Tuesday, November 18th, 2003 – Day 273 to Wednesday, November 19th, 2003 – Day 274

Tuesday, November 18th, 2003 – Day 273

The storm that was to hit today as been downgraded. Still a lot of work to undo last weeks damage.

I was woken by the cleaners who charged into my room at 8.00am. After telling them to feck off, I thought I should get up. Felt a rumble in my tummy and found that stomach bug led to diardea. It could have been dozens of things from yesterday. It might have been ice, the rice wine, food. I walked down to the remaining attractions I have not seen yesterday. i did not bother visiting the Orphafes.

I did get a chance to visit another minority village and walk down to the rice pady fields to see farmers using a wooden plough and oxen on the fields. I stayed down there for an hour.

Click on the picture to see it in it´s original size

Kon Tum – New Catholic Church (18-11-2003)

Click on the picture to see it in it´s original size

Kon Tum – Hill Tride Traditional rung House (18-11-2003)

Click on the picture to see it in it´s original size

Kon Tum – Farming/Ploughing in a rice Paddy (18-11-2003)

My stomach was in bad shape, I was getting pissed off by the noisy inquisitive kids and the constant hellos. For the first time, I stated ignoring there cat calls.

I headed back at noon and stayed in bed for 2 hours. I was no better and walked to the bus station (25 minutes). As is usual here, they would not sell me tickets to Qui Nhon and had been difficultly in getting them to tell me the times of the buses.

I walked back to the hotel. No better, so I visited a chemist for some gut wrenching medicine. I went on the NET for a while and headed back to the room. I only have local TV but watched a football game. It has a reputation of been corrupt. Some players and coaches were banned last Wednesday.

The Vietnam Football Federation has banned the deputy captain of the national team and two other players for up to five years for involvement in match-fixing, an official said Wednesday.

it seems its a problem all over South east Asia.

In a series of landmark rulings, the national associations of Iran, Oman, Thailand and Bangladesh were punished for putting over-age players, some as old as 20, during last the 2000 Asian Under-16 championship in Vietnam (now if this isnt wrong then I dont what is) .

There are a number of availble buses. Again there is a fixed price for Vietnamese citzens, but God only knows what I will end up paying tomorrow. At least the good weather is returning. i paid the hotel for the two days (16 USD) and asked them to wake me at 5.30am. I am up to get the 6.15m bus.

Click on the picture to see it in it´s original size

Kon Tum – Plouging with Oxen (18-11-2003)

Click on the picture to see it in it´s original size

Kon Tum – Lost calf in Rice Paddy (18-11-2003)

Yeah, I was pissed off today. i enjoyed the rural landscapes but my patience with over friendly people (I must be in a bad mood) has me worn thin.

Wednesday, November 19th, 2003 – Day 274

I was awake at 5.15am. I paid a moto taxi driver 5000 Dong to get me to the station. The locals price was 30,000 Dong and the driver on the bus offered me a ticket for 40,000 Dong. This was reasonable.

Off we went. I got a nice seat at the back. It was 200km to Qui Nhon. It was a hot day and I sweating like a pig. At least my stomach was better. Again three girls puked on the bus. The drivers seem used to it. They all carry plastic bags. i have never seen any thing like it. It was quite fulla nd some of there habbits get up my nose.

Many locals will take off their shoes, socks and place their feet in front of you. If they sit in the lotus position they have their knees and elbows on you too. They have no concept of personal spece. They will place there arms around your neck for comfort. Over the past few days if I am writing anything they will walk up behind you and try to see what you are writing. at the chemist last night, I had the world diardea translated into vietnamese so tat I could show it to the chemist. Before I could, two women took my note booka nd started going throught it, pointed out any destiantions they knew. At the bus stationt his morning, a man took it upon himself to try and get holdof my note book as I was writing. Basically I told me to feck off. i was rude, and they may not think hat they are doing is rude but I was not in the mood.

It took four hours to get to Qui Nhon. It was near 11.00am and as far as I could asertain, there was a bus leaving at 11.00am. I went to the official counter and saw on the board that the price was 42,000 Dong. I went to buy a ticket. i did not expect to be sold one, but she started writing it up. I though that my luck was changing. Good old Vietnam. They are getting their shit together. But then she wrote the cost. 84,000 Dong. She simply doubled the local price. She was surprised went I told her to stuff it. I wasnt rude. I waited until the bus was about to leave until I approached the driver. I had ignored a 100 guys asking me where I was going until then. The bus was still half empthy.

The driver knows good business. He can leave without me if he wants to charge 84,000 Dong but can get me in with a bargain. So we bargin. I get it from 84,000 Dong to 60,000 Dong. its still expensice but off we go. He and the conductor colelct many people on the road. The scenery was good but it was a hot day. At one point there were 12 available sets inthe bys but 19 people were in there. The driving was crazy. I dont mean just dangereous but crazy. It was like a grand prix race. Were on the wrong side of the road many times. As most vehicles are motor bikes under 50 cc, we have to blast the horn until they move out of the way or serve around them. We were all thrown from either side of the van. Its impossible to describe how bad the driving was. The driver could not surpass a nice bounty by collecting a guy with two boes of fish. Theis amde things worse. In this small can, 4 gitrls and 1 guy got sick. There were people uking up all over the place. This is the main road south. Luckily they all puke into bags and throw them out the window.

There was a nice lady beside me who ofered me food along the way. Because of the speed. we did the 240km run in 4 hours. They dropped me off close to the Cathedral. I walked to my old hotel where my bag was stored. back in Nha Trang.

Click on the picture to see it in it´s original size

Nha Trang – Sunset (19-11-2003)

Click on the picture to see it in it´s original size

Nha Trang – kite fliging at Sunset (19-11-2003)

I did little the rest of the day as my body was shattered. I have not changed my clothes for 4 days or had a decent wash. The towels in Kun Tom had mould over over them from lack of use and there were lizards in the room. There were those small bastard ones you get all over Asia. There was hassle in the hotel as they looked for my bags.

They found them and I re booked into the hotel for 5 USD a night. I had a decent clean upa nd walked tot he NET cafe for a while. I had a road side beer and had an early night.

I found out today that Don Duong, a Vietnamese actor, who played the role of a North Vietnamese colonel on the losing side of a key battle against the Americans in Mel Gibson film WE WERE SOLDIERS had to leave Vietnam.

Duong left the country earlier this year after being denounced for taking the movie role.

US frigate in historic Vietnam visit: A US frigate docked in Vietnam on Wednesday, becoming the first US warship to visit since the Vietnam War.

I see the afilitate Amazon site has updated my traffic and web links.