BootsnAll Travel Network

Happy New Year 2009!

It was a dark and rainy night. At the stroke of midnight it turned into a dark and rainy New Year. And it kept raining and it’s still raining. Hue for New Years was pretty quiet as tourism is very low and the Vietnamese really celebrate their New Years in a few more weeks when the Tet holidays kick in. Hue is another town rich in tourist sites, but with a constant drizzle the entire day it is just too uncomfortable to leave my fantastic hotel room which has every amenity you can think of. I waited patiently for six days before I utilized another excellent internet tool, the Weather Channel. Ten day forecast, rain every single day. Just not good.

On a more positive note, my camera started working. Five days after getting a dousing, the motor started engaging in the middle of the night and the lens was activating. The next day it started working like nothing happened. So I am back in photo taking business. Unfortunately I think the old girl is not very weather resistant. I think I will still try to get something once I get to Hanoi.

Tomorrow I leave my little haven as ten more days of laying in bed watching tv and surfing the web would be a bit much. The plan is to head back to the central highlands stopping in the village town of Aloui which is where Hamburger Hill is located. Another movie spot (Hamburger Hill- a verrrry long Vietnam war movie). From there to Khe Sahn a very historical last stand military base/battle. And then head up the parallel highway running side by side with the NH1. I am hoping that the weather changes a bit up towards Hanoi even though the last part of Vietnam will include doing the Sapa route which is the highlands and freezing cold foggy weather, Yea!!!

After the camera started working I took it out for some local shots. It was raining of course and being that this camera is moisture absorbent as a tampon with super maxi wings it lasted for about three shots before flooding and dying, again. I guess now its recommended usage will only be good for summertime in Sudan.

I adopted a little mama’s place for my nutritional needs and ended up going there 18 times during my stay. My asianness is definitely blooming as I am eating rice like McDoanalds french fries. It does get addicting after a while. The reason why I keep going to the same place is that you don’t get that mama’s quality until you go a few times and they adopt you. At first your some unusual freak wandering in and they are hesitent to help you. You get the minimal selection and portion as they really don’t want to deal with you. You come back a second time and it’s more of a funny coincidence that you came back. Third time and you are welcomed with smiles and hellos. Mama starts taking a shine to you and the quantity and quality of food increases as “you are too skinny”. Around your fifth visit, daughters are offered up to be married, and you are introduced to the other usuals. By visit ten you have to serve your self and you now blend.

House special: Plate of rice with pork. Extras- string beans with slices of squid, egg quiche, fried tofu, spinach with tomatoes and potatoes, greens soup, and a fanta. 20,000Dong or about $1.10US.


3 responses to “Happy New Year 2009!”

  1. Marisa says:

    Happy New Year! I’m familiar with your “eating at the same place” methodology and its subsequent rewards — special treats from the kitchen, and even a free meal on my last night. Sorry to hear about your camera. I had a digital camera that I dropped into a river in Africa. It dried out and worked fine until I left it at a restaurant in Russia.

  2. Jason McNeill says:

    Hi Steve – Katie and I stayed with you in Dominica for a while in 2005, when you started your trip. I just wanted to say that I cannot believe that you are still going strong almost 4 years later! All the best!

  3. Any thoughts on the new Nikon Coolpix P90? The 24x optical zoom looks fun.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *