Friday, 3 October 2008

Saigon Arrival

Well, talk about miserable. The people on the Immigration desks are made of stone. Bright green uniforms with the red epaulattes, complete with the Vietnamese star...and a distinct lack of a Vietnamese smile.

On exiting the airport, I saw what people were on about when they said that the Vietnamese just stare. Not in a rude way, just out of curiosity. Now I know how the first black man in Preston felt, bustin' his way down Fishergate in his flares and platforms. Goldfish bowl.

And they certainly have a penchant for two wheels. Saigon is a chaotic, mind-scrambling ballet of scooters. I couldn't believe what I was seeing. How there were no more collisions, I don't know. I saw one rather good-natured accident whilst there...caused by an old lady crossing at an inopportune moment? She smiled and bowed at my "You alright, love?"

If anything, you get pestered even more in Saigon than you do in Bangkok. God help you if you stop for a moment, or open your guidebook. "Taxi?" "Motorcycle?" "Sunglass....five dollar?" Jesus...even if you're wearing a pair. And I lost count of the number of people wanting to swap watches with me.

Anyway, we found a great room for a place. And the best English speaker was a kid who reminded me of the kid from The Goonies, but with glasses. That kid will go far. Mindyou, we had a 'mare tying to wake the little bugger up to open the door so we could get out for a beer...

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