I've arrived in Vietnam. Originally, my trip was only supposed to be to Vietnam and Australia before I decided to go flat out around the globe. Already I can see that a few weeks here is not going to be enough to understand it. I don't even know the language but I'm trying my best. I've already learned how to say 'nose', heh.
I slipped into Ho Chi Minh City last night and cruised through the motorbike-congested streets in the comfort of a BMW. I felt a bit disoriented being in a whole new country (and a big BMW for that matter). It was similar to China and Thailand's big cities at first but definitely different. (reminds me of the Thai's saying Same Same, But Different)
At my cousins' house I was met by a dozen faces that seemed as curious about me as I was about them. Still completely disoriented, I agreed that sitting down for dinner was probably a good call. I kind of liked the idea that I'd just finished my sixth month of travel, landing in the 19th foreign country and the food was 'comfort' food. Familiar tastes. Delicious food.
Thanks to Laura, I decided to buy a Lonely Planet Vietnam travel guide to help me sort out my plans. I listened to some music for a bit and started to read but I was asleep within an hour. Thailand had obviously left me knackered. In the morning my cousin Mai took me out on the back of a motorbike to have Pho for breakfast. We went off to the camera shop my cousin's run and since then, I've been wandering around District 1, taking in all of the sights, sounds, and smells (durian fruit! pew!) After searching for an hour, I found this internet cafe with 12-inch monitors and grimy keyboards. There are kids playing computer games around me. I wonder, why aren't they in school?
So far, Saigon's a noisy, hectic place with lots of shopping and cheap eats. I'm going to go find myself another ice coffee and maybe figure out how to get up to the North.