A Few Months Later – in HCMC
Yorkshire and the rocks of the Coldstone Cut are 10206.6k from Ho Chi Minh.
I had no expectations of how my life would before I crossed the miles.
It was all just too far away to contemplate.
Even now I occasionally find myself wondering if it is really all happening.
Realisation it is reality just makes me smile as I am generally on my scooter.
Streets of HCM
The things I see carried on motorbikes still amazes me. Photocopiers, ladders, trees not to mention tiny children strapped into seats and babies strapped on to their mothers. I thought the ultimate was a large Alsatian dog stood on its hind legs in front of its owner with its feet on the handle bars until today, when I followed a pair of ducks, alive, sat in a plastic carrier bag strapped to a bike seat. I really do need to get my camera strapped to my head.
My mastery of navigation is far from complete. I went looking for a swimming pool and failed. How can you miss a pool. Google maps said it was there but I couldn’t find it. It does exist. I have seen the photos read the reviews. But then another day I was looking for a building on a street, found it, but the company was not there, it was a big company. Eventually I discovered that there were two buildings on the same street with the same number 1km apart. They were in different districts and so…
Narrow streets, narrow houses
Unsuccessful navigation or successful exploration? Trying to find places, I have turned in to small roads. Which lead to even smaller roads. Until I find myself winding my way through buildings so close that if I stand still I can touch either side from the middle.
Houses and homes with their doors open. Daily life and people spill on to the streets. Children playing, fighting and doing school work. Tiny temples with monks worshiping at miniature shrines. All packed together in a veritable maze of alleyways with little shops and cafes squeezed in-between.
All only 5 minutes from a vast 6 lane highway. They are remarkably quiet. Traffic muffled through the dense housing. Even the air feels cleaner, though I doubt it is.
The way out!
And of course, if I get lost there is always somewhere else to try for lunch. Food has to be the best thing for me in Ho Chi Minh. Once the tourist sights have been ‘done’ there is not a great deal of beauty. Interest yes and fascination but the food is just wonderful.
Sometimes I feel as I am just eating my way through the city. The only thing which motivates me to get on the treadmill is the thought of what wonderful food may be in store down the next tiny alleyway.
Yet another wonderful lunch