Published: January 27th 2009January 27th 2009
The real deal
No, this is not a fake National Enquirer type shot
Well, that was a short break wasn't it?
It's all your fault Tordes. You threw down the gauntlet and it got picked up.
We set out to catch the local bus into Phan Tiet, which is over 20km from our hotel. We knew there were dragon boat races taking place to celebrate Tet. There we were standing at the bus stop, minding our own business when along come these two very persuasive guys with their bikes. Between their pleadings and Don's urgings, I finally agreed to get on one. Only after I had extracted many promises from my driver that he would drive carefully and there would be no crazy antics or rash moves. I spent most of the time looking to the side and praying for the 20k to be over. I felt like I was on that thing forever. Plus my helmet kept coming off my head, so I knew it was going to be useless when disaster struck - which I was sure it was going to, at any moment. To be fair to the driver, he did a great job and what do you know - we arrived in one piece. Don's p.s. to this
little story is that a picture could not possibly capture the fearful expression on my face but, to be fair to me - at least I did it.
We arrived in town to find throngs of local people on the bridges and lining the river banks. We only saw two other tourists the whole time we were there. It was hot, hot, hot.
I found a spot under a tarp and even managed to scam myself a stool to sit on. Great, I thought, lucky me. This was all well and good until the races started and everyone surged forward to cheer for their favourite boats. I thought I was going to get crushed in the rush so I stood up. This move didn't make any difference as they then used me as a post to lean on. Their sense of personal space is much smaller than ours. I could see myself winding up in the water. As my good friend Janet (a champion Dragon Boat racer) was not taking part I decided to worm my way out of the crowd , find a spot to sit and wait for Don who, as usual was off doing his
thing with the camera.
To some people we were more interesting than the races going on. They just stare and stare at us. All the kids want their photos taken and then want to see the results. They were also very intrigued with the watch that Don has clipped to his waist band (a pant loop watch?)
It was a great afternoon and a great experience. Midn you, we took a regular taxi home!
There are more photos below