Monday, March 16, 2009

Enough Already

Day 369
I was up at 7 and made a mad dash to the Indian Embassy. It had moved so I had to go a few more blocks further away. Once I was there a rather rude man told me that not only did I have to pay in US dollars (I asked where the closest bank was and he replied on the street) but that it would take 5 business days for it to process. I wouldn't be staying in Saigon that long so I decided to just take care of it in Bangkok.

By the time I got back to the hotel I was a sweaty mess. After showering it was lunch time and the two of us picked a place that both of our books had recommended. We did make the mistake of sitting on the street though. Every two minutes a different person would come up and try to sell us something, there were books, sunglasses (we were both already wearing a pair) and newspapers. We bought a newspaper. There was an English guy sitting at a table behind us and he yelled at his waiter when it was suggested that he keep a better hold on his bag. He then came over and said to Nicole "your a pretty girl." Before she could answer he said "you must be English because you can't take a f*cking compliment, f*ck you!" and stomped back to his table. We both laughed, but it was really strange. A few minutes later he then came over and asked if he could join us as he hadn't spoken English in a while. We declined.

Our activity of the day was a visit to the Reunification Palace. This was a big government building that a tank had driven into in the 1970's. It's hideous 70's decor had been kept as is since then to commemorate Vietnam's reunification, hence the name. I guess I should explain why Vietnam was divided in the first place. Vietnam had been a French colony and when the colonization ended the North and South wanted different types of governments. The north wanted communism. The compromise was to divide the country for 2 or 3 years (I can't remember) while they worked out a compromise. In the meantime the government in South Vietnam asked for help from America to take over North Vietnam.

The building was ugly, apparently the French original had burnt down. We wandered from room to room taking pictures. In the basement there were a few rooms with info on the Vietnam War. I'm getting really sick of this because such a biased opinion is told. I understand that I am in Vietnam, but they really shouldn't act like American just one day decided to bomb the crap out of Vietnam for the fun of it. The last bit was a movie about you can guess what. I wasn't into it and told Nicole that I would meet her back at the hotel.

It only took me about 15 minutes to walk back. When I got there I spent some time on the internet before heading upstairs for a shower. About an hour or so later I realized that Nicole wasn't back yet and that it was pouring down rain. In fact, Nicole didn't come back for another hour and a half and she was soaked through when she did returned. Apparently she had gotten really lost and then stuck in the rain. She had walked way into some suburb and kept getting either no help or bad directions when she asked. Eventually she just got a cab back. Nicole is a country person and finds big busy cities to be a bit overwhelming. She made me promise to never leave her alone again in a big city.

That night for dinner we went to a place that does bbq right at your table. We ordered the goat and wild pig but never figured out which was which. It was all good though. After dinner we found a bar recommended in Nicole's book. It was empty at first and we played several games of connect four. Eventually we ended up meeting a German guy named Michael and another English guy whose name I don't remember. After a few drinks we headed home.

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