Ho Chi Minh City

12 10 2009

DSCN4054It’s been a long day! For a couple of local yocals from the backwaters of Lonnie to a metropolis throbbing with ceaseless life. HCMC boasts more than half the population of Aussie – and most of them ride motor bikes! We have seen them on Getaway, we’ve been told us about them, weve read about them, but nothing could prepare us for the ceaseless streaming motion of these buzzing, beeping, weaving chariots of the streets. With almost no relationship to the indication of traffic lights or the correct side of the street, these machines, often transporting whole families, seem not unlike the coursing flow of blood corpuscles  through veins under the biologists microscope.

This then was our first, ‘in yer face’ look at Asia. Oh yes, we had a few other glimpses on the way, some expected and some not.

DSCN4042We wondered why we couldn’t manage our own seat allocation on-line only to find out the flight number hd been changed and we had been rerouted via Jakarta as well as Kuala Lumper with some unscheduled delays because of changed flights.  The most demoralising thing about being in cattle class is that they make you walk past business class every time they herd you off and on the plane again, and each time their seats look more and more comfortable to the aching numbness of your nether parts.

But back to HCMC! We were picked up at the airport by a friendly local who we identified amongst a veritable sea of waving placards by the factDSCN4045 that the one he was waving had our name on it. After a shower and a half hour lie down we decided to venture out. We found ourselves surprised by how daunting such a simple excursion could be. The culture shock took us by surprise.  Sunday traffic is only light we were told but we found ourselves walking up and down the block arguing as to whether we should risk trying to cross the road at the corner, and so face traffic from several directions at once or cross in the middle where the flow is only two ways but seems more determined to mow us down.

We were just congratulating ourselves on managing the negotiation of our first crossing when disaster stuck, while concentrating on avoiding the traffic hazards we missed the footpath hazard and Maree stumbled turning her foot badly. No OH&S council protection here. Steps are frequently uneven heights and footpaths are a jumble of various surfaces at various angles. Maree came to grief on a curb sized drop running right across our path so it was limp back to the hotel for her.  Some ice from the bar fridge and a bandage from Maree’s thoughtfully prepared first aid kit and we’ll see what he morning brings.

View from our adjacent balcony

View from our adjacent balcony

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2 responses

12 10 2009
alan matthews

Hey you two!
How did you get to take seven weeks??
Anyway, looks great fun,enjoy yourselves and take care.

12 10 2009
Roger and Maree

Great to hear from you Alan. Cant help thinking of you and Dei as we enjoy the balmy heat.

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