[chinese blood, irish heart] - DEFUNCT: Goodnight Vietnam

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Goodnight Vietnam

"Wow, what a really shabby airport," I thought as I touched down at Ho Chi Minh City.
A weary-eyed driver from a tourist guide office kindly greeted us and off we went driving to the hotel.

What struck me most were the thousands of motorcyclists, like what Beijing used to look like (except with bicycles). Everyone was criss-crossing, overtaking and changing lanes, yet despite they looked like on a verge of a giant calamitic road accident, no-one seemed to shout, scream or any of the road rage you're likely to see. Everyone was patient and traffic still flowed despite the volume.

Our first stop after the hotel was "Cuu Long," Viet for Kowloon (in Hong Kong.)
The doctor, a native Hakka who also spoke Cantonese, said I had problems with my liver, thus causing my skin condition. I didn't know what to say! It's the second time a doctor mentioned this but this was back in Ireland. I was relieved to see him prescribe me pills instead of bags of medicine... at least that'll make my life much more convenient. I take two bags of pills per day, which seem like a concotion of sweets from a gumball machine. They smell like Chinese herbs alright. I bought a month's worth for about $700 (70 euro) and then I'm to go back and see him in October to see how I progress. Judging from his diagnosis, it seemed he's quite confident. He also reckons I should be completely cured within two months time.
After taking the first dosage, a few postules I had remaining on my hand had already swelled - much quicker than usual. Looking at my hands and feet now (after 5 days of medication), they're completely free of postules and only slight skin peeling. Everyone seems to be parading the fact that I'm cured. But alas, I've been in this situation before after seeing another so-called miracle doctor in Shantou, China. But after a few weeks another flare-up came by and shattered that illusion.
So you can't blame me for being cynical when I say a flare-up might occur, then what'll happen?

As for the other sights, we went to Cu Chi tunnels which was excellent. Firing the guns were even better. I mistakenly shot the wrong targets so I felt like a fool.

The War Remnants musuem was also an eye-opener. It used to be the called the Museum of American and Chinese War Crimes. That wouldn't hold too well and was promptly renamed.

Our trusy tour guide N. Quang Nhon or 'Nhon' was a former ARVN special forces soldier. After '75, he was imprisoned and his wife and son had fled to Texas. He did try to make contact with them but unfortunately after all those years, his wife had thought he moved on and married someone else but alas he hadn't. And now he's lost contact with them. But after reunification, people don't seem to care about the past and now as Vietnam joins the WTO, the war would just be a tourist gimmick.

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