Saturday, September 10, 2011

Waiting,, Where in the World is Jayne(2)

Up early waiting for the bus to appear. Lady said it could arrive any time between 6:45 and 8:00. I' hoping for the latter.
In Hoi An we rented an Xe Om's--Motor cycle with driver. Breaking into the traffic scene slowly--pedestrian, bike, and now the real challenge--putting your life in the hands of some dare-devil on a motorbike. As you can tell I'm just fascinated with the traffic patterns. Maybe I wouldn't be so amazed if I hadn't joined The Ladies Bike Club and know how safety conscious one has to be and how difficult it is to maneuver in just regular organized traffic. But then that is the problem. Here anything is expected and they're ready for it.
Our Xe Om trip was really good. A little long. My butt got a little tired sitting on the cycle but we got to go into little areas that we wouldn't have been able to if we had taken the bus. Went to a Cham ruin in the jungle--reminded me of the Yucatan. Ended up at Marble Mountain and China Beach. The last time I was here Marble Mountain was one of my favorite places. We met some kids that took us through tunnels and up chimney climbs through out the whole area. Today you must stay on the path and you get no idea that the whole area is full of crevices. It's now just a trip from one Buddhist shrine to another--with an elevator to get up there if you're not into climbing stairs. China beach was also a disappointment. They have torn down all the little kiosks on the beach and it has been taken over by squatters waiting to be kicked out when the economic down turn is over and the new developments continue to ruin every beautiful beach in this country. It's called progress and is part of the progression of civilization. Has happened in every country in the world. Anyhow, the 30 mile beach from Hoi An to China Beach is going to be developed. At one development Greg Norman is building a golf course.
Went to Hoa Lo prison yesterday--better known to Americans as the Hanoi Hilton. To the victor belongs the spoils --and the writing of history. The prison was set up by the French to hold Vietnamese revolutionaries. According to the info at the prison the treatment was barbaric--and I have read many times that the French were not the nicest of people in dealing with their colonies. Most of the museum is dedicated to that part in history. At the end of the display you get into the American part of the history. Pictures of American pilots playing basketball, volleyball, billiards, decorating a Christmas tree, viewing movies, and Midnight Mass. Must have been a real country club. There's a picture of McCain visiting the prison in 2000. Wonder what his feelings were in dealing with all the memories.
Can not buy anything because I left the states with a full backpack. However I did manage to squeeze in three little kitchen gadgets. Will make a good addition the the drawer full that I already have. Come to my house for dinner when I get back and you'll be really impressed with the presentation of the meal with my new purchases.
After we do Halong Bay and our Sapa trek we are heading for Laos. Problem is getting the information to get there. Because of lack of foresight we started out in Saigon rather than Hanoi so we're doing the trip backwards and have to get into Laos over a very remote boarder crossing. Wish us luck!
F&A/D&G/M Took two overnight busses. One nice and one very nice. Now I see why you didn't dwell on that part of your trip. Compared to the Golmud/Lhasa trip these busses were rolling palaces. I can still depend on my Confusion Curse (May you take the overnight bus from Golmud to Lhasa) being the ultimate in wishing someone a bad day.

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