It is impossible to sleep in at this hotel, it is too damned noisey and by eight o’clock it’s just about impossible. Bored, I decided to head into town, drop off a necessary sample at International SOS and hit the history museum, water puppet show, and the Jade Emperor Pagoda. I brought my camera for pictures of the later two.
So at International SOS I practically had to fight the guy to drop off my damned sample. He didn’t seem to understand that yes, I am on file and yes, I’ve already paid for it. It took me three or four tries and emphasizing that no I don’t need to see the doctor, I’ve already seen her. Half an hour later, I have finally rid myself of my cup-o-poop.
I was taking pictures of the Cathedral and the Post Office, which are near by. Now the problem with having a nice camera and being in a touristy area (aside from paranoia regarding stealing) is that all the other tourists assume that you can and will take a picture of them for them. This isn’t just here, it happens in DC when I’m wandering around with my SLR. Here, I think it’s worse because they trust you more than the locals due to the not-so-subtle fact that I’m white. Unwitting racism at its best.
So this guy from Toronto with an amusingly thick Canadian accent and one of those damned made-for-tourist conical hats1 comes on over, says hello, then hands me his camera. I spend the next five minutes fiddeling with his crap camera and taking a picture of this Canadian doof in the conical hat.
Then, I got on a honda om (motorbike taxi!) in order to go to the history museum. I give him the address that the guide book gave for the history museum – and I end up at a telecommunications firm. Luckily, this guy was really nice and I eventually did end up at the history museum for no extra charge.
The history museum is closed from 11:00 to 1:30. It is 11:15am. The water puppet show starts at 2. There are no restraunts or cafes in this neighborhood and I have no freakin clue where I am.
I have guide-book directions that unfortuneately say “north west” as the direction to go. It is almost noon. There is no telling west from east in my traditional sense of the way. So I pick a direction, only to not see the next road in the set of directions. I pick the other direction, and the road ends. I would have taken another damned honda om but I was out of small change bills and I don’t want to count on him having change for a 100,000 VND.
It’s now the heat of the day. I have a migraine. I don’t know where I’m supposed to go, or even where I am, and there isn’t any place for me to duck into for a few hours. I am hot, I am sweaty, and I am decidenly grumpy. So I gave up and came home.
I really need to figure out the bus system though, this whole taxi thing is going to kill my budget.
And then, I get home. I had let a friend read in my room while I was gone because it was quiet. I just told her to turn the key in when she was done.
I got back, and I was locked out of my room.
It’s only 12:30pm. I’m going to freakin’ take a nap. Or something. Hopefully this day picks up.
</end grumpy rant>
1 Apparently, while men do wear them, they do so mostly in the countryside. I am told that the residents of Ho Chi Minh City think that they are very “country” and are amused by the tourists obsession with those damned conical hats.