Monday, June 22, 2009

Good Morning Vietnam (corny, I know)

I learned a new joke this morning. So this American couple walks into a van, gets driven 1 hour outside Phnom Penh, picks up a hitchhiker with a kid with no shoes, drops off said hitchhiker, arrives at a broken down house on a back-road, thinks they might get shot and robbed, gets on a rickty 'fast' boat, goes to Cambodian customs (no exit tax- got the right guy working!), goes to Vietnam customs further down the river, changes boats to an actually fast boat, gets sold on a 2 day tour that arrives in Ho Chi Minh City, gets put up for the night by the tour in a riverboat hostels, sees the bathroom and vows not to go to the bathroom, turns on the light and can barely see, goes to walk around town, buys a bottle of water for 4000 Dong ($1 = 18,000 Dong), walks through a market (again with raw meat and chickens just sitting out everywhere), goes to eat at a recommended resturant- Bay Bong, loses his appetite for meat since he read that they actually do eat dog here (poor Cody), watches his wife eat 1/4 of her Canh Chua, or sweet and sour fish soup (really good), while he eats fried noodles and vegetables (good) and spring rolls (really good), walks around till it starts raining, finds an Internet cafe to write the joke. Only problem is, I can't remember the punch line. We'll go with to get to the other side.

Seriously, I can't believe you can actually order dog on the menu. I could never eat my little Cody. He is too cute and innocent. Plus, as my Dad will tell you, you can never catch him when you want to. So sad- but everyone has different customs, right? I'll bet they wouldn't want to eat brisket, or buffalo wings. Psych- everyone loves brisket and buffalo wings, although not together.

Ok, so now the real story on Vietnam. Everything Dave said about this morning was 100% true. To be honest, at times, I even started wondering where they were taking us. Not to mention that when we got on the first boat, we were one of only 4 people and on the second boat, we were the only passengers. The view was beautiful though. Green everywhere and people on the water going about their normal daily business. We even went by a floating fishing village and several floating villages. It really was a nice ride though and yes Liz, we were fully covered the whole time and did not have to wear helmets. We're adventurous, but not that much.

The hotel, Delta Adventure Inn, is a decent budget hotel. Clean, but no frills. It's what you would expect in Vietnam for $10 a night. We have our own room, complete with a mosquito net, and a bathroom, consisting of 4 dark walls, a toilet, a shower head, and a very dull light. You walk out of the room though and you're overlooking the Mekong.

The town is really nice. Beautiful architecture with a nice riverfront. The market is an interesting place to walk though, but the sights are somewhat disturbing and the smell is very strong, so I think that was enough for us here.

The weather has finally died down, but now the street is flooded. Crazy how much rain they can get here in a 20 minute storm. And did I mention that it is extremely hot, humid and I feel like I'm getting bitten up here? Heading off to go up to Sam mountain, a mountain filled wtih pagodas and temples and then dinner and bed. We start our day at 6 am tomorrow!


  1. Another great Rubin blog although I am going to have visions of some poor dog on a barbecue spit.
    We are glad you were not kidnapped and put up for ransom since Dad is retired and we have no money-not sure what we would have done.
    The hotel looks interesting,but not for us-been there, done that. You certainly will enjoy coming back to your new home in Boston.
    Swat those pesty mosquitos and stay well.

  2. Great update! Glad you made it to Vietnam without any serious damage. I think you have to have at least 1-2 really good stories from a southeast asia trip, right?

    Saw your comment about the Cambodia Traffic. Let me know when you hit a Vietnamese City - that's some SERIOUS Traffic!

    (side note - I went to Friends restaurant in Cambodia, and I also went to that Press Bar - cool that you are seeing the same places I saw!).

  3. We were planning to wait till you returned to tell you, but after Cody stayed up until 1 AM and did his business for the third time in two hours at midnight, we invited all of our block neighbors over for codyburgers. We discovered that they taste best with lots of ketchup and cooked well done. Only problem is that they bark after you eat them!!

    Now for the 'rest of the story'. All true about the late night, we think when we are out in the evening, he sleeps and then needs to run it off before going back to bed for the night. As you saw yesterday, he is doing great, but we do not have any understanding of how you are going to study for your degree with him around. He seems to have a unique ability to seek and get attention.

    Your mother has become a schizo. She alternates between saying 'I cannot wait until he goes home' and 'I love him and I am going to cry when he leaves'. As they say in the vernacular: SUCH A DOG.

    We agree with Napleslady that we are happy you got through that day in one piece, and we hope that is the last such adventure.

    And last, it has been between 98 and 100 degrees here, so we know how you feel.

    The 80% Dogsitter