We have successfully organised train tickets to Nha Trang, which we have been pronouncing SO incorrectly that Paul's family member Ngân, whose name we can barely pronounce either, laughed at us for about five minutes. She is lovely and treated us to a fantastic dinner with all the extras: coconut jelly drink stuff and wine drinken sticky rice for dessert. We are disappointed we only met her the night before we are leaving Saigon, and would love to see her again, but we have to keep moving etc.
Our tickets are for the night train, which leaves at 11pm. We went for the air-con soft seat as it was cheaper than the hard and/or soft sleeper. Our ticket tells us we will arrive at 6am in Nha Trang, but we won't count on it. We already checked out of our Saigon guesthouse so as not to pay for the day, and they are kindly holding our packs for us so we didn't have to cart them too and from the Meekong.
Which was fabulous! $7 got us an air/con bus there and back, about eight boats to and from markets and islands and through canals, and a row boat along a smaller canal. And a performance by some musicians, and an introduction to coconut candy, and honey tea and all sorts of great stuff. We tipped our tour guide as he was very friendly and funny and spoke to us about where to go in Vietnam. He was happy.
AND! I rode on the back of Ngân's scooter-mobile all the way to her house. This traffic is insane but I can imagine doing a better job of scootering around myself in Saigon than in Let's-All-Obey-The-Road-Rules-Australia. You kind of take it as it comes, and no-one goes very fast and you beep the Everything-Is-Okay-Horn all the time!
This post is completely out of order but hey, we're busy busy beavers. I am now addicted to coconut candy - we bought some at the workshop on the tour - but am steering clear of banana wine.
The only reason this post is so long is that i'm charging my iPod and i'm only paying 8000vnd and hour. So 11900vnd is equivilant to 1aud so you work it out. I spotted an internet cafe near Ngân's house - away from the tourists - which was only charging 3000 dong per gia, which i assume is hour, but hey, we're tourists. We deserve what we get!
So i've run out of things to report, You'll probably hear it twice more as Claire and Paul are posting as we speak. Or as I type, really.
And to everyone at home, hi! Hope all is well. Please water my Bonsai and feed my cat. Tabby cat, you know the one.
By the way - the gardens here are super manicured bonsai setup. Everything is in pots, and the grass is really special - no-one steps on it. This might interest Stephen . . . so i'll be sure to take photos.
So it's quarter past seven now. We figure we'll head on over to the Train Station at ten. It should be interesting to see how we handle it. We learnt inter-district wandering quickly enough, now we're on to inter . . . province? I think that's it.
Wish us luck!