Disclaimer: These are my views and do not reflect the views of the Peace Corps.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Ho Chi Minh / Saigon

We went out after we went bowling. After splitting a bottle of some fine local beverage in the hotel room, we started off toward a "house/reggae-Japan-relief-fundraiser-concert." The music was ok, but there were hipsters! I hadn't seen hipsters in quite some time, and didn't expect a large hipster population in HCM, but there they were. The most stereotypically memorable one having a rather ridiculous mustache, skinny jeans, large rimmed glasses, a tight plaid shirt, and hair that was intentionally just a little off.

I woke up the next morning with a sore throat. Blah. I think the back and forth bus rides and stale air took its toll on my immune system (maybe the late night and slight inebriation helped too...) We had Pho for breakfast, which was great for the sore throat. It's basically chicken noodle soup. Our plans for the day were: see a movie. We strolled around the city for awhile and went to a couple of different theaters until we found a few English films. We had popcorn and watched Winter's Bone. I thought the film was fascinating, but I don't know if this is because my standards have changed and I hadn't seen a movie in theaters for such a long time, but I want to say it was good. Seeing a real winter and being in AC brought on a feeling of cold that lasted awhile after the movie was over. After a bit more street food, we called it an early night.

The next day we wandered around the city looking for rock climbing. I was jonesing for some rocks. We walked nearly all the way across the city, but finally came upon a small indoor gym. I was still sick, but I pushed through and climbed until my arms gave out. Matt found some dip'n'dots and we took a cab back across town.

Our flight to Hanoi left the next morning, the only snafus being a slightly rigged meter on our taxi to the airport and half a 1.5 liter water bottle (I chugged the first half in front of the security guy, it was completely unopened and sealed, really?)

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