Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Same Same But Different.


^ Saigon. Not even during peak hour.

I will never complain about Melbourne traffic again. Not even for the fuckknuckles that can't comprehend hook turns.

The chaotic and unsystematic mental institution on two motorised wheels that is Vietnam city streets, trumps all.

And of course pedestrian crossings are on the list of "Impossible Things That Could Never Happen". I'm not quite sure how I've managed so far but I'm pretty sure I will be returning home a fearless bastard.

I'm definitely loving the 50c pints, the countless amounts of noodles and the fact that they use the fatty cuts of meat in the street food. A woman named Alyn is to blame for my current podginess. She could be the love child of Pol Pot and Beverly Allitt and I could not give a flying fuck, when she puts a bowl of her seafood stew in front of me on my plastic stool in the less than reputable gutter, I am like a dog having his belly scratched.

"1000 Star Hotel" is the nickname for living and eating on the streets.

I got her giggling when I learnt from a staff member at my hostel - the line:

"Tôi có thể xem danh sách rượu vang?" (Which, A+ for effort, took me over half an hour to learn how to say.)

Which essentially translates to: "May I see the wine list?"

I've eaten a lot of cool things too. The egg with the faetus in it was delicious in taste but vomit inducing in texture.

I've drunk way too much Tiger beer, seductively tampered with gin of course. This involved a few English and Spanish boys at a local bar screeching the Homer Simpson song:

"You put the gin in the Tiger beer and shake it allllll up!
You put the gin in the Tiger beer and throw the can away!
You throw the can away!"

Getting locals involved in this was the cherry on top too.

Ha Long Bay is also every bit as beautiful as all the stories. Pictures do it no words either. But there was something eerily cool about blasting some Aoki on a boat in the middle of the bay at sunset, teaching a bunch of six foot Spaniards how to wiggle.

Melbourne Sound represent!!

My mate and I departed each other's company in Hue, he wanted a resort and I wanted the surf. So even though it involved spending two days on a bus with a drunk local who had a nasty case of the voms, I've been chasing the surf down the coast to Nha Trang.

Seriously - THIS for two days was definitely a form of torture. Not even for the seating... Or the bright flashing neon lights... Or the faint smell of dead horse meat that's been through two intestinal tracts coming from the bathroom.

But torturous because they played old Madonna film clips on repeat for the first 8 hour leg of the trip.


Nha Trang however, has not disappointed.

For ten days I'm having waves shred my shoulders and (-insert stereotypically corny line-) the sun has been kissing my skin... Then cooking it Tepanyaki style... Then after a bit of After Sun and a cold shower, we're back to kissing.

Also, I may have a slight quivering soft spot for people that cook seafood for you right on the beach.

Chilli, salt, lime, butter, crayfish. As you can see from my highly motivated position there on the sun lounge... Life's tough.

I did however think I was going to die when riding to Jungle Beach, keen for the five foot shore break but getting stuck in an instantaneous storm of Herculean proportions.

Not to mention, monsoon aside, there's nothing like feeling uneasy when you've got a surfboard shoddily attached with some very questionable jockey straps, to a motorbike which for some God unknown reason, they've let me hire for the week even though I don't have a licence. No fucks given by the locals if you've got 10 bucks and fill the 125cc bad boy back up again at the end of the day.

The sunrise however, over the rice paddies, was beyond spectacular.

You see this?
This is essentially a giant vietnamese rice cracker.
A big ass Sa Ka Ta.
Coconut and black sesame flavoured.
Toooo gooood!!

The defining tranquil moment though was finishing the day off with some rice wine, a beautiful sunset and a city view of Hanoi.

I just never want to leave.


  1. Umm Fresh Seafood on the beach? Where is this heaven??

    1. Nha Trang, Vietnam. South-Eastern coast.

      Soooooo beautiful.