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I haven't read the news for weeks!

sunny

It's hot and sunny today, so Amy and I are taking a break in an internet "cafe" (really, just a room with old computers) for a bit. We've been walking around this morning checking out fabric shops, a food market (vietnamese coffee is in a bag ready to come home with me) and an artisan workshop. Not sure what the rest of the day holds for us - we may actually be fitted for a piece of clothing, as this is the best place in Vietnam for that sort of thing. And, there's a huge delicious sounding beach not far away, so we may rent bicycles and go there too.
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We are staying in the old part of Hoi An, and the streets are so narrow that automobiles are not allowed on the streets! That is SUCH a nice feature, and quite opposite of what we've become accustomed to. Crossing the streets in both Thailand and Vietnam is like playing Russian Roulette (not that bad, really), and although Amy and I are fantastic at dodging cars now, its nice not to have to. If anybody wants to challenge us to a game of Frogger when we get home, do it. You'll be shamed!

Like I said yesterday, we decided to extend our time in Hoi An by one day. We purchased a train ticket from here to Ho Chi Minh City (Sai Gon) and should have boarded the train already, but instead we purchased a plane ticket which leaves tomorrow evening instead. So, yes, we wasted money, but we didn't like the train much at all - and it takes 13 hours by train and only 1 hour by plane...It cost $60 which we decided was ok. Speaking of the train - here's the scoop about that. It was pretty unsavory. I adore train travel and was very excited about being able to watch Vietnam go by while relaxing and perhaps sipping coffee. That didn't happen, really. I mentioned Jason and Cait - they were (are) wonderful and they saved us from going crazy. We were cramped up in a tiny room that barely fit the 4 beds inside of it. The train had no observation car, no dining car, no anything-car. We were trapped either in our room or in the cars' aisle ways. And, really, it was quite dingy. They brought us "dinner" at around 9pm but it looked just awful, like gruel (I don't know what that looks like, but if I had to guess..). And breakfast was ramen noodles (ok). Amy and I thought ahead and brought sandwiches for dinner, but the bread had turned hard before we ate them. While trying to eat them, we actually hit heads because of the strength we had to use to bite them! And, the bathrooms...not so bad, overall, but in the morning - so bad.. yikes.
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About the countryside that we did see - simply beautiful. We passed through villages and the ocean and mountains. Lovely lovely. Its so interesting to see how simply people live. Makes me feel like a glutton.

Tomorrow - Ho Chi Minh City, and we stay for 2 nights then off to Singapore for less than 24 hours and then home. It's coming so quickly. I will be sad to leave here. Of course home is home, but I'm really enjoying my time away!

And, mom - yes we took separate motorbikes to the train station! Ha.

And Momi - say what?! about your broken leg??????????????????????

Posted by radish 21:00 Archived in Vietnam Tagged train_travel

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I think we are online at the same time :) Maybe not. I looked at her myspace & it says stuff about a broken leg. (Sorry) But I sent her a nice random paula rambling message to make her have a happier day.

Paula loves Buddha's feel free to get me a tiny plastic one out of a gumball machine, I'll pay ya back.

by PDX Paula

hey.. i would like to request some travel swag.. the request is this... I would like some thai currency if you have some left and some Vietnamese currency i you havent given it all to the taxi drivers.. im going to have to up grade my missing you from a smidge to a large squeak ...shermie

by shurmdaddy

Hiya kids!

golly miss radish, i can't wait to hear about the trip!! you sure do learn a lot about yourself and the world when you hit the road. grand rapids will never be the same, will it.
as for bathrooms, zowie!! yes, gr will never be the same again:)
stuff here is fine if not yucky busy. the weather is GORGEOUS today - finally sun and warmth!!!!
did you smoke there? how much do cigarettes cost? and the coffee - is it delish?? what do you miss most about home??
here is a reference question for you - do you know how many US nickels are in circulation today? how many that have been decommissioned?? yes indeed, some nifty questions today, boy oh boy!
miss ya, kelly:)

by khelder

so when you get back, will it be a hot shower, use of a nice clean white toilet, or some american junk food? sounds like sherman misses you, as well he should. me too.
what happened to momi's leg?

by chris'smom

I don't want to trump the excitement but, yes, I did break my fibula in 2 places.

Instead of Pivoting, I was assigned the Blocker #2 position. The Whistle blew and we all took off. As we raced around the track at a break neck speed, the Jammers quickly caught up to the pack.

As the jammer of the team I was playing against made her way through the pack, I began to sprint. It's all in the timing, you know? She was on the outside of the track, and I was on the inside with two of her blockers in between. As we came to the beginning of the curve, I realized it was a beautiful set-up--all I had to do was knock the blocker closest to me into the the one to her right and, ala domino style, I just knew she then would slam into her own team Jammer, knocking her out of bounds. Three birds with one stone and I had a splitsecond to make my move.

And I did. We were all going really fast but for me, it was all taking place in slow motion. The window of opportunity opened, and I took it. I slammed my whole body, with every bit of strength I had into that first blocker.

Voila! Everybody down, like pins in a bowling alley.

It was beautiful.

For a mili-second.

Then I realized instantly I myself was out of control. Going too fast, crashing through falling bodies. With arms flailing, I realized there was going to be no recovery for me. My right toe stopper pointed downward, not by my own accord, unfortunately...and my skate with my foot tightly strapped in, started to roll under--my body, with all it's weight, followed. Snap.

I knew instantly....not good....not good at all...

As I lay still, crumpled on the floor, still, the whistle blew again.

Game off.

I will blog this on myspace. I haven't posted anything new in a long time. I'm stuck, attached to my laptop. Foot propped up. I now have the time....

by NatalieBoh

Oh yes, leg broken in two places - roller derby style with massive pain, denial of break, trip to care center next day. Leg stabilized with splint waiting for surgery. No doctor available due to weekend. Husband trying to finish grad school and tote wife up and down steep stairs at same time.
Mother and many friends trying to help somehow. Broken leg holder has to finish design for client while needed boss has new needy twins at home. Unavailable for consultation.
CA Report as of 10pm 4/19/07

by cantoo

Hey, true but I prefer to share the details creatively...take the edge off of the reality. Let's look at the bright side--I get to catch up on all those movies I missed at the theater.

by NatalieBoh

Holy Crap!

by dacarls

I second your wittisim

by Hiwayhobo

As much as you love this incredible journey into another world, we will all be relieved when you are safely home and tucked into your own comfy beds.
It is now Sunday night and soon you will have memories beyond anything we will ever completely understand or quite invision. I am so proud of your tenacity to plan and carry out this incredible journey. I am so grateful for this blog so we could know you are OK 'cept for the bites and some frustration. And the writing the two of you have given us is funny, very illustrative and precious.
Momma

by cantoo

Well said and I sincerely agree with your assessment and I too will be glad when they are safe and sound at home. Please call and let us know you have arrived.

by Hiwayhobo

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