Sunday, January 20, 2008

day 3 Jan 20

Today I went on a tour. It started really early in the morning. Well 8:30am. I was up at 6:15am. I thought I was on vacation. I played viet cong soldier today. I crawled thru some tunnels and popped out a secret exit/entrance. (I never said I could spell) I would love to attach a photo but my card reader is at the hotel and I am not there presently. So photos will come soon I promise. After crawling around in the dark and learning about war our wee tour group, 6 of us, went to the caodism holy see. This is a crazy religion that encompasses all faiths and strangley prays to victor hugo. I don't really understand. But this church was insanely colorful. It was pink and turquois. Again photos to come. Really maybe tomorrow. After all this manic sight seeing. I swear we were running around the cu chi tunnels. Really that is there name I am just not that creative to make it up. We were taken to lunch which was a 7 course vietnamese meal. The food was westerned down. That means the food was super bland. Not spicey in any way. It was still quite good. It was also nice that it was included in the price of the tour. Dessert consisted of fruit I had never seen before along with some old stand bys like watermelon and pineapple. After this giant lunch we made our way back to Ho Chi Minh City. It was a long drive since it was rush hour. I didn't really expect there to be a big rush hour since it is Sunday but I guess I was wrong. It took us 2.5 hours to go 100km. Which to all you Americans is about 60 miles. There was construction, traffic, goats, farm machinary and water buffalo to contend with.
After leaving the tour group I needed a walk. The mini-bus I had been sitting on all day was not all that comfortable. So I ended up at church. Not really on purpose but yesterday when I was there it was closed. Today mass happend to be taking place. I had never been to a vietnamese mass before. Being in Springfield all those years you think I would have been to one. but no. And I digress. The church was disappointingly not that ornate inside. It was ok but it was nothing like Notre Dame in Paris for which it gets its name. So after about 15minutes of mass I decided I needed to go shopping. Well at least walk thru the market again. This afternoon the market was less crowded so it was not at overwhelming. Still after about 15 minutes everything looks the same. I decided to try to walk back to district 5, that is the part of the city where I am staying. I was going to try to do this by memory. I didn't have the big map with me. It turned out I was only like 3 blocks off track but I was confused and it was getting dark. So I went into a hotel and caught a cab. The taxi took me back. The just over 1kilometer ride cost me $1. It aint NYC. that is for sure. that was with a tip and everything. Ok that is more than enough babble. I really will post photos soon. Photos will be way more interesting than my babble. Keep reading.

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