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Saturday 29 Mar 2003
Hoi An, Vietnam

Festival time!

Today I tried on my new suits and shirts and DAMN theyre good! Theyre so good I even decided to get one extra shirt for another 7 dollars! The tuxedo especially came out excellent... but there are a few more alterations needed so hopefully they should be ready tommorrow.

Apparently I arrived in Hoi An right in the middle of a massive festival bringing people from all over Vietnam (including the people carrying SARS as one Swedish guy joked! SARS is the respiratory disease thats sweeping Hanoi, Vietnam and Hong Kong at the moment and may well restrict my further travels in Vietnam... AAARGH!). Tonight there was a big music show along the river with Chinese lanterns and Chinese dragons (lit up from inside) floating along the river making it look quite magical! The main problem was the CROWD of people! At one point in the night I decided to go out for a walk to another bar but as soon as I stepped into the crowd the crush began!

I was walking in my flip-flops and they almost got ripped off with the crowd of people pushing me along the river side.. thank god Im pretty tall cuz the heat was intense and I felt sorry for the little kids caught up in it. Apparently the crush was being caused further back because the police were literally beating people back... a few moments later I encountered a Norwegian couple caught in the crush and it was getting decidedly dangerous at this point.. if you fell there was no way you were getting up! So I made a grab for the nearest restaurant door and the three of us got pulled into safety.. for the price of a beer of course!

There was also a fireworks show which was funny as things were going wrong all the time and the police were getting flamed by misfiring fireworks!... great night after all! Add to that the surreal Chinese surroundings of Hoi An (Chinese lanterns in every restaurant balcony... these buildings used to be Chinese trading posts) and it was a really memorable night.

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