoes in the sea because "they hurt his heart", Aron got stuck in a hole in the ground, we all fell in love with the kebab shop, I had the worst hangover of my entire existence, Becky got her face raped by an amorous Argentinian, I learnt how to salsa, we all shot AK47's, the canadians learnt how to say BIlly Big b******s and so it goes on ....
Dan and I are both so glad we gave Vietnam one last chance and visited Mui Ne, it's become one of the highlights of our trip! When we arrived we found ourselves a little luxury in the form of an amazing seafront hotel that had a swimming pool and were finally starting to feel like Vietnam was worth the effort!
That afternoon we hired a motorbike with the intention of visiting a few local attractions. I say with the intention as we never quite made it. Firstly, we ran out of fuel, and secondly Dan couldn't ride in flip flops so we made a detour to go and buy some shoes. Well, what a saga. It seems that the Vietnamese don't believe in shoes and though we searched high and low we were unsuccessful. After what seemed like hours I found the nearest thing to a shoe, the now infamous "geek sandals." Top marks for originality. They were Jesus sandals, with a small platform heel, probably a favourite with the Russians. In fact, as Dan signed his credibility away and handed over his money the lady actually said "spaciba" (forgive my spelling, my Russian isn't great!) mistaking him for a Russian trend setter! Armed with a new snazzy pair of sandals we rode off into the sunset and spent the night feasting on local seafood.
On the morning of our second day a large group of travellers arrived and we saw a few familiar faces within the clan. There were the two girls from Leeds, Becky and Zoe, that we had met on our airport transfer and a group of canadians, Aron, Meg, Kate and Tyler who had been on one of our horrific bus journeys! We decided it would be nice to meet for drinks that night and before we knew it there were 30 of us getting into a game of ring of fire. I have to say its not my favourite as our experiences of ring of fire out here seem to always involve horrendous dares that end with someone (not dan or I!) being naked. Anyhow, this is how Dan came to be wearing a dress as one of the rules was sex change where you swap clothes with girl/boy to your left. He certainly looked a dream in a stripy, body con, maxi dress! The majority of this evenings events are a blur, probably due to the endless amounts of free shots the bar staff were plying us with! Whilst it may not seem a particularly interesting fact I must mention that Dan lost his flip flops during the course of the evening ... It will make sense soon ....
The next day was somewhat uneventful as we all lounged around the pool feeling sorry for ourselves, nursing our hangovers. Aron discovered the kebab shop which saved the day! I've never tried a kebab in England but I envisage them to be s greasy mistake that happens on a Friday night. These kebabs were like heaven and cured us all within minutes so as you can imagine over the course of the week we became regulars! Later in the afternoon a couple of Leeds boys turned up, Danny and Nathan and we all spent the afternoon having a few beers. Evening came around and as Becky and Zoe were leaving that evening we decided to go for a group meal to wish them bon voyage! As Dan was getting dressed he turned around with a look of horror on his face as he realised the only footwear he owned, after having lost his flip flops were the geek sandals!! Of course I found it hysterical, especially as our new friends were particularly en vogue with their style. Dan was a good sport and plodded around in the sandals with a smile on his face as we all laid into him! We had such a lovely evening, the food was delicious, the company was superb and the drinks were flowing. Dan and Mel decided they were going to go find a club, so we girls left the boys to it and headed back to the hotel.
A few hours later a very, very drunk group of boys rolled up to the hotel. As we let them in, Dan practically fell threw the door announcing that he had thrown the geek sandals into the sea because they, and I quote, "hurt his heart!" Tyler, our Canadian friend managed to get all of this on tape, it was one of the funniest moments. He explained that they had been sitting in the bar and Mel had told Dan repeatedly how horrendous these shoes were and suggested, as a joke, that he should throw them into the sea, so Dan did just that. The bar staff apparently though Dan had lost the plot and asked he and Mel to leave shortly after! As they were both telling the tale, Dan realised he was now completely shoeless! No flip flops, sandals, nothing. He went to bed feeling particularly sad but proud of the fact he had banished the geek sandals to the ocean.
The next morning was painful to say the least. I've never been particularly good at dealing with hangovers and the heat makes them all the more agonising. But, no rest for the wicked. I was up bright and early to head into town to do jobs, whilst Dan buried his head and made a list of hangover cure requests. I seem to remember on this day that it was so hot and I was so hungover that I got so sweaty I had to pretend to some travellers I'd jogged into town, as the walk was not particularly challenging! How embarrassing, walking along with the previous nights gin pouring out of my body! What have I become?!? The main reason for the venture into town was of course, Dan's shoes, or lack there of. With the nearest shop being 10k away it made it impossible for him to go buy any for himself so of course it was down to me. I must admit I was extremely tempted to rebuy the geeks and leave them resting outside the bedroom door as though they had found their way home from the sea to punish him for banishing them there! I was probably still drunk. Anyway, I played the role of dutiful girlfriend and bought some new flip flops, and even splashed out taking him a kebab to cure the hangover! Whether the kebab cured him, or whether he was faking the hangover so he didn't have to go buy shoes, dan miraculously recovered and we took ourselves out to the pool. Mid afternoon we had a round of beers and before we knew it we were having a pool party and collecting all manners of waifs and strays. It was one of my favourite days!
Sadly, the next morning it was time for us to leave our little paradise. The girls had gotten up early to visit the red sand dunes and we were waiting for them at the bus stop as we had decided to all travel to Saigon together. Aron hobbled at about 1mph over the road to us explaining that she could barely move because she had fallen off, of all things, an ostrich!! God love that girl. I wish you could all meet her, she was such fun! Anyway, she had practically paralysed herself falling off an ostrich that you could ride as a tourist attraction! Told you Vietnam was an odd place.
We spent just two days in Saigon doing the usual touristy stuff. On our first night I slipped on a wet floor in the hostel, breaking my toe, brushing my bum and cutting my head quite badly so I was a little out of action for the time we were there. We did visit the Chu Chi Tunnels which was a great day despite the concussion! The site was a complex of tunnels constructed by the Chu chi soldiers that they lived in during the years of the Vietnam war. They were tiny. This is how Aron came to be stuck in a hole in the ground. Having just recoved from the fall I think she was feeling full of life again and decided to try getting into the example cave entrance that was in the ground. Getting in wasn't the problem. Aron is rather gifted in the chest area and unfortunately this led to her being completely wedged into the hole! After laughing hysterically for 10 minutes I think panic set in and the boys had to take an arm each and heave her out. It was so comical. I'll have to get the video for you all! As part of the sightseeing tour, we all got to shoot AK47's which was awesome. I'm sure I looked ridiculous with a huge gun but I felt pretty bad ass. It was a really good day actually and I think everyone really enjoyed themselves. It was nice as we had hired our own private mini bus and tour guide so we got to do everything at our own pace.
The next morning it was time for Dan and I to say farewell to our new friends as we were heading to Cambodia. Those guys saved Vietnam for us and I think we made friends for life!