you remember, I show you
“you remember, i show you”
I heard that line at least 20 times from my cyclo driver. Don’t worry — I have no idea what he meant either. I thought I was getting a deal — a ride to my next town and my homestay covered. However, all I was getting was a ride to a very touristy guesthouse and dropped off there. Not quite what I thought. And all through the 3 or so hours we toured back roads, he spoke, I understood about 1/16th of it, and then he would say “you remember, I show you” – and I would have no clue what he was talking about….
Yeah – that is me looking like a dumb-ass in my helmet. The really sad part about it is that helmets are mandatory here so they are a major fashion statement. There are tons of stores with all sorts of super cute helmets and helmet covers. Seriously great options. Unlike mine…
But, back to what matters, right? So – I have spent the past three days touring the Mekong Delta in one way or another. The first day I took a super touristy tour of the delta — it involved a big boat, small boats, trips to try local honey and coconut candy, lunch and was all around fairly lame — we were pretty much being shuttled from spot to spot — very little detail in what we were seeing. But — it was my ride into the delta (i stayed when all the rest of the tourists left) and it was a cool way to see a lot of different stuff in a very short period of time.
The next day, I took my motorcycle ride to near Vinh Long – further into the delta. Though it was a bit of a rip-off for what it was, it was cool to take back roads.
I stayed at a guesthouse last night that is billed as a homestay — but the place was so big and the daughter who served me looked so pissed off (damn sullen teenagers! 🙂 that I did not feel like a homestay. I was also the only person there (once all the lunch tour groups left), so it was a bit awkward. Though the food was good — I had elephant ear fish — which is basically a whole fish they give you and you roll spring rolls for yourself. Then there was a huge prawn and pieces of other fish with rice. And soup. Maybe the girl was just pissed off because she had to bring out all that food. The high point of staying there was getting a chance to take a long walk along the canal – i felt i got a good chance to see how people live in a not very touristy place. It was beautiful – green, lush and full of fruit trees (banana, coconut, jackfruit and papaya!).
Then, today, I took another boat tour (it was sort of set up by the moto dude — plus i had to find a way to get from the homestay to the city of vinh long, so it worked out ok). This one was with a super nice man and his super cute little girl. He took me through the canals – we also visited the honey production and the coconut candy — plus popped rice and he had me sample the rice alcohol (at 8 in the morning!). Then we went and saw the floating markets near Vinh Long — which are just that — markets that are floating — they are on boats. It was pretty cool to see.
In Vinh Long I toured the markets. Vietnamese markets sell just about anything — from live to dried fish, fresh fruit and vegetables, meat, packaged goods, food stalls, eggs — pretty much whatever you want! they are fun to walk around.
My friend Chloe arrives tomorrow — we will meet up in Can Tho and figure out our plans from there. I discovered that it is not super easy to travel by yourself in this country — nothing like in India! the buses and whole tourism industry (which is co-owned by the government) pushes you towards certain places. I think that the ideal way to see Vietnam would be bike-touring (note to self for next trip here).
Tonight after having dinner in the market (no idea what I ate – as is the case for most of my meals), I went to the cafe that is on the water front. There was some terrible karoke going on. And I am so curious why the Vietnamese are SO into the neon flashing lights…..
hope all is well — love – aurora