Friday, 3 October 2008

Saigon Sights (Hardly...)

Not much to see in Saigon, truth be told. Although myself and The Colonel spent an amusing hour just sitting by the side of the road an witnessing the things these crazy people can cram on a scooter. My two favourites were the bloke with around ten 15' long metal poles sailing through a junction with flagrant disregard for the safety of anyone else on the planet...and the man with two fridges stacked on the back of his Honda Om. Awesome skills, mate.

So...what else did we see? Fuck all. The Reunification Palace was far and away the most dull tour I have ever witnessed. It was supposed to be a kitsch 1960/70s gaff, described in the Rough Guide as "Like the lair of a Bond villain'. My arse. And we were led by a guide personally brainwashed by Uncle Ho himself.

He started his spiel, and went on about how the Vietnamese gloriously defeated the French at Dien Bien Phu. But the comment "when the French had never been beaten" got my goat.

"Erm...excuse me..." (hand held up)
"Yes?" (quizzical, interested look)
"I think you'll find the English beat them way before that...outnumbered at Agincourt?"
"Yes, thank you...and after the first Indochina War, the great..." (less interested look)
"And we beat them pretty soundly at Trafalgar..."
"...thank you, yes....and..." (even less interested, but corrected)
"In fact, all through the Hundred Years War..."

You get my drift. He certainly did. I wandered off to take photos, and an exasperated Colonel left the tour after the guide described a particularly shittily-decorated room in the building as "the best room in the Palace, in my opinion...the best room in the whole world"

This country...

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