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Cryin' into a bowl of noodles

Vinh, Vietnam

Made it to Vietnam in grand style. 20 hours with my knees in somebody's back, and to the outskirts of Vinh. Sleep deprived and ill-fed as I may be, I do know that there's only one highway in Vietnam. It goes through the center of every city. The bus driver has pitched our bags out the window exactly a mile short, in front of a group of greedy looking motorcycle taxi drivers.

I stumble forth with book in hand, pointing at a map and debating whether to walk, then do a quick inventory of things hanging from my person. Yessir, remember that little bag with everything valuable that I own...

There follows a loud stream of obscenity, a mad sprint towards the largest looking bike, and some completely unnecessary instructions to the driver as I hop on and we speed off into traffic. Lights are run, large trucks are passed in the gravel, certain death is narrowly avoided dozens of times, yet no large busses seem to be coming into view over the horizon. We give chase at top speed through town and for a full 10 kilometers into the countryside before giving up.

I've already committed myself to the impossible task of contacting the hotel in Vientiane and somehow arranging to have the pack (which contains my laptop, incedentally) picked up on the other end. No Hope of course, but I tell the driver to turn us around. In doing so, we are nearly struck down by my bus, which we have somehow managed to pass on the way through town.

Vinh is interesting, I doubt I'd recommend it to anybody. No tourists here, which amplifies the Vietnamese habit of staring at any westerners and following them around. I'm the only white guy in town at the moment, so I get all the attention. Hey everybody! Come look! He's eating noodles now!

permalink written by  Jason Kester on April 4, 2004 from Vinh, Vietnam
from the travel blog: Southeast Asia, the Trans Siberian and Scandenavia
tagged Bus and Suffering

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