13 Baht per person for the ~4.5 km as-the-crow-flies distance to the MRT terminus station. As is common in these parts, the bus-fare collector woman tells each and every Westerner where to get off the bus for their respective destination. Another 45 Baht per person to get to Souvarnabhumi Airport. Total cost US$ 1.80 per person.
What to say about the airport? Airports are BORING. Mindbogglingly boring things. As expected, Zu has to show her Viet Visa approval letter to get her boarding pass.
Food at Eat Tion is lousy.
|About as bland as soup made with my Grandmother's old socks|
15 minutes before the scheduled departure, the ground crew of Jetstar Pacific is still UNloading the luggage of the just arrived passengers. Very unlikely we will depart on time. But at least the plane is actually physically there already.
I miss almost the whole flight because I sleep through it. I wake up 5 minutes before the descent commences and curse myself for having left the camera in the overhead compartment (Emergency Exit seat !) because the plane slowly comes down over the endless meanders of the Mekong Delta.
This time it's Germans that complain about having to pay 5000 VND (18 Cents) extra for their outrageously large luggage placed on the floor in the 152 bus. I politely explain to them that they have to pay because their luggage occupies space that could be occupied by another passenger. So'n Quatsch ! is the reply I get. I wish I had earplugs to not have to hear the ensuing conversation among the Germans about all that is WRONG with Vietnam. If Germans don't like the rules and customs of the countries they visit why don't they stay home instead?
|Christmas lights in Sai Gon|
After checking in, I take a quick shower, and we hit the streets. Instant Viet coffee; check. Ruou Vang Trang from the little store across the alley: check. Corkscrew: Waddayamean you lost it already? Let's walk to Coopmart: Corkscrew; check !
By the time we get back to the hotel it's 9 pm and none of us has any energy left to hit the streets again. But the wine is VERY good ;-)
4 am. Let's just call it The Magic Hour, LOL
I admit to having a glass of wine (or was it two?) before calling Grandma. Mut antrinken is the expression in German. Shouldn't really be necessary when calling one's Grandma, but .... It is what it is !
|It must be daytime already ;-)|
Let's go for a walk ;-)
light of gold in the morning
|Zu's FIRST Banh Mi !|
Also note: Big Booty clad in tight vivid fabric !
We're almost back at the hotel, when I notice this gap in the buildings of Bai Vien Street. The gap almost coincides with the position of ...... OMG; I frantically look up and down the street in the hope that what appears to be tragically true may turn into just a brief moment of unfounded fear. But NO, My beloved Mackerel restaurant USED TO BE exactly HERE, where right now I'm staring at the empty lot of a construction site.
|nap time ;-)|
Maybe TOO GOOD because I need another nap....
Time for a walk to complete on of today's REQUIRED errands: 2.5 km to Ga Sai Gon.
Then we see this sign over an Apple computer store. WTF?
I've lost my tieng Viet knowledge? Sua Chua is supposed to mean yogurt (milk sour). We see the same thing again written on the window of another computer store.
Solution to the riddle (I look it up later): Sua chua (identical accents) means BOTH yogurt AND repair. Talk about a difficult language to learn.
|Gotta LOVE these motivational posters|
To deal with the Viet's inability to stand in line (EVERYONE swamps the teller), the train stations have implemented a pull a ticket / wait for your number system, which brings order into the chaos.
I buy tickets to Thap Cham (why does the ticket seller grin when I say that?)
And then it's time to walk those 2.5 km back to the hotel again. My poor feet ;-)
After a short rest, I intend to take a picture of the construction site where my restaurant used to be when I see this other hotel entrance parked full of scooters only 20 meters from the construction site. I make the eating movement to a Viet woman there and she says "5 o-clock". Oh Thank Mackerel. There will be good dinner tonight !"
|The ketchup has GARLIC in it ;-)|
How did Bourdain put it again?
I'm back. Back in Vietnam.
|mackerels (or rather what's left of them)|
Bui Vien Street in all its glory; including you women using too much whitening body wash.
But who cares. I'm here for the FOOD.
|goat breast (?!)|
Two orders of mackerel with Japanese sauce, 2 orders of French fries, and one order of Goat breast (which we couldn't finish) later, we stumble back to the hotel with full happy bellies and tired heads & legs.