I only bought two items for myself during my holiday in Vietnam.
One was a metal hanger with pins to hang my accessories (okay you don’t really want me to describe this in detail).
And the other was this big bag of balls.
Not just ordinary balls.
But colourful plastic ones!
The moment i spotted its vibrancy on the otherwise dull grey street, my eyes glinted and mouth opened to yelp, “I want!” to Milcah.
“Are you serious?” she asked.
“Yeah! But wait… check how much first…”
I’ve been wanting to buy these plastic balls for ages.
But they cost RM129 for a small bag in Toys R’ Us, which even i thought absurd.
There, they cost 150,000 dong! 30 ringgit!
“Let me hold for you la. You’re so small, can’t even hold properly -_- “
Everyone’s wondering what the hell i’m going to do with them.
Oh c’mon, i could scatter them on a green lawn and take whacky pictures!
i could use them to surprise anybody in their car/office/room!
i could chuck them all into a pool and watch them bob about merrily!
i could pour them into a big box and, urm, sit in it.
The ways you could use these magnificent happy-coloured plastic balls to brighten up any atmosphere is priceless!
“I wouldn’t exactly describe your balls as magnificent…”
Either way, they’d fit in great with these toys.
Being the champion that i am, i almost missed my flight to Saigon cos Milcah checked us out of the hotel and it didn’t occur to me to retrieve my passport (i.e. i forgot -_- and so did they, to return it) till she spurted some passport story while we were shooting down champagne in the taxi.
I stoned, then went, “Shit! My passport!!!”
So i got them to send it over to the airport and tipped the guy even tho he refused it at first for forgetting it in the first place.
Both person’s fault, mostly mine, i figure!
I was just so thankful we didn’t miss our flight out of NothingToDo Land.
When we landed in Ho Chi Minh, MilcahG asked the stewardess, “Are you from Hanoi?”
She shook her head and said, no, Ho Chi Minh.
“Good.” Milcah replied stoutly, “Cos Hanoi sucks. -_- ”
Everyone else around laughed along politely/nervously.
Me: 0_o”” Urm, yeah, she didn’t have much fun there.
Tommy and Edward picked us up from the arrivals and put us on the third floor bedroom (Milcah:”Shit. So many steps!”) of their agency here. It’s a pretty sexy five-storey building they did up with reception and pond downstairs.
We wanted to get a quick nightcap before bed, so we prepared to go out to a bar.
MilcahG asked Edward whether he was going to chicken out. He said he didn’t understand Malaysian slang. Milcah said it’s not Malaysian slang! Edward said he’s Russian and joked, “I really don’t know… chicken out? Is it like pork in?” I giggled cos i got what he meant whereas Milcah went -_- and asked him not to be stupid.
It wasn’t any warmer in the daytime as we walked around the lake today. We totally didn’t bring any warm clothing so we look like loser fashionistas shivering around town.
We chit-chatted and i commented, “Hmm. Hanoi has damn alot of couples hanging out by the lake man!”
MilcahG: It’s Valentine’s Day la!
Me: Oh yeah, forgot!
It’s no surprise that i’m not a big fan of Valentine’s Day.
I don’t mind the giving of little things to friends and wishing and all that, but highly detest the commercialism of it all. (You just have to read through my past years’ archives on Val’s Day and you get the gist.)
I bought a couple of things, and to escape the cold, we headed into Bobby Chinn’s place (though Milcah said Tommy’s gonna scold us for going there) for strained Vietnamese coffee and mojitos.
Was going through his infamous cook book when i looked up to see a wide-eyed gurgling infant being chucked unto MilcahG’s lap.
… I have no clue what impression she gives, that a mum who walked into the restaurant let her baby son be placed there.
At any rate, we began chatting to the mother – Shona, who works for the British Council here – and she gave us some tips on where to go. We’d already pottered about Old Quarters, so we headed down the street to the church where there were some boutiques and cafes.
I think i’ve been spoilt by the ones in Chiang Mai that i’m not impressed by the ones here at all… they all seem overpriced and not up-to-date, and the choices are limited.
And the traffic. Oh God the traffic here is scary. People drive and cross roads so aggresively and there doesn’t seem to be organized right of way at the central roundabout, everyone just GOES when they can!
Milcah’s friend told her that to cross the road, “You just have to cross and they will stop for you.”
At one point, three bikes were already two metres from us and i was going, “Fu…” without even managing to finish my curse whilst the lightning thought of, Okay we’re going to get bloody knocked down by a bike now and i don’t think we’ll die cos they’re not going fast but getting knocked is still NOT cool on holiday! They deftly avoided us as i finished wheezing my, “…ckkk!”
The next few times we crossed roads, Milcah just pulled me along as i walked with my eyes closed.
Anyway, we’ve heard Saigon is much more interesting so we can’t wait to get our asses there.
Our flight is in three hours.
Because it’s holiday season, we couldn’t get normal flights and it takes 32 hours by train.
Ever since the first car ride we had in Hanoi, the only consistent factor that’s been recurring is the honking!
The taxi on the way here was honking every 5 seconds.
And in all honesty (blogging from a guesthouse here) i wouldn’t come back for a holiday again.
True, we’ve only been here for less then a day.
But in that span of time, we’ve been cheated so violently upon that i wouldn’t want to bother anymore!
From street food, to taxi fares (that cost us RM20 for a distance that would normally cost us RM5 in KL), it’s all down to disconcertment the way i see it.
The sole reason people travel outside is to be able to pay less in order to experience new and more things. I don’t see that here.
MilcahG is extremely outspoken and questioned the people at the table next to us how much they were charged upon us having our seafood street food. Despite its sublimity, i cannot justify it worth being RM50.
“We’re being conned left right centre!!!” she cried.
“Yeah man -_-”
We went out drinking and everything closed by midnight so we had to submit defeat and head home.
We called Tommy to tell him we’re arriving in Ho Chi Minh tomorrow night and i grabbed the phone to say, “You’d better make sure we have a damn good time!!!”
Hmm okay besides that, we’ve been having heaps of strokes of good luck cos we almost missed our flight (-_- so what else is new :p) and the only reason we checked in is cos the flight got delayed.
Okay tired. Write more later. Ta.