Tag Archives: Saigon

11. The Way to Huế

  1. 01. To The Rescue
  2. 02. Last Minute Minutia
  3. 03. Spiritual Me
  4. 04. A New Approach
  5. 05. Cruising Cambodia
  6. 06. Ox Cart Aerobics and Buddhist Blessing Yoga
  7. 07. My Great Cambodian Depression
  8. 08. A Day on the River Limbo
  9. 09. Lies, Damned Statistics, and Tourism
  10. 10. Saigon Reunification
  11. 11. The Way to Huế
  12. 12. A Hot Time in the Old Town
  13. 13. An Hanoi-ing Experience
  14. 14. Southeast Asian Rescue

I cannot recall ever having bleu cheese on toast for breakfast before, but the Pullman chain is one of the Accor family of hotels, French to its core, the bread and cheese impeccable. Despite a full buffet offering anything I wanted, bleu cheese on toast it was, and it was wonderful.

We struck out for a walk along the Saigon River towards a green splotch on the map labelled as the Botanical Gardens. First we filled our backpacks with about two gallons of bottled water, having discovered that consuming less than a litre per hour each was tantamount to suicide. Off the Doxycycline, I covered myself from stem to stern in DEET in the hopes of avoiding mosquito-borne malaria. Then I bathed in sunblock. I dislike starting the day covered in such crud, but to do otherwise would be asking for trouble. Continue reading 11. The Way to Huế

10. Saigon Reunification

  1. 01. To The Rescue
  2. 02. Last Minute Minutia
  3. 03. Spiritual Me
  4. 04. A New Approach
  5. 05. Cruising Cambodia
  6. 06. Ox Cart Aerobics and Buddhist Blessing Yoga
  7. 07. My Great Cambodian Depression
  8. 08. A Day on the River Limbo
  9. 09. Lies, Damned Statistics, and Tourism
  10. 10. Saigon Reunification
  11. 11. The Way to Huế
  12. 12. A Hot Time in the Old Town
  13. 13. An Hanoi-ing Experience
  14. 14. Southeast Asian Rescue

We debarked the Mekong Prestige II for the last time, having recovered our passports and paid the bill. IMG_8988Good-byes would come a little later, as we had a morning’s excursion to enjoy first. We passengers were divided once again by language, the Aussies on one bus, the French on the other, both headed for an hour’s drive into Ho Chi Minh City.

The language division that divided the passengers throughout the cruise struck me as an unfortunate but inevitable feature of the cruise. One obviously wants a tour given in a language one understands, and during the tours people will bond, later enjoying dinner and drinks and what-not together.

Speaking for myself, I would have liked to have met and attempted to converse with a more diverse group. Continue reading 10. Saigon Reunification

01. To The Rescue

  1. 01. To The Rescue
  2. 02. Last Minute Minutia
  3. 03. Spiritual Me
  4. 04. A New Approach
  5. 05. Cruising Cambodia
  6. 06. Ox Cart Aerobics and Buddhist Blessing Yoga
  7. 07. My Great Cambodian Depression
  8. 08. A Day on the River Limbo
  9. 09. Lies, Damned Statistics, and Tourism
  10. 10. Saigon Reunification
  11. 11. The Way to Huế
  12. 12. A Hot Time in the Old Town
  13. 13. An Hanoi-ing Experience
  14. 14. Southeast Asian Rescue

When disaster strikes, start looking for bargains.

Mere hours after the second plane crashed into the World Trade Center, Frank was planning a visit to Manhattan. A week after the 2002 Bali bombing, our holiday in Sanur was booked. A month after George Bush The Lesser invaded Iraq, I was flying over Persia.

Callous? Insensitive? Reckless? Perhaps.

Compassionate? Thoughtful? Courageous? Maybe.

Smart? No doubt about it.

In October 2001, no one in New York City suggested our attendance was insensitive. The beleaguered restauranteurs of lower Manhattan were particularly glad to see us in their near silent bistros. Moreover, the events of 9/11 went a long way to shatter the hardened façade of New Yorkers, offering a rare glimpse of their humanity, humility, and vulnerability.
Continue reading 01. To The Rescue