Thursday, September 13, 2012

dishearted with Day One in Ho chi Minh

So we got to the airport and a guy was standing there with a sign with our names on it, we gave him our passports. they told us we would have to get our pictures taken there for the visa, but that never happened. we got our visa's. Met a nice girl whose bags were taken before getting on the plane, full of stuffed animals and presents for a school she was working at.

We paid for an airport taxi instead of dealing with a regular taxi. We prolly over-paid but it's okay for piece of mind. The place we are staying at turned out to be down this alley way and not on a main road.. so we were like.. Wtf.. lol.. and so was our taxi driver!! But we found it and rang the bell and Camille came to answer. It was about 11:30 when we arrived. I messaged her the day before from Bali on Which we had tried to do in Ubud but it didn't work out. Camille is staying in a shared apt accommodation. It's very interesting. No one has locks on their doors. Their rooms are just like a bachelor pad inside, and their is a bathroom on each floor for 2 apts to share. They share 1 medium/small fridge, and a stove top on the counter. Plus the roof has 2 patios that are really incredible. Camille is here on an internship for school in France and so is her friend  Hiba who lives on the same floor. (2 rooms a floor, 6 ppl live here.) Their is a Vietnamese man named Duc and another Vietnamese man (but from America), named Peter. They are all early, to mid 20's, and their is a random older couple around 40 who lives here as well.

We finally got to inflate our therm-a-rests that we've been carting around with us! Exciting stuff!! Her room is on the 4th floor of a spiral staircase. So we are getting a good leg work-out, reminds me of Paris with Liane in May 2011.

 Next day we went out on the town. Walked towards the water. It was a lovely hot day. All we had heard about was how it was rainy season and it just rained allll the time. And it did rain that night, but was done by the time we went out. By 11am we had walked for maybe 20 mins, and we were trying to find a place to get some food. I saw a cafe but didn't say anything cuz I thought we could do better (in my head..) and we kept walking, we stood by the side of the road waiting to see how we would cross 4 lanes of busy traffic with no light or stop signs.. So we were standing at the edge. I had my backpack on, and my red plastic clutch in my hand with the strap around the wrist. Then a motorbike with 2 guys on it pulled up and looked as tho they were stopping, but it was super close to us, so I took a step back and then the guy on the back grabbed my clutch and the driver gunned it!! I held onto that sucker like you wouldn't believe and the damn wrist strap broke. Steph apparently was holding onto me cuz she thought they were trying to grab me! When the strap broke she thought it was my wrist! So they got my purse and drove off. Luckilly I planned for this and had most of my money in my bra :P but I had my bag keys in their too, with my Animation festival Lanyard from my last year of volunteering. haha Balls. Now I'll have to volunteer to get a new lanyard. But I'll be traveling during the festival this year!! Haha Ce la vie I suppose.  So a little shaken up, thinking, did that just seriously happen??

Some trolley drivers (who cart tourists around..) came and helped us cross the street, saying "They gotchyaa" Telling us its the gang, they no work, just want cocaine -while doing needle in vein actions. They told us to go report it. I didn't wanna bother, it wasn't much money, and it's not worth the police's time. They kept trying to get us into their trolleys, but I'm like, I don't have any money!! They just got my wallet, plus the visa stuff, the last thing I wanted was to blow more money.. They were like, we take u around and then we drop you off at hotel and you go in and get money to pay us. They wanted 400,000 for the day. ($20) but we walked away, and promised we'd go straight to the police station. So we're walking, walking, and they are following, following... They stuck a deal for (what I thought was 17,000..but was 70,000...each) So we went  hopped in.. they took us down the road, then down this weird side street, which they never mentioned before so we would have never found it basically. They dropped us off. Pointed to what looked like just another store.. said it was the Police Station. Their was a few cops chilling on bikes texting, our trolly driver said a couple things to them. Then told us we had to go back to the hotel to get a translator... And we asked our trolley driver to just translate for us, since he SAW it happen, and now he's all like, I only know a little bit of english and said he'd be right back, then took off. Cops now giving us blank, "we don't give a shit" stares... So quite frustrated and taken advantage of we just started to walk back to the hotel. which was harder then we thought cuz we got so turned around. We stopped and talked to two English couples walking together, they told us how to get to the water from where we were to find our way back to the hotel. We got to the hotel and walked in and went up to the counter. At this point I'm thoroughly dis-hearted with the Vietnamese.  The clerks at the hotel gave us these weird looks because we weren't staying there, so they didn't want to help us.. I'm starting to tear up at just how F***d uncaring ppl were being, Feeling quite saddened at the compassion of Vietnamese. Steph felt that too and was just like.. "okay.. We would like a train out of Ho Chi Minh". We could barely get the train station website from them, they wanted to book it for us. blah blah.. rar rar. got the website.. then got another website and had the website we were given scratched off.. wtf..

So we got some food nearby, thoroughly starving by now. We ordered rice pourage and some plate of something, It was really not that delicious.. lol.. But we got iced lattes with swirly straws!! So it wasn't so bad haha..

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