My Life - So Far

"Unbounded ambition makes an obscure existence simply impossible for me"
Lucien de Rubempré

Monday, February 15, 2010

Vietnam I

We landed in Ho Chi Minh City with a delay of more than an hour, but the driver who was supposed to pick us up and bring to the hotel was still waiting. When we looked out of the car window we saw hundreds of motorbikes with up to four passengers on it. Actually whole families, with all children. What a contrast to the well-regulated traffic in Singapore! There were no rules, our driver just drove where he though was enough space. Remarkably we never saw an accident, even though I learned that Vietnam has a very high traffic mortality rate. When we arrived at the hotel, the next challenge was crossing the street. The driver told us to just walk slowly without looking at all the motorbikes that were coming towards us like a swarm of bees. If you run, what you naturally would, they would not be able to judge your position, but if you walk very slowly they just pass beside you. But you have to be aware, that they never slow down or even break for you.

As we were hungry we wandered around the neighborhood and then found a food stall where we had a pho soup. This is a Vietnamese beef and rice noodle soup, which is often served with basil, lime, bean sprouts and peppers that you can add by yourself. After dinner we went to the Sheraton Hotel and took the elevator to the Wine bar at the 23rd floor. From there we could see the Chinese New Year parade down on the streets, where millions of people were celebrating. The next day we strolled around the city, tried different kinds of food, had coffee now and then in a street café and enjoyed the warmth. In the evening we had dinner in a thai restaurant, because most locals had closed due to the public holiday, and ultimately we ended up at Gossip Club (79 Tran Hung Dao Street). I never saw a security as tight as there, which can be a bit daunting. You're not even aloud to take pictures with your iPhone. Apart from that the club was pretty good!


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