The night we arrived in Vietnam we stayed in a hotel. We were all starving so we decided to order room service. I was voted to call and order. Kensley wanted bolognese. It’s pronounced boe-la-nese. She read it as it was spelled. We all got a kick out of that.
I called to order and the guy answered. First, he could hardly speak English. Second, I had called the local operator, not the hotel room service. I told him I wanted to order room service and he said, “We busy. Call back fifteen minutes.” My reply was, “can I not tell you my order?” I thought he said yes, but apparently he had said something else. I started ordering our food and he was mumbling something in the back ground to someone. We turned the menu over and there was the right number for room service. Needless to say the operator knew what we were eating for supper that night.
Day two in Vietnam we headed for the junk (the boat). It was a three hour ride there so we had a lot of time to see the scenery. Literally what we saw was rice paddy after rice paddy. There are rice paddies every way you turn.
On the way we also saw a funeral ceremony. It was a big group of people marching down the street. Some played Instruments. Some carried a float with a fruit bowl and incense. And some others carried the casket. One group of people had a burgundy robes and another group all had white head bands on. That was an experience, getting to compare funerals back home to that one.
We finally arrived at the boat and it was amazing. The view, the food, the company, and the staff were all great.
The first night fashionista and I went squid fishing. That was fun. We fished off if the lower deck after supper. I caught one squid and two jellyfish.
We met a lot of people too. We met a couple from Texas, we met another couple from Tennessee, a family from San Francisco, two friends from Norway, and a couple from Australia. One couple even knew one of Left Brain’s Clemson professors. Meeting and talking to people like that you realize how small the world really is.
I did not want to leave the cruise. It was great. I learned knew tricks, how to make spring rolls, how not to fall out of a kayak, I met knew people, walked in the vietnamese rainforest, went squid fishing, and got to see how others live.
It’s amazing how much you can learn and experience in just three days.
Day three in Beijing was interesting. We were still sore from walking the wall so we decided it would be a slow day. We stopped by the store on the way to the zoo to go to the ATM. Apparently the machine ate CFER’s card. Then fashionista couldn’t find her subway card. After an hour or so of searching we found fashionistas subway card in…wait for it…her jacket pocket. CFER’s card is still in the machine…
After that ordeal we headed to the zoo. Within five minutes of being at the zoo I made a new friend. An ol snub nosed monkey. We went to his enclosure and I decided to tap the glass and smile at the monkey. Fashionista, being the animal lover she is, knew not to smile at the monkeys because they take it as a sign of attack. She was trying to say “Pare don’t smile at the monkeys!”, but before she could get it out, the monkeys attacked the glass where I was standing.
My first instinct: scream. Everyone stared, as if we don’t get stared at enough.
CFER, Mother Mary, and fashionista all said it was the story of the day. I’m just thankful to still have my face.
We rode the overnight train to Beijing. We arrived in Beijing early and headed for our hotel. We ate breakfast and then went to the pearl market. After lunch we headed to the silk market. Shopping all day had me out of it. CFER gave me some money and said,”wheres your wallet? put this in different places.” I proceeded to put the money in different parts of my wallet. We all got a kick out of my blonde moment.
That night we took little carts to go get supper. Mother Mary and I piled in and got going. Our driver was insane. First he about ran over an old women, and then stopped to fuss with her. Next he scraped the side of a trash can. Then he drove right into the middle of the busy road almost running into a car or moped or hitting someone several times. I’m very thankful to be alive.
Day two was our journey to the Great Wall. We got up early and headed that way. We took a cable car up to the wall. We walked and climbed all day long. My legs have never been so tired. We all agreed if we walked the wall two or three times a week we would have amazing legs. To get down from the wall we tobogganed. That was fun. I don’t think I’ve ever been as tired as I was after the wall, but it was such an AMAZING experience.
It’s Chinese New Year! Year of the snake.
Their New Years here is like Christmas in America. It’s a big deal.
They shoot fireworks all day long for two weeks straight. When I say all day I mean ALL DAY. I was woke up this morning to the boom of fireworks and I’ve listened to them all day. What the point is in shooting fireworks during the day, I still haven’t figured that one out. China fireworks are not like fireworks in America. They’re bigger, louder, and you can shoot them anywhere. Literally anywhere.
We spent our Chinese New Years Saturday watching movies, playing Mah Jong, and I snuck in a little bit of sociology (I’m such a good student).
Tonight I suppose we will be up watching fireworks. They’re too loud for anyone to sleep. Maybe we can track down some ear plugs.
HAPPY CHINESE NEW YEARS EVERYONE!