Published: February 7th 2008February 7th 2008
Chuc mung nam moi!!!!!!!
Happy new year from Vietnam! Wasn't planning on writing a blog today but its been fairly intersesting. A wee disclaimer before I continue, I'm exeptionally drunk right now and anything I may say could be used as so much trash for a very bright fire. Only posted a blog a few days ago but wanted those of you who care to know about our last few days.
We are in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) and it is nuts! Did some tourist s@*t the first day and found it to be be, well, huge and very western. Went to the war museum, forget what it's called now but, before, it was called something like "the museum of war crimes commited against vietnam by the imperialistic aggressors of America!!" Gottta love it. It was a very one sided look at the war but, for all of that, the methods used were shocking and seriously disturbing. Some of the photo's were very hard to view. This will give us an historicl handle on the countrty for the remainder of our travels. To be honest, without going into details, that was some seriously fu@#*d up shit. Beyond comprehension.
Humanity? Gotta lot to learn.
Anyway, the reason I'm blogging again so soon is to tell you 'bout Tet (the Vietnemese lunar new year). New year's eve was the 6th and, to be honest, we failed to find too much action. There were fireworks, masses of people, celebrations and all that jizz, but nothing so amazing. Perhaps we were in the wrong place. New years day was a different bucket of bollocks all together.
Anny was all tired and sleepy after too much rice wine and Valium from the night before so I left her to her beauty sleep. I went out to take some photo's in the lovely narrow lanes of Saigon. Being a commie country gambling is only allowed during this time so all the high rollers were out in force, betting their sisters, brothers, mothers and aunties on frenetic games of cards! Good fun. After walking for a while I came accross a large group of suspiciously interseting characters. I greeted them with a hearty "Sin jow" and a stuttering "Chuc mung nam moi"and asked to take the groups photo. They obliged. As soon as I made them famous a glass of beer was shoved
into my hand and I was offered a seat.
Never one to turn a cold beer down I sat down with the motley crew. Ha, I'm jesting! These guys were so super friendly, to the point of embarrassment (for a restrained English twat abroad). In one hour I had skulled eight or nine beers. When one drinks, all drink - and not just a sip, the whole bloody glass! I had left Anny in the guest house sleeping off her excesses and i explained to the guys that I was going back to get her and that I would return soon. Anny was dead suprised to find me almost half cut not an hour after leaving her for a snooze!
We returned. We drank muchly, muchly, muchly. At the first tentative raise of a glass someone would call, "Hop, hai, baa, YO!" and the whole group had to drink; the whole glass!! I met these guys at nine am and had to make my excuses to leave at 5! Munkeyed!! Gone. But what an amazing day. Flip it on its head and imagine a bunch of English drinking on New Years Eve and invititng a random Asian to
join their party. Drinking over twenty beers and being immediatly accepted, welcomed and loved. Aint gonna happen folks - not in a million years.
Bout four we were happy skulling another beer with our lovely hosts when the whole narrow alley went complete ape guano. Everyone started running for buildings; chairs were scattered, panicked faces legged it for their lives. We sat tight not knowing what to do. Our hosts assured us that all was good and to just sit tight. But when we saw several heavily tatooed thugs with foot long machetes staging a running battle we legged it for the nearest house. We saw some pretty gruesome sh*t, hacked legs, lost fingers and a serious head wound. Exhilirating in retrospect but seriously nuts at the time, especially when we could hardly walk! Never seen blood spurt so far, so close. Harsh. The speed the alley cleared was incredible: seconds.
So, we are safe, happy and off to the beach tomorrow. Happy new year guy's and if there's another big knife fight..... count us out!
There are more photos below