Operation HMH

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Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City
February 3rd 2010
Published: February 11th 2010
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Checked out and the owner of 'Same, Same' Guesthouse walked us up the road to make sure we were picked up by our transfer on time. The staff have been brilliant there! A guy with a walky-talky arrived and we chatted to a girl from Croydon called Amy all the way to the bus station. Her and her boyfriend had accidentally worn exactly the same colour today, so we named them The Purple Couple.
When we arrived at the bus station, lots of uniformed staff were on hand to help us with our luggage and to find out seats. Each person had a bottle of water stuffed in to their seat pocket already, to save them having to wobble down the coach handing them out when it set off. Simple things like this makes them appear so well organised and we all know how Ellie loves organisation! Yes... even more than me. I think she should get Copywrite on her trademark saying "Just let me get organised".
We arrived at the Cambodian boarder and signed our departure cards then waited ages at the Vietnam boarder to have our luggage scanned. Ellie had accidentally left her penknife in her hand luggage, so decided to leave it on the coach, and nobody seemed to notice, or check what people had stashed on here. All very bizarre if you ask me. I was one of the last 3 to have my bags scanned so I think I waited about 1.5 hours in total.
We were asleep when we drove in to Vietnam, so I didn't see any of the scenery, but we when we got to Ho Chi Minh City, we saw loads of Oriental looking buildings and thousands of people on Motorbikes. Loads of people were wearing facemasks but we weren't sure if this was to do with pollution or Swine Flu. During the journey, Ellie had decided she wants to be a Professional Tennis Player, so she'll need to start taking lessons in South Africa.
We got off the coach at Pham Ngu Lao which is full of Guesthouses, and we found a really good one down a backstreet. Went out to get a travel adapter (as we've lost our other one) and bought some drinks to have while we got ready. It was rush hour and the streets were MANIC! People on Motorbikes were flying at us from all angles - it was worse than our Pigeon experience in Bangkok!
We got a bottle of Vodka for 40,000 Dong (about £1.25) and drank that while I attempted to straighten Ellie's hair with GHD's. We were so excited to get dressed up and go out, as we've not had anything to drink since one of the first nights in Laos!
Went for dinner in a cool place we'd spotted earlier called Milwaukee Bar and Grill. The food was amazing! Decided to run Operation Hot Men Hunt for Ellie, and discussed the strategies we would put in to place.
The first bar of the evening was called Go2. We liked it in here. It plays Indie music and is on the corner of one of the main streets so you can sit watching the world go by. Ellie seemed to be offered Marijuana and Cocaine an alarming amount of times by the street sellers. Evidently my Halo was looking polished as they didn't even look my way. Even more alarming, is the fact I felt disappointed by this!
Spent a while trying to figure out if a person was male or female. It had a shaved head, with feminine features and long lashes thick with mascara, but also a flat chest, big arms and manly body. A dikey looking woman was draped around its neck. I'm afraid to say we were none the wiser by the time we left 30 minutes later.
Jumped on the back of a motorbike to the Bento Market area after agreeing a fare with an old guy who said he knew where some bars were. I think he was talking about bars before the war, as he dropped us off in the middle of nowhere. Stumbled across a posh bar full of Vietnamese people. It was a lovely place but not what we were looking for, so we stayed for one drink then jumped in a taxi back to Pham Ngu Lao. Headed to a bar called Allez Boo (which reminded me of a saying I have with a few friends back home) which played some pretty good music. We watched lads on the park opposite playing some sort of ball and racket game with their feet by doing a funny leg movement. I think the ball is similar to a shuttlecock, but it seems to make a noise like a ping pong. Anyway, apologies for my terrible explaining, but it looked bloody brilliant!
Went back to Go2 and played the 'Would you rather...' game. El came up with a good one: date a guy who wears a Bumbag, or a guy who wears Sandals and Socks. Tragic.
I asked her 'where do you see yourself in 5 years time' and she looked up dreamily and said 'I want to get married'. Unfortunately she timed it right when an old, red faced, balding bloke walked past and was in her line of sight, so it looked as though she'd said it to him. He walked off laughing to himself and El sat cringing for a few moments, before he came back and cracked a few jokes. He turned out to be a pretty interesting guy and told us a lot about the history of Vietnam, and the war etc. I went to get some drinks and a French guy ran over to tell me him and his friends had been waiting to join us but couldn’t because of the old guy. Well, our friend had no intention of leaving so unfortunately Operation Hot Men Hunt had failed miserably.


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