Monday, April 24, 2006

Log/Pic 1 Saigon, Vietnam

So I feel weird doing this, but Punda, my travel buddy for the first part of this around the world trip, made me realize that the best way to keep in touch with everyone was through a blog. I haven't done much yet but had access to a computer so I decided to take advantage.

After a four hour drive from Georgia to Alabama, (arriving 5 hours early), I took a plane to Arizona, then another to L.A. I had a four hour wait but met up with Punda, so it seemed like a quick layover.

For those of you who don't know, Punda is really Kevin Mckouen. He was my old roommate and he traveled to Africa with us which is where he received his nickname. We told him it was the Swahili name for engineer, (his profession), but it actually means "jackass." Don't tell him.

At 1:30 am on April 20th, we flew out. 13 1/2 hours later we were in Taipei, Taiwan. Of course it did not go by this quickly and I was extremely restless. I had a selection of movies on demand so I watched four of them-maybe five. I also tried a lot of yoga in the back by the bathrooms. Yes I probably looked like an ass, but I was going insane.

We had the whole day in Taiwan so we took a city bus to town. We planned on checking out the history museum but it was being renovated. We had trouble communicating to get us to a couple more sites we planned to see. We got off at the last stop-an hour later-and just walked around and observed. We ate at a street vendor and did some people-watching. It was fun just to be somewhere else where everything was just different. At the end of the day we got a ride back to the airport by some stranger. We played Hackysac until our four 1/2 hour flight to Saigon.

Once in Vietnam, we took a crappy bus south, then walked to a small family run guest house on the outskirts of the city. It was hot. A constant sweat poured off of me. For several days we walked around the crazy town. There was always a horn blowing and thousands of mopeds. We rode on cyclos (sik-low), similar to rickshaws in other countries. This was the typical dialogue of the cyclo drivers: "where you from? America! Me love America. America number 1. Where you go? I take you there."

Punda and I went to the Saigon Zoo and hand fed bamboo to the elephants. We went to the Vietnam War Remnant Museum and discovered a different story than we were taught in 5th grade history class. The alley we walked down each night to get to our little guest house is awesome, everyone is cooking or selling something. We get stares everywhere we go. We love it.

So far people are great. Yesterday was a day of walking so we felt we really deserved our one hour full-body massage. It cost us $5. Their money is the "dong" so you can imagine the time we have spent joking about this. The first thing I did when I arrived was take out 1,000,000 dong. I have spent about 500,000 of it-30 dollars. We are staying for $6 a night, our meals have been about $1.20 each, and a bus ride is 12 cents. We paid three bucks for our cyclo ride and 60 cents for the times we have ridden on the back of someones moped (available by almost anyone).

This is all for now. I haven't really done much yet. I will try show more and write less for the future log entries, but don't expect the spelling to improve. Miss and love you all-Jungle


Nyani - Tony from Tampa said...

Jungle, hows it hang'n... Tony from Tampa here. Its hot and the JetSki is out! (its the best I can do, i am not in Asia... Just a little jealous of you guys). Yoga, does that mean you were putting your foot behind your head.... not something i want to picture !!! hang loose !


mzhuby said...

hey lar bear!!!! holy cow, you have done more in one day than many have done in months combined :).... five bucks for a full body massage ,,,uhmmm,,,no comment :)

ohm! peace out lar!

connie$ said...

Dong and FULL body massage! Well I'll be dong gone. Safe travels my adventurous friend. Guess who? P.S. Tony from Tampa when are we going to varoom varoom