Not Least

Hanoi is just like Hoi An if it had been picked up and dumped in Saigon. Nice to look at but difficult to see. We're not exploring too much yet as we're catching a train to Sapa tomorrow evening anyway. We got a cheap room just for the night. $8 (between us) gets us quite a large room with tv and a really great fridge. We're currently trying to use this to make Froghurt but it's slow going. Our bathroom however is not so much of a bargain. There's a shower nozzle but no shower so you just treat the whole bathroom as your oversized novelty shower room and wipe down the toilet seat when you're done. It's great fun getting even the cieling wet!

My main concern right now is charging my iPod but I can't find a decent internet cafe. This really blows me away because we're in the capital city of Vietnam for god's sake. The only two places we've found after lots of asking and walking, are two rival travel agencies of the same name, boasting equally crap computers. At rediculous prices too. I walked out of the first one without paying (claire is still there) because the USB connection was flaky and the computer performance was awful. So i'm at the second place and they sit me down at this computer with a USB cable running from the back. I don't know what version of windows it's using but the RAM metre counts in KBs. It eventually crashes and they move me to another computer running windows xp and front USB ports and i'm really irritated that they directed me away from this corner until I complained.

Anyways, we're off to see good old Uncle Ho tomorrow morning, all shrink wrapped for display. And then we kill a day a hop a train to Lao Cai, followed by a bus to Sapa. We successfully purchased train tickets (overnight sleeper second class) with the help of the two Irish boys we met on the bus to Hoi An. The group comes to five, which will allow us to dominate the poor sixth person we're put with in our second class booth thingy. It's funny, the further from the floor your bed is, the cheaper the price is.

The bus that got us here was rediculous. The suspension was so shot that every pebble on the road felt like we were surfing this massive wave. We were stuck at the back again, so got the worst of the bounce. Cars were flashing us we looked so stupid. We may as well have been bouncing the hydralics, hanging our arms out the window and nodding to bassy beats.

Hopefully this non USB 2 connection (i'm such a snob) will charge my iPod just the same. Still no luck on the DVD burning front. The first place i was at tonight was going to charge me to use the CD burner even if i provided my own CD and did it all unaided. I said forget the burner, and he sat me down at the same computer anyway.

Gargh. I was really looking forward to the technologically savvy capital of Vietnam, but it seems that Saigon takes the cake. Hopefully humble middle of nowhere Sapa will do a better job.