Defying the meterologists’ predictions, Typhoon Durian passed south of Saigon early this week and we saw nothing but a few clouds from our 11th floor hotel window. Typhoon Utor hit the battered Philippines today and hopefully will follow Durian’s example by steering clear of us in the upcoming days. The weather has been our friend throughout our 103 days on the road, as we’ve had only a few brief encounters with rain and none with wind, hail, or fire. We can only hope our luck will hold out.
It’s hard to believe, but we’ve been in Saigon for over a week now. In that time we’ve had two laptops in for repairs, stayed in three different hotels, and managed to see a few of the big sites. We’ve eaten at KFC five times (at the kids’ request), our first fast food in almost a month, and now realize how wonderful it was to have fresh food as our only option in the north. We’ve walked miles and miles of city blocks, shopped in more markets than we can count, howled with monkeys at the zoo, and bowled ten frames on the fourth floor of a shopping mall. We head out in five hours for a three day tour of the Mekong Delta which will land us in Cambodia, our sixth country to date. We’re starting to worry that we’re having too much fun and as a consequence moving too slowly. If we stay a month in every country, we won’t be back home for at least a few years.
Saigon is awash in Christmas decorations, which has caused a sensory overload, since our little brains can’t put Christmas and 90 degrees/80% humidity together. We think we’ll be in Bangkok for the big day, but you never know. Despite our griping about the transportation here, we’ve loved Vietnam and have a deepened appreciation for its history and its people. If we get the time in the next few days (perhaps on one of the 5 or 6 different boats we’ll be cruising on), we’ll write more about Saigon, because there is much to be said. But since my wake up call is in just a few hours, I’ll stop here. That should make some of you….you know who you are, and yes, you should feel guilty….very happy.