1st world taxation for 3rd world service.
And Vancouverites LOVE their city.
Shite! This feels so UNREAL. I have to go back there today!
But I'm NOT there yet (sigh of relief ;-).
The LOUD aerobics (or whatever it is called these days) music in the streets of Sai Gon started at 5 am. The globe is rotating into light.
Grandma exhibits her usual behaviour when I call her. Complaining and shoving the guilt for her miserableness onto innocent parties (NOT me today). NO, life can't be easy at her age but there are people out there who have aged with grace and wisdom.
My mood picks up after doing what I usually do before leaving home and returning to the Gulag. I book a ticket out of the Gulag. This one is intended to get me to a wedding in Salzburg. But the ticket lists Vancouver & Saigon as the flight end points. I'm going the wrong way. WTF?
All part of LIVING life before it's over. What could be more adventurous than a wedding in the middle of a circumnavigation of the globe?
Dance if you want to dance,
Please brother take a chance !
But I still have time for one more excursion.
I'll have a look at that Catholic Church right across the road. Nuboy is getting dangerously close in the TripAdvisor badge count, so I have to do some legwork.
Nothing special really (except that THIS church happens to be in Viet Nam). But I still get some decent pictures out of it.
10:00 TWO hours until check-out? I REALLY have to leave? I have THREE flights already booked that will get me back here, but leaving STILL gets so much harder every single time.
It must be the particular time of day or the pre-Christmas shopping madness (yes, even here), because the 152 bus is PACKED for the first time ever.
|WHAT is THIS? It's NOT vegetable. I'm pretty sure it's ANIMAL.|
|My last glimpse of the Sky over Saigon for a while ;-(|
Still almost 2 hours until lift-off and that is only the first flight. 3.5 hours to Taipei. Then another 3 hours of waiting and 10 hours to Vancouver. Those Vancouver immigration guys better not ask me stupid questions or I'll bite.
The flight from Saigon to Taipei is easily the WORST flight I have ever taken. The crew is unorganized and that food cart by my no-legroom seat at least 7 times before I finally get some food.
There is NO entertainment being offered, besides the movie CARS with no sound and Viet subtitles being displayed on the 10 small cabin screens. Wow, when I was 10 years old, planes at least had hand-out-and-collect headphones and 2 radio channels in the arm rest. Progress? The two and three year old Taiwanese youth behind me are tearing each other to pieces, kicking into the back of my seat every 10 seconds, while their parents are consulting their smart phones. OMG, what a nightmare !
At least Taipei International Airport has smoking lounges. By now I know the location of 3 of them. Which is a good thing, because the walking distance between the A, B, C & D gates is bloody VAST. Conveyor belts only work in one direction and if that happens NOT to be the direction you want to go in, you're WALKING FOR A LONG TIME. 20 USD and 20 HKD get me about 630 units of some currency with Chiang Kai Sheck's picture on it. A 'tall' (why not call it small?) Americano & a stale dry chocolate cookie (YUK) at Starbucks (WHY?) cost me 130 Kai Sheks or whatever they are called (Some later research reveals that they are called New Taiwanese Dollar).
Given the parenting issues witnessed in the plane, the display of Western brand-named, expensive, and useless stuff on display in the airport, the LOUSY Airport WiFi, and the walking issue, I no longer have ANY desire to enter the country of Taiwan proper. Sayonara ! (ok, different country, but you get my meaning)
21:50 Saigon time; 22:50 Taipei time, 6:50 Vancouver time. One our until lift-off. I have an aisle seat in the very back (? row 67) of the plane. There are no screaming toddlers in the gate area yet and I'm still hoping that I'll be able to get a good sleep.
I punch my answers into the immigration machine. Then I answer the questions of the guy in the booth. Another officer catches me right behind that and subjects me to the Canadian Inquisition for 15 minutes. Welcome back to Paranoia Land !
|COLD GRAY DIRTY|
When I arrive at my motel, the dark lot is illuminated by the flashing red & blue lights of FIVE police cruisers.
|not my cops; just a stock photo|
Nothing much has changed. ONE unruly guest and FIVE cop cars show up. Cowards !
I'm paying $897 for 12 nights in my dingy run-down motel. In Vietnam I'd pay less for my beach-front room. Ah well. It's Christmas and I should be in a giving mood !
I hand out the first of two illegally imported packs of Cigarettes to the receptionist. I'm pretty sure it would be bad Karma if I smoked them myself, LOL.