More of the city, and joining the tour

Busy day Dad!

Started the day by checking out of my hotel to go to the hotel the tour was starting from. Fortunately it was right around the corner. Dragging my case, with my back pack and a carrier bag full of bits I was too lazy to squeeze into my case could have been unbearable if it was not only 200m or so! 

Once in the hotel I met the woman I will be sharing a room with on the tour. Her name is Noriko and is from Japan. She lives in the USA and teaches Japanese so her English is very good. She seams lovely, but is a fair amount older then me. 

Noriko had booked a tour for the afternoon so I ventured out to look at a few more sites. First stop was the ‘Ben Thanh Market’. It is literally called ‘tourist market’ where you can buy practically anything! From spices to ‘genuine’ branded goods to a suit taylored in 24 hours. Honestly dad you would have hated it! Too many people and noise, and the products all looked naff. ‘Cheap tat’ as you would say. I mean, a Ralph Lauren shirt was going to cost £2 before bargaining. I left without buying a thing. 

I then walked to the Saigon square, which seemed like a good idea at the time. It didn’t look too far on the map. Forgetting of course one mile in sweltering heat feels more like ten! I arrived at this big open space, it was like a park. In the centre was a group of people. I could not work out it if was a rehearsal, or a game, but there were about 20 of them in a circle banging chopsticks on the ground in a rhythmic tune. Whatever they were doing it was clearly a rain dance, because as soon as they began, it started to rain. To be honest it was really refreshing and made the walk back all the more bearable. 

I got back just in time to meet the group for the tour. It is safe to say I am definitely the baby of the group. Apparently booking a tour through a student company does not necessarily mean younger people. I met 12 people tonight and they are all retired! I have somehow stumbled onto a pensioners trip! One plus is they are all American, Canadian or British, so conversation flowed very easily! – would have been better company for you, so I guess I am sort of in the right place.

We are meeting another ten or so people tomorrow so fingers crossed I may have at least one person my own age.

We got taken to a restaurant for dinner, and I very nearly showed my age. There was a dish called ‘morning glory with garlic’ I was very mature and did not laugh. I was even more mature when one of the women asked what morning glory was. It took a lot of strength not to say what I know it to mean…. 

I had to order it, just to see what it was. It was veggies in garlic. 

Anyway back to the hotel to be told our tour starts at 7:30 tomorrow morning! Before that time we need to check out and have breakfast! Alarm is set. Seriously dad, alarms and wake up calls seem to be more of a constant feature on this trip then I had planned! 

That’s all for now. We join the boat tomorrow, so WiFi may be iffy. 
Night dad x


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