Friday, 3 October 2008

Vietnam Rip-Off Pt 1

They're all at it. We got a bus from one bus station to another, only to be bundled off onto another unofficial bus full of locals. Our bags were taken to the back, and then we had 5 guys around us demanding various amounts of money to get us to My Tho on the Mekong Delta. We got away with $15 after bargaining them down, only to be told by a decent chap called Nguyen later on that the fare was $2. Twats! Ah well, it's to be expected. You learn quickly. I tell you what, it was the first time in 25 years I thought I was going to get duffed-up on the back of a bus...

Incidentally, they load allsorts on the buses. An antiquated typewriter, a spinning wheel, and at one point, several lengths of lead pipe and pieces of machinery. As The Colonel put it "they wouldn't allow this on a Fishwick's bus..."

We were a curiosity on the bus, as everywhere. Giggling girls, even old ladies...people trying to touch us. I said "They'd lock you up for this back home" to one group, who just laughed. I spent the journey above my rucksack, another and Nguyen's laptop in my lap, as we'd made room for a woman and her two cute little girls. Spent a pleasant hour talking about life in general. Nguyen imports Heineken, and was impressed/ grateful for the English tourist's capacity for drink. Jolly good show, old boy.

So on we trekked to My Tho, the Colonel lost in his music...I myself content by the hubub of locals chattering, the scream of traffic, and the constant chorus of horns which permeate any road journey in this region. The Delta awaits...

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