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Thursday 9 Apr
Hanoi, Vietnam

Last days In Hoi An

Welcome back to you all,

Well last night was my LAST night with Max, I have moved into a new room on my own and feel much better. Today I am off to the tailors again to order more stuff....oops I mean clothes. Just two things today, a Silk lined hoody for me and an overcoat for my daughter Lauren...I dont believe it she finally sent me her measurements and a picture. After this it was on our bicycles for another day at the beach. It was so nice to lie on a sunlounge under the shade with a beautiful sea breeze to wash over you. Add to that the drink and food service to your chair, OMG I died and went to heaven. The two lobsters were at it again, Laurence and Helen dragged their chairs out into the noon sun, slopped on large amounts of sunscreen and baked, what is it with you english? Anyway that about covers the best part of the day...how boring??  Not really it was paradise for me, I listened to the last of my Ben Elton audio book, ate heartily and chilled out..... My lobster friends just got redder, any more so and I thought the restaurant owners would be bidding over them for their dinner menus.

A nice ride 5klms back to town and plans to paint the town red tonight as iot was our last night here. I booked my bus ticket on to Nha Trang on the way back to the hotel...Oh its the Nhi trung hotel if I havent mentioned it before. A quick cold shower and back to the tailors for a fitting. Got there to find they havent used the right coloured lining I had chosen, so it was apologies to me and a promise to have it right by tomorrow. Laurens coat looked fab and I got one of the girls in the shop to put it on so I could photograph it and email to Lauren.

We headed to Mrs Queyan's food stand for dinner and on the way I bought Minh a little plaster statuette of 2 pussy cats and a heart saying I love you. When we got there Mrs Q  was so upset that she had sent Minh home to bed. She hugged us all and took the gift around to every other stall holder showing them what her new friends had bought for her daughter. She then rang Minh to tell her we had a present for her ,  then telling us that minh was now going to sit up at home waiting for it. We got royal service that night I tell you. Then it was off to the Belkive it or not bar for cocktails and a plan to stay up for the beachparty they have after 11. They run a shuttle bus from the bar down to a resort  for loud house music expensive drinks and a bonfire on the beach that goes till dawn. Come midnight we pile on the mini bus....designed to seat 12.  22 of us later plus the driver we were off.  I got the side door step to fit one leg on with my head bent up and around the contour of the roof. My bum had to be pushed in to close the sliding door. Madness, but the things you never forget.  Anyway , remember I told you about Lina the novice belayer on Cat Ba Island, well I met her again at the beach party. She told me how she had got a bit drunk and substance affected the night before and invited some travellers she met back to her room for more partying....woke up the next morning to find her purse had been emptied of 3,000,000. DNG (just under $300 AU). Silly Silly Girl.  And it seems she hadnt learnt anything... while we were talking she got up to go to the loo and bar and walked off leaving her handbag on the ground at the table. What is it with women and bags....They are less likely to be stolen than if I left my wallet on a chair???? I dont think so.

I decided to up stumps at 2am, but was told the bus back to town didnt leave till 3am, so I started to walk. I was soon accosted by motor bike taxis, 1st wanted 100,000 Dng... I told him Id walk, he coulddnt believe Id choose to walk, but I told him I had all night. Next guy dropped his price to 50,000, same story..Ill take a hike. Last guy came in at a realistic 30,000 and I accepted. He then took me to the wrong hotel, I told him that was his fault, take me to the right one. A small negotiation over the new price arose and I agreed to 40,000. He took off again and I didnt recognise where we were. Hmmm seems a lot of paddy fields for the way to town I thought. Then he stopped and demanded more money. I refused so I got off and he demanded payment, I handed him a 50,000 note expecting chance and he bolted with it. I started walking in the same direction we were headed for about 20 minutes and decided something was wrong, too rural for town. So Backtrack 40 minutes till I hit civilisation again, good thing Id just bought a large bottle of water before I left the beach. Turns out I was on the opposite side of town to what I thought I was, anyway I finally got back to the hotel just after 430am. Forking Hell, sober as judge, sweating profusely and found Helen and Laurence in their room watching TV, after they left on the 4am mini Bus........Ahhh Ya gotta love motorbike taxis.

Next day was pack the bags, and head into the old quarter to shop, I spent way too much on souveniers, but got some great stuff. Then to Lunch with Mrs Q and she insisted in us all taking photos of one another, telling us repeatedly how Minh loved us and took her present to preschool to show it off....Every trip you meet one or two special people, this trip it was Mrs Q and Minh.

Down to the tailors next to collect everything and pack it for airfreighting home. Sea was going to take 4 to 5 months???? so 1,170,000 DNG later ($100 Au) the post office had packed up 7kg of goodies for me with a promise it would be home about the same time as me. So much for the bargains.  Then it was showere and rush to the bus office for a liesurely sleeper bus ride of 12 hrs to Nha trang...... catch you all there

Tez

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Hi Reader. I'm glad you stopped by for another trip. My fifth in my quest to cover south east Asia and enjoy as much of this part of the world as I can. I hope I can entertain, inform and encourage you, dear reader, to get off your butt and travel. Cheers

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