Surviving Saigon (Day 1)

 

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Invariably when we travel, things do not always go as planned. Our first 24 hours in Saigon have evidenced just that. Starting off on the wrong foot even before arriving in Vietnam, we had visa issues with one of our teammates in Thailand. Thankfully all flights and immigration were sorted out before getting here. Upon arrival, we were briefly lost in motorbike nation (even at 10pm) but managed to communicate to our non-English speaking taxi driver to stop at what appeared to be a murderous alleyway: the entrance to our Airbnb. This is when we realized how much we had taken for granted the English proficiency of locals in Chiang Mai, which does NOT apply as prevalently in Saigon.

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After sleeping on beds that basically felt like the floor but covered in sheets (our Chiang Mai accommodation), the beds at the BnB seemed like prime capsules in which we could be enveloped with deep slumber. This was almost the case, except all three of us woke up with mysterious bug bites all over our arms and knees. And discovered that the bathrooms hadn’t been cleaned. And that the trash hadn’t been taken out from the previous guests’ stay…

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One of my personal goals during this trip is to gain a few good pounds while I am around all of this delicious (and cheap) food. Mango sticky rice, tom yum soup, beef salad were some of my favorites from Thailand. In Vietnam, I’ve already had pho for 3 meals in the last 24 hours. Reid and Ling play my bad cop/good cop duo: some hazing plus positive reinforcement to up the ante. Have unfortunately been eating a lot of crap in transit (McDonalds during layovers, whatever chocolate bars are sold at Duty Free to fill in missing calories during awkward non-meal times) so trying to balance that out with work outs where we can, even if it means pushups at the gate.

We have an early morning ahead of us, but there are trumpets still blaring outside out new (more central) accommodation. Good thing I brought earplugs! Tomorrow is yet another adventure.

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